The Hague: The residence of the Royal Family for centuries
The Hague is a royal city with a high feel-good factor. After all, you might spontaneously encounter members of the Royal Family on the street or in one of 'their' stores. You'll also stumble upon the House of Orange; the many historical monuments, the presence of residential and working palaces, royal thoroughfares and horse-drawn coaches.
Experience Prince's Day
Prinsjesdag (Prince's Day or Budget Day) represents the start of the new parliamentary year on which the reigning monarch of the Netherlands addresses a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives in the Ridderzaal or Hall of Knights in The Hague.
Every third Tuesday in September when the clock strikes one o'clock, the King, normally accompanied by other members of the Royal House, leaves Noordeinde Palace in the Glass Carriage for the Binnenhof, escorted by court dignitaries and a military escort of honour. Outside the palace awaits an escort of honour and a military band.
The procession route runs this year from Noordeinde Palace via the Heulstraat, Kneuterdijk, Lange Voorhout, Lange Houtstraat, Plein, to the Binnenhof and back again. The King and his family depart from Noordeinde Palace at approximately 13.00 hrs. and then the procession begins. He departs again from the Ridderzaal at 14.00 hrs. for Noordeinde Palace where balcony scene then takes place.
In the Ridderzaal the King reads the 'Speech from the Throne', written jointly by the Ministers and Secretaries of State. This troonrede outlines the government's financial plans for the coming year. When the Speech has finished, the escort of honour again forms in the Binnenhof, and the procession returns to Noordeinde Palace where the Royal Family traditionally salutes the gathered crowd from the balcony ('balkonscène').
Visit the Palace Garden
The Palace Garden ('Paleistuin') is one of The Hague's hidden gems. This romantic park with flowerbeds, fountains, hedgerows and ponds lies directly behind Noordeinde Palace. Every day the inhabitants of The Hague gather in this quiet oasis. On warm days, adults seek shade amongst the trees, children play in the grass and amorous couples enjoy a picnic in the park.
Frederik Hendrik, the son of William of Orange, had the gardens landscaped for his mother at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Known in those days as the 'Princesses' Garden', the park was full of romantic flowerbeds, ponds, fountains and marble statues. The garden was given to the Municipality of The Hague in the twentieth century and it is now a normal park by Dutch standards, as well as a great place to picnic on summer days. Bask in this wonderfully regal setting for a while, sandwiched between the Royal Stables, the working Noordeinde Palace and the Royal Archives.
Inner Court - Hall of Knights
Step through the famous entry gate into the historical Binnenhof (Inner Court) in the heart of our democracy. This is the place where the most important events in the nation's history took place. It is also where the future is created. The Inner Court in The Hague is studded with monumental old buildings testifying of eight centuries of governing in the Low Countries, but it also has several ample open spaces, all freely open to the public. The Binnenhof is a must-see if you are in The Hague. Take a stroll through the courtyard and admire the fairytale-like splendour or take the time to take a tour through the various halls. You won’t be disappointed!
The Binnenhof is situated in the heart of The Hague’s city centre. It has been the location of meetings of the Dutch parliament, the Staten-Generaal, since 1446, and has been the centre of Dutch politics for many centuries. The grounds on which the Binnenhof now stands were purchased by Count Floris IV of Holland in 1229, where he built his mansion, next to the modest lake that has been called Hofvijver or 'Court Pond' since the 13th century. More buildings were constructed around the court, several of which are well known in their own right, such as the Ridderzaal (Great hall; literally Knight's Hall), where King Willem-Alexander holds his annual speech at Prinsjesdag (opening of the parliamentary year).
More about the Inner Court - Hall of Knights
The Palace Noordeinde ('Paleis Noordeinde') with its gracefully landscaped garden is situated on the Noordeinde. Compared to other European palaces, Noordeinde is modest and located at 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.
The widow of William of Orange and her children lived there. In 1815 the palace was completely restored and used as residence for King William I. Nowadays King Williem-Alexander and his staff have their offices in the elegant rooms of Palace Noordeinde. The palace is not open to the public for the simple reason that it is still in use a working palace.
Royal Waiting Room - Fairytale atmosphere
When the royal family arrives at the station, it enters through the entrance at Stationsplein. The Royal Waiting Room is located at the left part of the station building and extends along the platform.
The entrance to the Royal Waiting Room consists of a large staircase with terrazzo floors and three stained glass windows. The windows contain personifications of the most important cities of HIJSM: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
The Royal Stables in The Hague are home to the many carriages of the Royal Household. The most famous is of course the Golden Carriage. The Royal Stables are not accessible to the public. The Royal Stables are part of Noordeinde Palace. The unique, eclectic style stables were designed by H.P. Vogel. Although the stables can only be admired from outside, during a day trip to The Hague a visit to Noordeinde Palace, the Palace Gardens and the Royal Stables should not be missed!
During the summer the Noordeinde Palace and the Royal Stables are open for visits.
Palace Huis ten Bosch
Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague has been the residential palace of the Dutch Royal Family since 1981. The palace is located in the Haagse Bos forest. The palace is one of three official residences of the Royal Family, the other two being Noordeinde Palace in The Hague and the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.
Huis ten Bosch Palace was until 2014 the home of Princess Beatrix. It was made available to then Queen Beatrix in 1981. In january 2019 King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their three daughters moved to the palace. Rumour has it that the palace pond is where Willem Alexander proposed to Maxima on the ice in 2001. His great-grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, also skated here as a young Queen.
Kneuterdijk Palace ('Paleis Kneuterdijk') is one of the unknown gems in the historic city centre of The Hague. The palace between Court Pond and Lange Voorhout was built in 1716 in the Louis XIV style by architect Daniel Marot for Count Johan Hendrik of Wassenaer-Obdam. In 1816 King William I purchased Kneuterdijk Palace for his son, the Prince of Orange, later King William II and his Russian wife Anna Paulowna. It is now home to the Council of State.
William II and Anna Pavlovna lived at Kneuterdijk Palace until William was sworn in as King on 28 November 1840. William II added several buildings designed in the English Tudor style, of which only the so-called Gothic Hall ('Gotische Zaal') has survived. In the 1930s the place was occasionally used by Princess Juliana.
Tip: Our Royal walking route or our Royal wheelchair route