The Dutch Throne in an Exhibition for the First Time

The Dutch Throne Goes in an Exhibition at the Hague, as the Netherlands’ Monarchy Tries to Win Over the Public Again.

Oct 20, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Dutch Throne
The throne of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, inside the Ridderzaal (“Knights Hall”) at the Binnenhof. Via Wikipedia


The Dutch throne left the 13th-century Ridderzaal for the first time and will go on an exhibition at the Hague. This unexpected precedent happened as the monarchy’s attempt to win over the public again, as republican enthusiasm increased. The crimson velvet-covered wooden throne is the focal point of the Power of the Throne exhibition at Paleis Het Loo.


The Dutch Throne on Display Until March

The Dutch Throne
Photograph: Paleis Het Loo.


From this week until March, the royal seat will be on display. King Willem-Alexander also utilized the throne to deliver his yearly speech at the Ridderzaal (Knights Hall) for the nation’s inauguration of parliament. The king lays out his administration’s strategies for the upcoming year here. Although there are others, it is frequently recognized as the primary monarch seat.


Dr. Annette de Vries, the head of research and collection at Paleis Het Loo, said: “Everybody knows the throne because it’s on TV once a year, and so it’s part of the theatre of power in the Netherlands. It’s not an object that belongs in a museum as such, but for the occasion, and also because of the relevance of this exhibition, they decided it was it was a good idea. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s a marvelous thing”.


The Dutch Throne
One of the displays at the Power of the Throne exhibition at the Paleis Het Loo museum. Photograph: Paleis Het Loo


The “Versailles of the North” is a nickname for the Het Loo, which lies in downtown Apeldoorn. Why? Because it relates to its magnificence. In 1984, Willem-Alexander’s mother, Queen Beatrix, inaugurated it as a museum and gallery. This year an expansion was revealed with 5,000 sq meters (53,820 sq ft) of exhibition space. It will cost around €171m.

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The Museum Will Stay of the Political Debate

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima arrive for the opening of the Dutch parliament in 2018. Photograph: Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images


Pierre Cuypers designed and built the current throne in 1904. The style paid homage to the heyday of Dutch history when the country was undoubtedly the world’s leading trading nation. Any notion that the new display was an effort to rekindle the enthusiasm and backing of the Dutch royalty was laughed off by De Vries.


She said the museum would stay outside of the political debate. “We are an independent state museum. The institution is not here to be for or against. We are telling the story of the House of Orange during five centuries, and how it is connected to the history of the Netherlands, and how it is connected to the history of Europe and also the cultural history of Europe”.


Het loo
A replica of the Iron seat from the popular Game of Thrones series is among the objects on display at the Het Loo. Photograph: Paleis Het Loo


An outcry over Willem-Alexander’s choice to take his family on vacation to Greece during the Covid outbreak in 2020, despite people being urged to travel as little as possible at the time, can be linked to a rise in republican sentiment in recent years.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.