In an affluent suburb of The Hague a lively youngster arrives daily at a state school where the motto is “learn together, work together, play together”. While the wider world knows her as Princess Amalia of the Netherlands, to the staff and 400 pupils at Bloemcamp School she is just a regular member of their closeknit community.
Her parents Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima want her treated like any other nine-year-old.
Princess Amalia with her two sisters Alexia and Ariane
So up until now Princess Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria – to give their daughter her full name – has enjoyed a relatively secluded childhood with her sisters Alexia, seven, and Ariane, five.
With their father”s inauguration as King, life will change forever.
On Tuesday, 30 April in Amsterdam”s Royal Palace, their grandmother Queen Beatrix will sign a document of abdication, heralding a new era.
Shortly afterwards Amalia, now The Princess of Orange, which is a title similar to the Prince of Wales in Britain, will appear on the palace balcony with her siblings. As the new heir to the throne, the little girl will inevitably have a higher profile.
The most immediate change to their day-to-day routine is that their mother and father will be even busier. In the next 12 months the new monarch and his Queen will visit every province in the land, as well as the Caribbean parts of the kingdom.
Cheering on their athletes at the Olympics
In an interview with Dutch TV, the couple alluded to the fact Beatrix had “generously” delayed the handover to allow them more time with their young family.
Speaking to a magazine about parenting, Willem-Alexander said: “We do our best to be really with them – on holidays or weekends or even at breakfast in the mornings.”
This isn”t just PR. It”s quite normal to see the royals playing with their children, cycling together and sharing hugs and kisses. Now, more juggling will be required to make all that possible.
In due course the family will move from Eikenhorst Villa, their relatively cosy home in Wassenaar. Their new residence a few miles away in The Hague, Huis ten Bosch Palace, will be far grander.
Playing on the beach near their estate
Even so Maxima and her husband intend to keep a normal atmosphere around the girls.
As the Prince explained: “Amalia”s title will be made formal when she”s eighteen and she enters the State Council. Until then, we will protect her as much as possible.
“That means she won”t participate in official engagements, or as little as possible. Her environment right now should only include her parents, her sisters, and her friends.”
This will mean there will still be the usual trips to the theatre and fun fairs. All three girls are very active and they will continue with hobbies such as ballet, judo and horseriding amongst others.
On holiday in Tuscany with their doting grandma
Queen Beatrix encourages them in this, often taking her granddaughters to horse shows and dressage competitions.
After scaling back her public life, the devoted grandmother will have more time on her hands to spend watching them grow up.