From 1815 to 1904, the monarch delivered the Speech from the Throne in the chamber of the House of Representatives. Since 1904, it has been held in the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) in the Binnenhof.
Count Floris V of Holland had the Ridderzaal constructed in 1280 as a building from which to govern. The Gothic throne was added in 1904 following a large-scale restoration. In 2006 a new resoration was completed.
Ceremony in the Ridderzaal
The president of the Senate presides over the joint session. Shortly before 13:00, he opens the meeting and then appoints a number of ushers from among the members of the two Houses to escort the Queen and her entourage.
The ushers receive the Queen and the members of the Royal House at the entrance to the Ridderzaal. The president of the joint session then announces the arrival of the head of state: a signal for all those present to stand. The Queen then proceeds to the throne, from where she delivers her Speech from the Throne.
"Long live the Queen"
After the Queen's closing words, the president cries "Long live the Queen", which is followed by three cheers from everyone present. The first time this happened was in 1897, when the young Wilhelmina accompanied her mother, Queen Regent Emma.
This brings an end to the joint session of the two houses. The ushers escort the Queen and members of the Royal House to the door. The president then closes the session.
When the Queen leaves the Ridderzaal, the escort of honour again forms in the Binnenhof, and the procession returns to Noordeinde Palace.