The history of the Kingdom of the Netherlands begins in The Hague. It was here on November 30, 1813 that Prince Willem Frederik of Oranje-Nassau, after sailing from England, landed on the beach at Scheveningen. He was the first king of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and established his residence in The Hague. Ever since, The Hague has been both the seat of government and the residence of the Dutch royal family. And it is that special status that is reflected in the city’s regal allure.
The Hague and the Kingdom of the Netherlands remain closely linked. The Noordeinde Palace has long served as the working palace of the king as head of state. The former Royal Palace Lange Voorhout was a the winter palace of Queen Emma. And King Willem-Alexander has, just as his predecessor, Princess (formerly Queen) Beatrix, chosen to make the Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague his official residence. Every year on ‘Prinsjesdag’, the king rides through the city in a horse-drawn carriage and then gives the ‘Troonrede’, a speech in which he presents the government’s policy proposals for the coming year.
The royal traditions also have an important role to play on the international level. New ambassadors ride through The Hague to the Noordeinde Palace in a ceremonial carriage to officially present their credentials to the king. The Netherlands hosts around 170 ambassadors from friendly nations, and nearly all of them are based in The Hague.
The regal allure of The Hague is clearly evident all around the city. You’ll find it in the stately mansions in the ‘Lange Voorhout’ and in the ‘Statenkwartier’, in names like ‘Plein 1813’ and the ‘Hofkwartier’ that are associated with the history and traditions of the city, as well as in in organisations, businesses and shops in The Hague. In The Hague, the king grants the status of ‘royal’ or ‘purveyor to the royal family’ to organisations that have established reputations for quality and integrity, including the Royal Theatre, the Royal Academy of Art, the Royal Conservatory and Royal Dutch Shell. All of these organisations based in The Hague epitomise exceptional quality – the allure that typifies The Hague.
City by the Sea
The Hague is the only large Dutch city on the sea. Just a stone’s throw from the historic city centre, you’ll find an eleven-kilometre long beach. Step aboard a tram and within fifteen minutes you can breathe in the fresh sea air. In The Hague, you’re never far from the sea.
In The Hague, the beach is the ideal place to take a break from the hectic pace of life. Take a long walk along the water’s edge or hop on a bike and cycle through the dunes. Stroll along the newly renovated Pier or walk along the Boulevard to the harbour in Scheveningen. Enjoy the grand views, clear you mind and let yourself be inspired by new ideas. At the seaside, it always feels like you’re on holiday.
Curious for The Hague?
Please visit This Is The Hague for numerous attractions, events, exhibitions, excursions, special locations and insider tips.