As reported the state funeral of King Peter II of Yugoslavia, and the Queens Alexandra and Maria, will take place on 26 May at the mausoleum of the royal family at the St George’s Church in Oplenac, Serbia. King Peter II already returned home on 22 January.
The remains of Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, grandmother of the present Crown Prince Alexander, were brought back to Serbia a few weeks ago. After her death on 22 June 1961 Queen Maria was buried at the Royal Burial Grounds in Frogmore, Windsor. On 28 April a service was officiated at the Serbian Orthodox Church St. Sava in London. Present were among others Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Prince Peter, Prince Philip, Princess Katarina, Prince Dimitri and Princess Lavinia and Nicholas Balfour. On 29 April her casket arrived at Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade, Serbia. From there she was brought back to her old home in Dedinje. A memorial service was officiated by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia at the Royal Chapel in Dedinje in presence of Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Princess Elizabeth, Prince George and Prince Michael. After the service Crown Prince Alexander said: ”My grandmother, Queen Maria, is finally at home and soon she will join her family members in Oplenac. I wish to express my special gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Irinej for being here today and for all his prayers. My grandmother died fifty two years ago and was buried in Great Britain. Although surrounded with her ancestors and relatives, she was far away from Serbia, our country and her people whom she had loved with all her heart, and whose great benefactor she was. The return to Serbia was a great wish of my grandmother and today she has finally returned, to be buried with her husband and her sons. By paying respect to Queen Maria, Serbia today pays respect to all who took part in creating her history.” The Queen’s casket was placed next to the one of her son King Peter II in the Royal Chapel of St. Andrew the First Called in Belgrade.
In the morning of 9 May 2013 finally also the remains of Queen Alexandra, the wife of King Peter II, were disinterred at the Tatoi Palace Royal Cemetery in Greece. Present were Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, Princess Irene of Greece and several members of the family of Crown Princess Katherine. Afterwards the crown princely couple accompanied the coffin to Serbia. A memorial service was officiated by the Patriarch at the Royal Chapel of St Andrew the First Called in Dedinje. Following the service a reception took place at the Royal Palace. Crown Prince Alexander expressed his happiness about the repatriation and said: ”Thank you all for gathering here today to pay respect to my mother, HM Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia. I wish to express my special gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Irinej for being here today and for all his prayers. My mother got married to my father King Peter II while he was in exile during World War II. She shared with him the tragedy of being torn away from his country and his people. Soon they will be together in their eternal place of rest in Oplenac, thus fulfilling my great-grandfather’s King Peter I legacy to have all the members of Karadjordjevic family buried there. (…) We have brought the Queen to her country. Welcome home, mother! Eternal glory to her!”
Photos and Copyright: Netty Leistra
On Wednesday morning 8 May I heard the sad news that Eva-Benita Fürstin zu Schaumburg-Lippe née Freiin von Tiele-Winckler had died early that morning at the age of 85. She had been ill for some years already. Flags at Bückeburg Castle in Bückeburg are flying at half-mast. People are able to say goodbye to her at the chapel of the castle on 13 and 14 May from noon to 5pm. There are books of condolences in the entrance hall. The funeral service for guests will take place in the Mausoleum of the family at Bückeburg on 24 May, a public service will take place in the Stadtkirche in Bückeburg on 25 May.Eva Benita Freiin von Tiele-Winckler was born ion 18 November 1927 at Vollrathsruhe, Mecklenburg, as daughter of Hans-Werner Count von Tiele-Winckler and his wife Elisabeth Countess von Bassewitz. After WW II she fled to the western part of Germany. She spent some time working and Sweden. Later on she studied biology, and during these studies in Freiburg im Breisgau she learnt to know Philipp-Ernst, the then hereditary prince zu Schaumburg-Lippe, who was eight months younger than her. The couple got married at Bückeburg on 3 October 1955. They had two sons: Georg-Wilhelm, who died in a car accident near Steinbergen in 1983 only aged 27, and Alexander (* 1958). Philipp-Ernst, who had become the Fürst zu Schaumburg-Lippe in 1962, died at Bückeburg on 28 August 2003. The Fürstin is survived by her son Alexander, his second wife Nadja Anna and his children Heinrich Donatus (* 1994), Felipa (* 2008) and Philomena (* 2011).
After a serious traffic accident in February 2007 the health of the Fürstin deteriorated. Since she didn’t appear in public often anymore, and regularly had to use a wheelchair. The photos above were taken by me at the second wedding of her son Alexander in 2007 and the wedding of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia in 2011.
For the collectors of royal postcards. Albert & Albert of Royal Press Europe have issued eighteen lovely postcards of the investiture of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands on 30 April 2013. One Euro per postcard, excluding sending costs. Have a look at them here. You’ll also find their contact info on that website.
Lots of magazines have been published in the past week with specials about the abdication of Queen Beatrix and the investiture of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Of course the “roddelbladen” (gossip magazines) all had reports. The best ones were Weekend and Privé. The Libelle had quite a nice special that even included a photo album of Princess Beatrix and some fashion reports. There is also the Belgian magazine Royals. I had expected more of that magazine. Although it is Belgian the Dutch version sells quite well in the Netherlands.
But of course the regular royalty magazines here in the Netherlands, Royalty and Vorsten, were by far the best. The Royalty, with 100 extra pages, showed all the beautiful pictures of the most important moments of the day. A poster of the new King and Queen with their daughters and Princess Beatrix in the middle. Lots of big pictures of the guests. No pictures of the day after, as the magazine had to be printed the next day already, so hopefully some in the next issue. Vorsten also very beautiful and covering all events. Unfortunately not the whole magazine about the event only. And some of the pictures of the many guests are a bit too small to my taste. But both magazines are worth being treasured and to be kept for the future, so you can have another look inside whenever you want.
I don’t really expect any more magazines to turn up, but I’ll keep an eye on it.
Of course I almost miss out that likely the best foreign magazine will be Hola. I have seen the report already online and it is gorgeous as usual with lots of big pictures.
There already is a new DVD-box with two or three DVDs (the one with three DVDs being the most extensive) showing a summary of the abdication and the investiture, and with documentaries about the new King and Queen and about Queen Beatrix. A CD with the music played during the ceremony of the investiture will also be sold as of 10 May. Both are being sold via Bol.com, that also delivers abroad (not very cheap, but if you really want to have them). You can either call them 24/7 at (+31) 30 6008 872 or email via this form. Unfortunately all in Dutch, but you might find out how it works, and if necessary use Google translator or another online translator.
The 1st of May. My third and last day in Amsterdam. A friend and I went to see the Peter the Great exhibition in the Hermitage. We were both not quite sure about the set up, as we both were a bit confused about the chronology, but in the end we were both quite satisfied. The exhibition was quite interesting and we even got a chance to dress like Peter the Great! So nice they had clothes that didn’t only fit children. Bad thing is that you’re of course not allowed to photograph. But at the end of the exhibition we found a genealogy showing the family ties between the Romanovs and the Dutch Royal Family. I couldn’t resist taking a picture, as it already said “King of the Netherlands 2013-”. We had a nice lunch on a terrace and of course found out we had missed the royals at the Royal Palace once again. All alone I went on to see the flowers in the Nieuwe Kerk (new church). Although I quickly discovered the queue was on the other side of the palace, I decided to make a few pictures on the side of the Dam Square first. Luckily the balcony – still with the lovely decoration on it – was just not covered by the trucks in front of it. And I saw a few people carrying some (royal?) foot-benches away. I decided to make a few pictures of the flower decoration at the main entrance – used by the King and Queen – first. As I want to get as close as possible I asked some people on the terrace if they would mind me making some pictures from there. Luckily not many people followed my example. And it was a good choice I think, as when I finally returned hours later, there was nothing to be seen there anymore. Big wooden screens were placed in front of the entrance. But of course, the queue was on the other side, and it was already past 2pm, the time the church had opened. So at about 2.15pm I started queueing. The line just started at the Dam square, but just a few metres away from the side of the palace. I thought it couldn’t take that long, but time past and it was almost 4.30pm when we finally reached the end of the palace. The sun was burning on our heads, and an old man had already collapsed. Just after 4pm the police had finally come to secure the area with fences and ribbons … because we blocked all of the pavement. That also meant that finally no people could slip into the row anymore from the other side of the street. Not that it helped much. At the end the queue was at least ten people broad, and at the entrance it was again much smaller. At the time I was supposed to travel back by train to Groningen, 5.30pm, I finally reached the entrance! Three hours and about 15 minutes waiting. Not what I had expected when I started. But inside I understood part of the reason. Not only outside it was pretty badly organised. Also inside there were only two pay-desks, both with a security guy on the side. The entrance fee was 5 euros. But then I finally was inside (I wonder would it have been much quicker if I had shown my press card?)!As I was late already anyway I took my time. To my surprise it was not that crowded inside. Lots of people simply took a seat to enjoy the church. But I walked around to make photographs, and let myself being photographed of course. Lovely flower decoration all over the place, with among others Dutch tulips, roses, amaryllis in orange and yellow colours … But of course the main attraction was the front of the church, where the platform with the “thrones” of the King and Queen was guarded by four infantry-men. They must have been photographed thousands of times during these two days the church was open. In front of the platform was the table, still with the cushions on it on which the regalia had been during the ceremony. I visited the church on Wednesday, arriving far too late in Groningen to attend the course I was taking. But at least I have seen the decoration. On Thursday the church was open even longer. In the end more than 19.000 people had visited the church and its investiture flower decoration. The event seems to have been more organised in the end. But I can hardly imagine that they didn’t foresee that so many people would visit the church. It wasn’t the first time a building or church was opened after a wedding, funeral or investiture. And there always have been huge queues. I have been queueing myself a few times in the past years too, but never this long. I really hope that they have learnt from it.
In case you have missed it all and want more than just a few of my pictures, have a look at this beautiful 3D-overview.
Photos & Copyright: Netty Leistra
If I saw much of the royals on 30 April? Well, no. At 7.30pm I finally had more than enough of the press center and my work, and decided to have a break. A friend of mine was nearby and said he would be there soon. And I waited and waited. Turned out he had passed on the back of the palace and was just looking at all the royal guests leaving the Royal Palace. But afterwards he finally came to see me. We both missed the Song for the King (Koningslied).But never mind. We found our way to the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ where the water pageant for the King on the River IJ would finish. The shortest routes were all closed down, so we had to walk all the way around the main railway station. In the meantime the royals had started their boat tour. The boat with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their daughters had already passed when we finally saw the water, but we saw two boats full of (royal) guests. However we were not able to recognise anybody. While the royals saw a programme of art, culture and sport, called “This is your country” we managed to reach the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. Far away we could hear a bit of music, which must have been the performance of DJ Armin van Buuren and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The King, Queen and their daughters shortly left their boat there to great the musicians. And the three boats with guests arrived at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ …They had to wait for about half an hour … outside. Hopefully it was a bit warmer next to the building than on the bride where we stood. At least we wore a coat, while most guests hadn’t taken any scarf or coat with them and were standing there in their evening dresses. Although the guests were hardly recognisable from our place – and I only remembered later that I had taken a small spy-glass with me – it was nice finally to be part of the festivities. But finally just after 9pm also the new Royal Couple arrived. It took a while before anything happened, and just when we were about to leave there was a small fireworks after all and people playing drums. The vessels on the water saluted the new King and Queen, boats of the fire brigade showed their skills. And a formation of the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s (ten of them) made a fly past just above our heads.But then the party was over. The Royals and their guests went all inside the buidling for a dinner, hosted by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on behalf of the Council of Ministers. And we left to get some food and warmth. I went back to work, and finally finished working at midnight.