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
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 “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
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”.
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.