Vorsten Magazine this year decided not to publish a royal diary for the year 2015. Luckily BacktoBasiX BV Publishing thought otherwise. They worked together with royalty watcher Sophie Ragas, who is the moderator of the Dutch royalty forum All Things Royal and the result is wonderful. If you really have a lot of appointments the pages might be a bit too small, as there are seven days on one page. However there are tons of pictures, not only of Dutch royals, from 2012/2013 mainly, accompanied by short texts. The diary lists royal birthdays and has some pages for notes, a few pages for your personal address book, addresses of royal houses, a family tree of the Dutch royal family, and in case you get bored a royal quartet game. And all that 17,5 x 22 cm in gold, with a lovely picture of the Dutch King and Queen with children on Queen’s Day 2014 on the front, and an orange rubber band to keep everything together. Almost too beautiful to use … € 14,99.
From 16 to 22 October the event LEGO World was being held at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. The paradise for people who love LEGO. One of the highlights this year were two life-size LEGO-statues of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands on 30 April 2013. Belgian LEGO-builder Dirk Denoyelle used 100.000 LEGO-stones to make the wonderful work of art. People visiting LEGO World loved to pose with the royal couple. Especially building the coronation cloak must have taken lots of work. No doubt that LEGO is pretty fragile. Erik, a friend of mine, went there and made these photos. When he passed people were just reparing the statue, as one of the hands had fallen off.
An Oranjebeurs? I will try to explain what it is. A few times a year royal collectors in the Netherlands organize this event in various parts of the Netherlands: Buren, Wassenaar and Nijverdal. It is the place to be for collectors of royal euphemera and memorabilia: plates, cups, tins, postcards, photos, books, coins … just anything you can imagine. Usually the items are being sold by other collectors, like Royalty Twins, or the photographers of Royal Press Europe. But it is more than just a place to look for an addition to your calendar. You can easily hang around for hours, not only watching and buying the items that are being sold, but also meeting royalty watchers you don’t know yet, or don’t see too often. In Nijverdal there are three rooms with items. Organizer of this collectors market, that is usually being held in Nijverdal on the second Saturday in October, is Wilbert Slooijer, who is a collector himself. Usually there is also some press around, often curious why all these crazy people are so fond of the royal family. This year for example the local TV-channel RTV Oost was there and made a short but nice report. The event started at 10am and ended just after 3pm. Most visitors come in the morning tough. Soup and bread available, in case you forgot to bring your own food.
Needless to say as usual I did buy a few items, even when I was not going to spend much money. I found some lovely old Norwegian and Danish yearbooks (late 1980s and 1990s), a few lovely photos, the newest postcards by Royal Press Europe and a few Wilhelmina Peppermint tins I didn’t have yet.
Photos & copyright: Netty Leistra. If media want more information or pictures let me know.
If you always have wanted to know how the tsars of Russia dined, you now have the chance to find out. In the Hermitage in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, you can visit the exhibition “Dining with the Tsars”, which can be admired until 1 March 2015. The exhibition opened on 6 September. A must for royalty watchers, and interesting even if you don’t really like silver, porcelain and services. There are several tables set, and they are well decorated. Shown are among others items of the Green Frog Service (Wedgwood, England), the Cameo Service (Sèvres, Paris), and the Berlin Dessert Service (Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin), the service that Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany gave to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra for their wedding, and much more. Information and funny facts about dining at the imperial palaces everywhere. The exhibition ends with the service that was given to Stalin by the Hungarian people in 1949. It has never been used or exhibited before.
Just over two weeks ago, on 6 September, I attended the “Fraeylemaborg Koetsentocht 2014″. This tour with horse-drawn carriages takes place every year and takes the whole day. It ends at the beautiful Fraeylemaborg, a former noble estate in Slochteren, in the North of the Netherlands. I’d rather would have liked to sit in a carriage in an historical costume, but of course I was only allowed to take pictures of the carriages and the beautiful setting. The weather was quite good, but not very sunny unfortunately.
This year’s edition of the carriage ride had an extra royal touch on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Not only did the “Stichting Oud Oranje” present historical costumes, even a royal carriage participated this year with permission of King Willem-Alexander. Special guests as far as I understood were two jonkvrouwen Van Panhuys, whose ancestors once lived at the Fraeylemaborg. They must have been daughters of Jonkheer François Willem Peter Marie van Panhuys (1914-1969) and Louise Thomassen à Thuessink van der Hoop van Slochteren (1915-2008). They had three daughters Kitty, Mieke and Ulrica, and I am certain I heard one of the two ladies being called Mieke.
I had already seen an even bigger costume show of the “Stichting Oud Oranje” a few years ago. But this time only the Dutch monarchs were presented, except for Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. It did start with Emperor Napoleon of France who conquered The Netherlands in the late 18th century, and his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais. Following were the first Dutch King Louis Napoleon (1806-1810) and his wife Hortense de Beauharnais. And then of course also the Kings Willem I, Willem II, Willem III with their Queens – including the second wife of Willem I – and the Queens Wilhelmina and Juliana with husbands. Of course the models are not look-a-likes, but the costumes and the whole presentation are already worth watching.
King Willem-Alexander had given his permission for the presentation of the “Koninklijk Staldepartement” (Royal Stables). A Gala Landau drawn by four-in-hand – four Friesian horses – was driven ‘à la d’Aumont” with Gala harness, and staff in demi-Gala dress. The carriage was built in 1872 by M.L. Hermans & Co in The Hague. It was a royal sighting when the carriage drove around with the Fraeylemaborg in the background. When the event had ended the horses were driven back home to The Hague in a special motor-truck with royal number plate, which I had never seen before. The carriage was placed in another motor-truck for transport.
Lots of pictures by the official photographer of the Stichting Oud Oranje.
A fairytale wedding on 13 September at the St. Joseph church in Tutzing, Germany at 4.30pm. Princess Maria Theresia von Thurn und Taxis married Hugo Wilson. Party afterwards at the nearby Garatshausen Castle, owned by the Thurn und Taxis family. The “wedding of the year” was supposed to be private, but of course outside there were many onlookers and press.
The bride’s wedding dress was designed by Vivienne Westwood. Fürst Albert von Thurn und Taxis, brother of the bride, gave away his sister.
Among the guests were Hereditary Prince Alexander and Hereditary Princess Sarah von Isenburg, Princess Felipa of Bavaria and her husband Christian Dienst, Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo, Princess Chantal von Hannover with her sons Ernst August and Christian.
The wedding was led by Father Alexander Sherbrooke of St Patrick’s, Soho, London. Best man and maids of honour were Sami Robertson, Victoire de Pourtalès and Clementina Gentiloni Silverj. The bridal children were Count Valentin von Schönburg-Glauchau and Princess Elisabetta zu Schwarzenberg. The ushers were the Hon Angus Elphinstone, Max Fraser, Charles Green, Oliver (Viscount?) Lymington, Prince Ernst August von Hannover, George Scott, Robert Sheffield, Sam Emery and Alexander Flick.
A few very nice pictures were posted in Hola online.
On 23 August Queen Silvia of Sweden paid a visit to the Island of Mainau in Lake Constance, Germany. The occasion was the 15th anniversary of the World Childhood Foundation of which she is the founder and honorary chair.