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I should have remembered it was Friday the 13th... the man from the gas board was late getting here, as being from out of town, he hadn't calculated on the fact that HRH The Prince of Orange would be registering his third daughter's birth at the Town Hall this morning, and the downtown area would be packed with people wanting to catch a glimpse of him. Following the live coverage on TV, I could see that he was taking his time, shaking hands and accepting flowers, cards and cuddly toys from school children and grandmothers who'd made the journey into The Hague from all parts of the country. Seems the new princess is to go through life with the name of Ariane...it could have been worse, I suppose. With the abundance of daughters having been born into the House of Orange in recent years, the collection of halfway decent traditional names in the Nassau family had already been exhausted.

Anyway, while waiting for the gas man to arrive, I started to half-heartedly do some housework...and broke the hoover. Literally, broke it. Snapped the tube in such a way that no amount of masking tape is going to help stick it back together. I'll have to go get a new one. Wish I could afford a Dyson....or maybe, I can? Will have to look into this. Everyone says they're much better than a traditional vacuum cleaner.

The gas man arrived, and I had to hurry him through his annual inspection so as I could be on my way to my physiotherapy session -- when my phone rang and it was Rutger, cancelling. He hadn't finished my training schedule yet, and could we maybe see each other on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning instead? Tuesday morning? Jobsworth isn't going to like this, but okay. "1 o'clock alright?" "Since when is 1 o'clock 'in the morning'? I can do 11" So we compromised on 11:30am, but I can see I'm going to have a hard time fitting my therapy sessions into my schedule.

The crowds will undoubtedly have dispersed by now...I think I'll go into town, and dispel my annoyance at my waste of a morning by buying those wedges I saw earlier. I've checked all the fashion mags and apparently it's still okay to be seen in wedges this summer, so I'd better get another pair.


( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Apr. 13th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
Dyson's are okay, but you can get a lot of bagless hoovers nowadays, some of which are just as good a a Dyson but much cheaper.
Apr. 13th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, and they come in the most outrageous colour combinations! I think I may choose a yellow/fuchsia one, unless I can find one that hurts the eyes even more. ;-)
Apr. 13th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
I did see a lime green and yellow one once. mmm mmm.
Apr. 13th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
Ariane is really kind of pretty as a name, I think. As you said, it could have been much worse.
Apr. 14th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
Wasn't that the name of the princess in some Disney cartoon?

I had no idea people were still so interested in the Royal Family in The Netherlands. :S
Apr. 14th, 2007 09:49 am (UTC)
Wasn't that the name of the princess in some Disney cartoon?

I think that was Ariel, in The Little Mermaid. And then there was Aurora in Sleeping Beauty....

I had no idea people were still so interested in the Royal Family in The Netherlands.

It's hard to explain really, what the House of Orange means to us Dutch. They've had the top job in an unbroken line for the last 5 centuries, first as stadtholders in the time of the Republic, and then as kings since the creation of the monarchy in 1815. They're a large part of our national history and identity, and no one can really conceive of a time when they might not be in place at the head of the State. You know that saying, 'God is in His heaven, and all is right with the world'? Here, it's a case of 'God is in His Heaven, the Oranges lead the country, and all is right with the world'. If we became a republic again tomorrow, provided she'd be allowed to stand, the Queen would win the presidential elections hands down. The Oranges are not affiliated with any political party, and perfectly placed to unite all factions.

But there's no need for us to change the form of government we're under. We have a constitutional monarchy, in which the Queen (or King, when Alexander takes over from his mother in a few years) is the head of state with the right to be consulted, to advise and to warn the government, and Parliament decides.

And yes, people do generally take an interest in the comings and goings of the Royal Family, but it's mostly benign. They just want to see them wave at them, or see them walk among them when something bad happens, like when that plane went down on a few apartment blocks in Amsterdam some years ago. They're a rallying point in times of trouble, but also a target to throw paint bombs at if you want to get to your protest against whatever you think is wrong with the country in the papers. It's a rotten job, but somebody's got to do it, seems to be the prevailing attitude. ;-)
Apr. 15th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
No, we in Australia also have a constitutional monarchy and most of us don't see much reason to change. Certainly, the vote for a republic failed when it happened 10 years or so ago.

But of course, we have the British Royal Family, rather than our own. I'm not that keen on the thought of King Charles and Queen Camilla. :P :P
Apr. 14th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
That was Ariel in "The Little Mermaid." Please don't ask how I can still remember that...
Apr. 14th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
It's funny, but we always seem to expect our Royals to come up with baby names that are untrendy and imbued with meaning and resonance -- could you image what it would be like to have a princess given the name Britney or Shakira? In the House of Orange, the names Juliana and Wilhelmina have been used in the past, but to saddle a child with the latter choice in this day and age...we wouldn't want that, and yet -- Ariane seems almost too common, like she's any old kid. It's only marginally better than that of her middle sister, Alexia. In fact, Alexander and his wife only got it right with their first child, Amalia who -if all goes according to plan- will be Queen regnant some time in the latter half of this century.
( 9 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )


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