Royal Gatherings

gatherings1It was pretty clear to anyone who passed the Bookshop Van Hoogstraten in The Hague, The Netherlands, in the weekend of 8 and 9 November 2014. On the occasion of Royal Gatherings II the whole shop window was full of royal books. Normally there is a bit of everything, but because of the weekend the owners had done everything to show that it was being held … royal books were all over the place. Not that they usually don’t sell royal books, but it has never been so clear!

gatherings2 gatherings3 gatherings4And if you wouldn’t notice on the outside, you would have seen it inside the small shop. Just over 60 people from about 12 countries attended the royal weekend in The Hague and the ones who arrived early already had a look in the shop before the weekend, others had a look in the breaks after noon on both days and sometimes came out with bags full of books. Very handy there were several authors at the conference who could sign their books. The conference itself was held in the Park Hotel near the Noordeinde Palace. Just a pity the Dutch royals didn’t show up :-) Both days started at 9.15am and ended around 5-5.30pm.

gatherings5The programme on Saturday:

  • Opening and introduction. All people attending actually had to introduce themselves.
  • Coryne Hall: APAPA: King Christian IX of Denmark and His Descendants.
  • Bearn Bilker: Anna of Hannover.
  • Renny van Heuven: Queen Wilhelmina and Her British Governess.
  • Ted Rosvall: Notabilities: Royalty and Celebrities in the late 19th Century.
  • Tatiana Cheboksarova: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna: Aunt Miechen.

The programme on Sunday:

  • Coryne Hall: The Royal House of Bavaria.
  • Bjarne Steen Jensen: Royal Jewels (actually it was about the imperial Fabergé Easter Eggs).
  • Susan Symons: Schloß: The Fascinating Royal History of 25 German Castles.
  • Arturo E. Beéche: The Lesser-known Coburgs (The Coburgs “cursed”).
  • Galina Korneva: The Vladimir Villa in Tsarskoe Selo.
Arturo Beéche talking about royals of course.

Arturo Beéche talking about royals of course.

Ted Rosvall came from Sweden to entertain us.

Ted Rosvall came from Sweden to entertain us.

Coryne Hall signing her newest book "Princesses on the Wards. Royal Women in nursing through wars and revolution".

Coryne Hall signing her newest book “Princesses on the Wards. Royal Women in nursing through wars and revolution”.

Tatiana Cheboksarova and Galina Korneva, two lovely ladies from Russia who presented their new book on Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna.

Tatiana Cheboksarova and Galina Korneva, two lovely ladies from Russia who presented their new book on Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna.

The weekend was closed with a drink in the Bookshop Van Hoogstraten. I suppose it was “Oranjebitter”, drunk to celebrate events in the Dutch royal family.

Someone left his glass in the right spot in the bookshop.

Someone left his glass in the right spot in the bookshop.

I had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the lectures and company. However I had far too little time to talk with all my acquaintances from Ticehurst – many were there. And I met some new people too, which was really nice. I thought it was a bit of a pity there was nothing really arranged for lunch and dinner on Saturday. Arturo asked me and some others to join him for dinner on Saturday, but as it was quite late to go for dinner in the Netherlands, and I had to be back in time as I stayed with friends during the weekend, I had to say no. And unfortunately I had arranged to go back home on Sunday evening, so I couldn’t join some of my British friends for dinner that evening either. I also thought the room the conference was held was a bit small … not for the conference, but it took ages to get in and out of the room as always people were standing in the way or waiting in front of the coffee machine.

Another Christening at Palace Het Loo

You’d almost forget, but no Willem Jan Johannes Pieter Floris van Vollenhoven, son of Prince Floris and Princess Aimée van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven wasn’t christened yet. The little boy was born at the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 1 July 2013 at 1.32pm.

The little brother of Magali and Eliane was finally christened at the chapel of Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, on Sunday 9 November 2014, aged 16 months. Willem Jan could show the onlookers that he already is able to walk. His godparents were Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, Hereditary Prince Alexander von Isenburg, Floris Leewens and Cooske Alberda van Ekenstein-Ten Cate.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Among the guests of course King Willem-Alexander, cousin of the father of Willem Jan, his wife Queen Máxima and their three daughters, Princess Laurentien with her three children, Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme with husband and daughters, and all children, children-in-law and grandchildren of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

The reason for the late christening was the serious illness of Prince Bernhard, uncle of Willem Jan. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Summer of 2013, and happily the treatment was successfull. He attended the christening with his wife and three children and looked very good. Also his hair is returning.

The Funeral of the Fürst zu Castell-Rüdenhausen

As reported here Johann-Friedrich Fürst zu Castell-Rüdenhausen died on 30 October 2014, only aged 66, after a long fight against cancer. The funeral service took place in the Parish church of St Peter and Paul in Rüdenhausen, Germany, on 8 November 2014. The service in church was led by the Rev. Martin Fromm. About 1000 mourners paid the Fürst their last respect. Half of the mourners had to follow the service in a tent outside the church, where the service was shown on big screens.

Copyright: Gabi P.

Copyright: Gabi P.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Gabi P.

Copyright: Gabi P.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

After the service the Fürst was buried in the family grave at the cemetery. Hunters carried the coffin out of the church and to the carriage that drove the coffin to the cemetery. An impressive group of mourners walked it. They were led by the widow of the deceased and the new 29-year-old Fürst, Otto. Behind them followed the two daughters, son and son-in-law of the deceased, as well as his brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces. After the funeral hereditary count Otto received the flag of the House of Castell-Rüdenhausen as a token that he is the new Fürst. A reception was held in the park of Rüdenhausen castle.

Copyright: Gabi P. The wreath of Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia.

Copyright: Gabi P.
The wreath of Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia.

Among the mourners were members of the Castell-Rüdenhausen, Castell-Castell, Baden, Hannover, Hohenzollern, Lippe, Oldenburg, Prussia, Reuss, Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, Erbach-Fürstenau, Hohenlohe-Bartenstein, Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Isenburg, Leiningen, Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, Neipperg, Oettingen, Solms-Laubach, Waldburg-Wolfegg-Waldsee and Ysenburg.

For some more photos see Royalty Guide.

The King’s Tree at the Noordeinde gardens

On the occasion of the inthronisation of King Willem-Alexander on 30 April 2013 there was a project by the “Stichting Nationale Boomfeestdag” (Foundation of National Festival of Trees) and the “Koninklijke Bond van Oranjeverenigingen” (Royal Society of Orange Societies). All over the country “koningsbomen” (King’s trees) were planted and Dutch municipalities were stimulated to plant one to mark the start of the reign of King Willem-Alexander. On 23 April 2013 Willem-Alexander, still Prince of Orange, planted the first tree in The Hague.

noordeinde1 noordeinde2 noordeinde3On 22 November 2013 Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands planted a King’s tree in the “Prinsessetuin” (princess’s garden) of Palace Noordeinde in The Hague. Around the tree an ornamental railing, designed by artist Margot Berkman. The tree was presented to the former Queen as a present for her longtime concern for child and nature.

noordeinde4The gardens itself looked quite dull already. But the fact that the trees had already lost their leafs, made it possible to have a good view on the back of the palace.

Máxima in Warffum

On Thursday 6 November 2014 Queen Máxima of the Netherlands travelled to the northeast of the Netherlands for a visit to two projects supported by the Oranje Fonds, that she and her husband received as a wedding gift in 2002, and the “Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie” (Fund for cultural Participation). Two projects that take part in the programme “Kinderen maken Muziek” (Children make Music), that was a gift to the Queen for her 40th birthday.

maximawarffum1 maximawarffum2Despite of just having returned from state visits to Japan and South Korea the previous morning, Queen Máxima looked radiant in a brown outfit. At first she talked to initiators, teachers and volunteers of the Power Play Programme in Warffum. Members of the local bands “Euphonia” from Warffum and “Triton” from Winsum told her about their co-operation with schools and municipality. It was mentioned how important it is for the livability to have an active social life in the village. “Triton” and “Euphonia” offer music lessons at schools, so that the self-confidence of children becomes bigger by letting them play music. It is combined with reading books, and making songs based on these books, which makes the project also important for children with dyslexia. It was stressed that for the children that are participating in the programme right now, it is an highlight that the Queen is coming to hear them play, and the experience will stay with them for ever. The schools are happy with the support of the Oranje Fonds, and a teacher said that it is really “a gift” that they can teach the children how wonderful music is. They are very enthusiastic that they can play music together.

maximawarffum3 maximawarffum4 maximawarffum5The Queen moved by car from the “De Sjelter” community centre to the Jansenius de Vries School nearby. It was clear that the school was well prepared for the visit. Young children in blue t-shirts were already waiting behind the windows and looking curiously at what happened outside. In the hall several little jobs of the children could be seen. And inside children from the highest classes of the primary school, in orange t-shirts, waited pretty nervous for the Queen. They were so proud to sing, play and dance for their Queen about the “life of a Paramecium” (Het leven van een pantoffeldiertje), who only lives two days, and that they are tinier than a dot on the i. Afterwards children answered questions of the Queen, who wanted to know for example whether they would like to go on playing instruments, as she of course would love them to continue. One young boy said wisely that music is nice because you can make other people happy with it, and of course he was totally right. In the end the Queen received a book with messages of children of the school, and of course the text of the song that had been sung … then Queen Máxima had to leave, but not before saying goodbye to everyone and waving extensively from her car.

Queen Máxima left and was driven to the “Rijdende Popschool” programme in Garmerwolde. She also learnt about this project before returning home to The Hague.

Death of the Fürst zu Castell-Rüdenhausen

castell74Johann-Friedrich Fürst zu Castell-Rüdenhausen died at the Jagdschloss Friedrichsberg in Abtswind, Germany in the afternoon of Thursday 30 October 2014, aged 66. The hunting lodge of the family was the place where the Fürst spent his last weeks. He had been suffering of cancer for a long time.

The Fürst was transported from Friedrichsberg to the castle of the family in Rüdenhausen on Friday 31 October at 3.30pm. He will be taken from there to the evangelical parish church St. Peter and Paul in Rüdenhausen on 7 November at 7pm. The funeral service will take place at the same church on Saturday 8 November at noon. He will afterwards be buried in the princely vault.

Fürst Johann-Friedrich was born in 1948 as the eldest child of Siegfried Fürst zu Castell-Rüdenhausen (1916-2007) and Irene Countess zu Solms-Laubach (1925-2006). He married in 1983 Maria Countess von Schönborn-Wiesentheid (* 1958) and had four children: Otto (* 1985), Olga (* 1987, married to Prince Dominik zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg), Anna Magdalena (* 1989) and Anton (* 1992). He is survived by them, as well as by his siblings Manto (* 1949), Donata Duchess von Oldenburg (* 1950), Rupert (* 1954), Karl (* 1957), Hermann (* 1963) and Matthias (* 1966). His younger brother Christian (* 1952) died in 2010.

The photo was taken by me on 7 June 2014 at the wedding of his nephew Count Roderik zu Castell-Rüdenhausen.

Royal Diary

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.

oranjeagenda2015