Royal Oranges….

Coat of ArmsThe Dutch Royal Family is also called the House of Oranje-Nassau, and dates back to 1403. During those years they were not always a ‘royal family’ though – as the Dutch monarchy was only established properly in 1815. They did rule the Netherlands for most of the time between 1403 and 1805 and for such a small country managed to have a big influence on European history. Under William I they fought the Spanish in the 80-year war, until William was assassinated in Delft in 1584. His grandson, Prince William of Orange III became William III of England, which he ruled together with Queen Mary II.

Did you know that….

Descendants of Johan William Friso (1687-1711), Royal Prince of Orange of the Netherlands can be found on every Royal Throne in Europe.  This includes the Royal Families of Belgium, Denmark, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Sweden, Spain, United Kingdom and of course the Netherlands themselves. Quite a line-up… 🙂

Today’s Royals

The current Queen of the Netherlands is called Queen Beatrix. She has three children and eight grandchildren. Her eldest son, Prins Willem-Alexander will at some point become the King of the Netherlands. He will become the first King since 1890 – since then there have only been Queens. That won’t last though, as Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima have three daughters and no son.

Koninginnedag Amsterdam

Birthday Celebrations

The Dutch Queen celebrates her official birthday every year on the 30th April, when she usually visits two or three towns in the Netherlands. The day is an annual holiday for everybody. There are street parties in every town and village and the whole of Amsterdam becomes a sort of car-boot sale with food stalls, live music and outdoor parties being held everywhere. About one million people from the Netherlands and from abroad come to Amsterdam every year to help with the birthday celebrations.

DelftDelft

The small town of Delft, in the west of the Netherlands, is a sort of ‘home’ to the Royal Family. None of them live there, but they are all buried there. It is also the place where William I was assassinated. You can still see the bullet holes in the wall of the castle Het Prinsenhof, where he was shot. Delft is a great place to visit, full of canals and hundreds of bridges – a mini version of Amsterdam.