My partner in all his 3-plus decades has never experienced the pomp and pageantry of Prinsjesdag. It’s one of those days in the Netherlands when people go hat-obsessed and orange-crazy. It’s also incidentally a signal to the start of parliament. It’s understandable that my partner has never seen it since it always happens on a weekday and in another city altogether, but since we were both free for the week, it was finally a chance to scratch it off the local bucket list.

After two hours and an increasingly sore back later, the time came when the parade finally started and it wasn’t long before the royal family came rolling on by. Not really a fan of monarchs and the archaic system behind it, but it’s a hoot to see people get excited about people they barely know, who they willingly subsidize to live in luxury, and wave at just for the heck of it. And thanks to my iPhone, I was able to record Queen Maxima and her golden carriage for posterity. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever attend another one of these events, but in case her majesty sends a personal invite I certainly wouldn’t mind. As long as there’s no standing next time.

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