The Dutch parliament has convened for a special session in honour of Queen Beatrix who is celebrating her silver jubilee.
All the MPs were accompanied by a 25 year old man or woman, born the same year the Monarch came to the throne after the surprise abdication of her long serving mother, Queen Juliana.
The Prime Minister was amongst the guests of honour.
In a possible reference to the European Union Constitution referendum that is to take place on June 1st in the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende commended the Queen for her committment to what he called: “a democratic Europe, a Europe that has brought us well being.”
Right across the Netherlands, the streets have been alive with parties and awash with the national colour orange. In a TV interview the Queen gave a rare glimpse of her views on the monarchy: “I represent something that should be respected” she said.
It seems to be a winning formula. The Queen is enjoying a popularity high a recent opinion poll has shown that some 92 percent of Dutch people are happy with her reign.