Hold your horses, it's Prince's Day

There was no horsing around for these members of the Dutch cavalry yesterday, as they prepared themselves for Prinsjesdag, or Prince's Day.

Both the riders and animals were exposed to smoke at the beach in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, as part of a stress test to get the horses used to the noise and fanfare surrounding this annual event, including music, smoke, gunfire, screaming and sirens.

Prinsjesdag is the day when the Netherland's monarch addresses a joint session of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament in The Hague to outline the government's policies for the coming parliamentary session.

This is usually held on the third Tuesday in September.

Following tradition, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will travel to the parliamentary complex from the Noordeinde Palace in the royal Golden Coach, escorted by court dignitaries and a military escort of honour.

The parade is expected to be watched by thousands of people lining the streets, eager to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

After the King delivers the speech in the Ridderzaal, or Hall of Knights, the procession is expected to return to the palace, where the royal family is expected to wave to the crowds from the balcony.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'Hold your horses, it's Prince's Day'. Print Edition | Subscribe