Crown prince marks 25 years' military service
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander celebrates 25 years of military service today.
At a ceremony in The Hague, Defence Minister Hans Hillen presented the prince with new numbers on his ‘Jenever Cross’. The award is given for long service as an officer in the Dutch armed forces. It is also known as the Officer’s Cross and - occasionally, in English - as the ‘Gin Cross’.
The award was inaugurated by King William II in 1844 and is still presented on the anniversary of his birth, 6 December. Traditionally, the medal presentation is followed by a toast with a glass of jenever or Dutch gin. Serving officers holding the award are presented with a new number every five years; Prince Willem-Alexander can now add a bar with XXV.
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