The Constitution stipulates that the investiture must take place in the capital city, Amsterdam, at a public joint session of the two Houses of the States General (Parliament) – the Senate and House of Representatives. The monarch swears or affirms allegiance to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Constitution. The wording of the oath or affirmation is laid down by statute.
The oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Constitution
'I solemnly swear (affirm) to the peoples of the Kingdom that I shall constantly preserve and uphold the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Constitution. I swear (affirm) that I shall defend and preserve the independence and the territory of the Kingdom to the best of my ability, that I shall protect the freedoms and rights of all Dutch nationals and all persons living in the Netherlands, and that I shall employ all means placed at My disposal by the law to support and promote the welfare of all, as is incumbent upon a good and faithful King.
So help me God! (This I affirm and promise)'
The ceremony dates from 1815, when Willem I was invested as King of the Netherlands in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the site of every ceremony since then. The ceremony in its present form dates from 1840, the investiture of King Willem II.
Although it takes place in a church, the investiture is purely secular, conducted in accordance with constitutional law. During an investiture, the crown, the sceptre and the orb are displayed on a credence table, along with the other regalia - the sword of state and the national standard. A copy of the Constitution is also displayed.
The regalia symbolise the monarch's power and dignity. They were commissioned from goldsmiths by King Willem II in 1840.
The crown symbolises the sovereignty of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands, which (since 10 October 2010) consists of the
Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.
It also symbolises the dignity of the head of state. Since Dutch monarchs are not crowned, they never actually wear the crown. As well as the crown, the other regalia are:
- the sceptre, standing for the monarch's authority;
- the orb, standing for the monarch's territory;
- the sword of state, standing for the monarch's power;
- the national standard, with the Dutch coat of arms.