Security overshadows Prinsjesdag festivities
21 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Queen Beatrix's procession through the streets of The Hague and her Speech from the Throne were in danger of being overshadowed on Tuesday by additional security measures around the political centre in the city.
21 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — Queen Beatrix's procession through the streets of The Hague and her Speech from the Throne were in danger of being overshadowed on Tuesday by additional security measures around the political centre in the city.
Instead of the usual 2,000, just 700 people have been granted permission to assemble in front of the Knights Hall, where Queen Beatrix will read the Speech from the Throne outlining the government's policy for the coming year.
The Knights Hall is within the Dutch Parliament complex and anyone near the area on Tuesday will have to show identification. Furthermore, everyone invited to attend will be searched for explosives.
Police have refused to reveal what security measures have been taken along the route the Queen will take in the golden coach on her tour through the streets of The Hague. The procession will start from Paleis Noordeinde at 1pm.
Snipers have been positioned on rooftops along the route in previous years and will almost certainly be deployed again this year, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
It was recently revealed that the Lower House of Parliament, Tweede Kamer, is a possible terrorist target, but a police spokesman said that Prinsjesdag security is only based on the present "global situation".
He emphasised that members of the public can come and see the Queen's tour as per usual and only observant people will notice the security measures.
Horses and riders of the Honour Escort Cavalry practiced as customary on Scheveningen beach on Monday to prepare the horses for the noise and tumult of the Prinsjesdag tour. Smoke bombs and rifle shots were used in the practice.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news