Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe & beyond...join me!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

princess pov

She came into the palace stateroom early. All morning she had been restless in anticipation of the hours ahead. As she walked through the double doors which were opened for her, a light breeze touched her face, billowing her long, blonde hair in one soft movement; surprising her. She stopped and noticed all of the adults standing silently around the room. They seemed antsy too; checking watches, straightening ties, touching necklaces in that unsure-if-it’s-still-on way, flattening invisible wrinkles in skirts, and patting hair ensuring not a single strand had run amok. The air was charged, but silent, as if live wires were running through it and any minute they would explode. She smiled a cheeky, nine-year-old’s smile, thinking it was actually all a bit funny.

The flash of her aunt’s camera caught her attention and she turned to see Mabel standing at the long row of large windows. With her right hand she was taking a photo, while the left one held the gauze curtains just slightly to the side. As the girl came up to her, she could see the sight which Mabel was photographing. The entire square below was a sea of orange! She gasped a little. So many people. All wearing orange crowns, orange t-shirts and holding orange signs reading, “Dag Beatrix!”, “Hallo Willem!

“Wow, how cool,” she whispered to her aunt, thinking she still shouldn’t make any noise. Mabel leaned down to her, and with a grin said, “I just posted the photo to twitter-the people sure seem happy today.” The girl continued peeking out at the crowd, then she lifted her hand and holding the curtain away with one hand, but keeping her head behind it, she began to wave. All of a sudden, through the gauze, she saw the people begin to wave; frantically, happily! Arms swinging wildly back and forth. The huge crowd didn’t make a sound, they just waved. “Look,” she said to Mabel, “they’re all waving back!” And then it hit her, “they’re waiting for me.”

Half an hour later, the girl and her two sisters were sitting on embroidered, velvet chairs, in their matching sunflower-yellow dresses, with blue headbands keeping their straight blond hair in check.  Their chairs were placed in a row, in front of the windows facing the large oval table around which every chair was taken. On the far side of the table, facing them was their father, mother and grandmother. An open book, about the size Moses’s Ten Commandments tablets was placed in front of her grandmother. The entire room was silent as they watched Queen Beatrix sign her name. Beatrix looked at her son sitting next to her and with proud, wrinkled eyes, she smiled and slid the heavy book over for him to sign. All of a sudden, behind her outside, the girl heard a thundering roar erupt from the crowd below. She looked behind her and then back to her parents. Their faces were wide with smiles, hearing the cheers and hollering. Beatrix squeezed Willem’s hand and he took his wife’s, and the three of them enjoyed this moment for which he had been preparing for his entire life. The people were ecstatic. They had a new king.

Last night, before her parents had left for the Queen’s last dinner, she had asked her father, “Papa, how long are you going to be king?” He looked at her in surprise, smiling and said, “I’m not sure. Why are you asking?” “Well, I want to plan, that’s all. I want to know when I’m up.” He gave a chuckle, and just shook his head. “I’ll let you know, don’t worry.”

After everyone around the table had added their signatures, the girl watched as her grandmother and her parents rose from the table. Her mother and father came over to them and the girls jumped up and threw their arms around them. As the balcony doors were opened, the noise from the crowd was deafening. Her parents straightened themselves out; Maxima reapplied lipstick and Willem took a sip of water from a glass handed to him by the valet. She watched as her parents and her grandmother went out onto the balcony, amid the roaring of the crowd. And then, she heard her grandmother’s strong voice, as it carried over the square, “I would like to introduce to you, King Willem-Alexander. King of the Netherlands.”

The girl waited..and waited. It seemed like an eternity. Finally, her grandmother came back into the room, eyes searching and then setting on her’s, “Amalia.”

She didn’t think it could be possible, but as she and her sisters stepped out into the fresh air, the tens of thousands of people in the square cheered even louder. She laughed a little in the shock of it. Then she began to wave and wave and wave and wave. The crowd waved back, flags were flying, and millions of cameras were being held high, pointing at them. Her father, standing behind her, put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed it gently. The five of them stood in that moment, waving with gusto, eyes full of light, and wearing big, bright smiles. The waving continued and she remembered all of the things her mother had said to her over the past few days. Wave and smile, wave and smile. But all she wanted to think about was someday it will be her turn. I am the crown princess.

I started celebrating my birthday early this year. I figured why not kick things off by joining the biggest party I could find. So, I did, but instead of a birthday hat I wore a black fascinator.  And, along with fancy black pants and boots, I packed by bag with my notebook and camera and boarded the train for Amsterdam. Little did I know that I would be hopelessly under-dressed.  It seems that the one million other visitors for the king’s coronation had all agreed to wear the same thing. Every man, woman, child, and even one or two dogs were wearing some sort of orange crown. Big balloon crowns, mini headband crowns; glitzy, floppy, paper and plastic crowns. And all I had were feathers.


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