Investiture or coronation?

On 30 April 2013 Prince Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother Queen Beatrix as the new monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The ceremony in Holland is called an investiture, during which the monarch is honoured in a ceremonial manner by his subjects and accepts the crown. It means that the monarch is not actually crowned; the crown, the scepter and the royal apple are placed on the so-called credence table, together with a copy of the Constitution.

Religious versus secular

The investiture as we know it in Holland differs from the tradition in other countries, where kings and queens are ‘crowned’. The difference is that a coronation is of a religious nature while an investiture is a secular ceremony.

Pledging loyalty

An investiture means that the representatives of the people as joined in the States General pledge loyalty to the monarch and the monarch himself or herself pledges loyalty to the Constitution. Even without an investiture the monarch would have the right to exercise royal power since a throne cannot be ‘vacant’. Above all, the investiture is a confirmation of a new monarch’s rise to power.