Judges Remove Portrait of Queen Maxima
THE HAGUE, 24/07/13 - At the insistence of judges, portraits of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima have been removed from a district court in The Hague. The magistrates refused to administer justice in the ‘presence’ of Maxima.
Judges give verdicts in the name of the monarch. Symbolically, therefore, a portrait of the head of state hangs in the courtrooms. In some courtrooms, there was a portrait of the king with Maxima at his side. This stuck in the gizzard of the judges; Willem-Alexander must be portrayed alone.
The official state photo of King Willem-Alexander with Máxima has decorated the three big sessions rooms for some weeks. But the portraits have been removed. “Apparently some judges in The Hague are very keen on traditions,” a court spokesman explained the protest against the photo of Maxima. “They follow the formal line of giving verdicts in the name of the head of state, even though this has no longer been enshrined in legislation for years.”
After the abdication of Beatrix as queen on 30 April, her official portraits and other portraits have been taken down from the walls. To replace them, the government information service (RVD) has had four new official portraits made, two with Willem-Alexander alone and two depicting him with Maxima.
In the Netherlands, the tradition is that if the head of state is a woman, her spouse is given the title of prince, while if the head of state is a man, the wife of the king receives the title of queen. While Maxima is called queen, this is not a title with legal status.