On Wednesday mornings, HM King Willem-Alexander regularly receives new ambassadors who come to present their letters of credence at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. The audience includes a ceremony that can be followed from the Noordeinde shopping street. The new ambassador arrives by state coach early in the morning, escorted by horsemen from the Royal Netherlands Mounted Police. A guard of honour and military band are stationed at Noordeinde Palace. After an honorary salute of four drumrolls, the national anthem of the ambassador's country is played, followed by an inspection of the guard. Inside, the King awaits the new ambassador. Outside the palace, you can watch the arrival of the coach, listen to the national anthem being played and follow the inspection of the guard - always a special moment in the royal city of The Hague.
The following Wednesdays are reserved for the presentation of letters of credence. Some dates may be subject to change or cancellation.
- September 13th - ambassadors of Luxembourg, Poland and Denmark
- October 25th
- November 1st
- November 8th
- November 15th
- November 29th
- December 6th
- December 13th
- December 20th
Shortly after their arrival in the Netherlands, new ambassadors are received by King Willem-Alexander at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. The audience includes a ceremony that always takes place on a Wednesday morning between 09.00 and 11.00 a.m. (If the King is receiving more than one ambassador, they arrive at separate intervals at Noordeinde Palace.) New ambassadors are received by a Royal Chamberlain and escorted in a state carriage from their official residence to the palace. Two outriders ride in front wearing full dress. Two horsemen from the Royal Netherlands Mounted Police ride ahead of and behind each carriage. A guard of honour and military band await the ceremonial carriage at the palace. After an honorary salute of four drumrolls, the national anthem of the ambassador's country is played, followed by an inspection of the guard. In the balcony room at Noordeinde Palace the ambassador, wearing a morning coat or national dress, presents the King with his letters of credence before the introductory meeting. On their departure, four drumrolls are again played for each ambassador.
Letters of credence
New ambassadors always present the King with two letters of credence. The first letter states that the ambassador's predecessor has been recalled. The second letter authorises the diplomat to speak on behalf of his Head of State or government. The letter also confirms the good relations between both countries. As soon as the King accepts the letters of credence, the new ambassador officially takes office. A maximum of three ambassadors are received for the presentation to ensure that there is also time for a personal introductory meeting in which current developments in the country concerned and its relations with the Kingdom of the Netherlands can be discussed.
Ambassadors who come to present their letters of credence to the King, are escorted in a Berlin carriage. The name originates from Berlin, the city where the carriage was designed in 1662. Berlins are closed carriages, suitable for four people. The carriages are black with oxblood lacquer and are drawn by two or four horses. The Royal Stables have six Berlin carriages.
The Palace Noordeinde ('Paleis Noordeinde') with its gracefully landscaped garden is situated on the Noordeinde. Compared to other European palaces, Noordeinde is modest and enjoys a wonderful location on one of The Hague's shopping streets. After looking at the latest fashion, you could suddenly find yourself at the gates of this working palace.
Noordeinde is easy to reach by car, tram and bike. There are plenty of parking opportunities in the vicinity. The nearest parking garages are Noordeinde parking in Heulstraat and Parkstraat parking garage in Oranjestraat. Noordeinde is a fifteen-minute walk from Central Station. A number of trams stop at the Kneuterdijk stop. The rest of The Hague is also easy to reach from Noordeinde.