Princess Laurentien 50 years

It will not be a big party today.  Her husband (Prince) Constantijn is today present at Startupfest and the children will have to go to school. The Princess also said she will celebrate her birthday in private, but the 50th anniversary of Princess Laurentien is a good reason to put her in the spotlight


Laurentien Brinkhorst with father, Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst, mother jantien brother marius
Source: RVD

Princess Laurentien was born 50 years ago (on 25 May 1966) in Leiden as Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst. She is the second child and first daughter of mr. Laurens Jan Brinkhorst (D66 politician / old Minister of agriculture and Economic Affairs) and drs. Jantien Brinkhorst-Heringa. The Princess has an older brother, Marius. Because her father’s work she has lived in Japan for some years.

Source: National Archives/RVD Royal House

Training and career

She attended her high school partly in the Hague and later in Tokyo (Japan) where her father was working at that time. After high school, Princess Laurentien studied history at the University of Groningen. After she finished her foundation year in 1986 she go studied political science in London.  When she had received her Bachelor of Arts of this study she went to the University of California, Berkeley to study further. There she obtained her Master of Journalism in 1991.

After an internship at CNN in Atlanta and work for the Haagsche Courant she switch from journalism to communication functions.  From 1992 to 2003 Princess Laurentien fulfilled communication and PR functions for different international organizations. Since May 2003 she has been active as an independent communications consultant.

Marriage and family

Source: Picture Report, National Archives/RVD Royal House

The first meeting with Prince Constantijn that Laurentien can remember was in 1985 on the Green Draeck. Probably that was that not even the first time, the mother of Laurentien knows Princess Beatrix from her student days. Anyway only several years later, in 1995, they learned to know each other well and get a relationship.


The official engagement was announced in 2000. On 17 May 2001 the couple married before the law in the Hague Town Hall and two days later the church wedding took place in the Grote of St. Jacobs’ Church of the Hague.

On 8 June 2002, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien become parents for the first time with the birth of daughter (Countess) Eloise.

Source: Office Photogenic, National Archives/RVD Royal House

On 21 March 2004 son (count) Claus-Casimir follows

© RVD/Max Koot Studio. Photographer: Rob Ris

On 3 June 2006 the second daughter (and the third child) countess Leonore was born


The first period after the marriage, the couple lived ( with their daughter Eloise), in London. Then the family moved to Brussels. Since the summer of 2015, the family lives in the Hague.

Current work

Princess Laurentien-Oct-15-l
© RVD-photographer: Jeroen van der Meyde

When we talk about her work , The most people think at her commitment against illiteracy. During her studies she came in contact with the subject when she was making a reporting. Later she give training to illiteracy as a volunteer. In May 2004 the Foundation Read and Write (Stichting Lezen en Schrijven) was founded on her inititieve. The Foundation aims to prevent and reduce functional illiteracy in Netherlands and wordwide. The Princess stopped as chair on 1 January 2014, but is still involved as Honorary-chair. In this position she focuses especially on international efforts of the Foundation in, for example, the European Literacy Policy Network (ELINET) and the program Public Libraries by 2020.

Her commitment against functional illiteracy go beyond her involvement in the Foundation read and write, for example the princess is Special Envoy of Literacy for UNESCO since 2009. In 2011 she was President of the High Level Group of experts on Literacy (HLG) of the European Commission, which presents its final report with recommendations for a European approach to structural and functional illiteracy in 2012. Further she has various honorary functions in this area. She is the patron of the Association Read Unlimited (formerly the NLBB, Association of Read disabled), patron of the Genootschap Onze Taal (society our language) and Honorary President of the Association of public libraries

Source: Foundation for reading and writing. Photographer: Sebastiaan ter Burg

The Princess also writes books. She wrote the children’s book series Mr Finney, about sustainability and climate change. The first book appeared in 2009, the second in February 2011, and the third in november 2013. Together with Paul van Loon, she made a storybook ‘Sprookjessprokelaar’ wich was presented in October 2014.  Last month, a new book by Princess Laurentien called’ happily ever after ‘ was presented. In this book children react on dilemmas of leadership.

This book reconnect with the spirit of the ‘Missing Chapter Foundation. This foundation (wich was founded by Princess Laurentien in 2009) want to encourage children and adults to go in conversation about nature and about the way we treat each other on an equal way .

The Foundation also brings us to the second topic which can count on a lot of attention from Princess Laurentien: sustainability and nature conservation. Also in this area the Princess is active for several years. She is Advisor to the WWF and since 2003 involved by Flora Founa International (FFI), an international nature conservation organization that focuses on the global protection of endangered species and ecosystems, first as a member of the Executive Committee and thereafter as Vice President and since 2012 as president. As a Fellow at the European Climate Foundation, Special Advisor for Rewilding Europe, Senior Advisor at the port of Rotterdam also have to deal with the topic.

Princess Laurentien over the years

20002001– 2002– 2003– 2004 – 2005 – 2006 – 2007 – 2008 – 2009  – 2010  – 2011 – 2012 – 2013 –2014 – 2015  –2016

Another photo series from 2013 and another picture from the same year

Princess Beatrix at celebration 70th birthday King Carl Gustaf of Sweden

30 April King Carl Gustaf of Sweden celebrated his 70th birthday. The past week, there were already several activities. On the anniversary day (Saturday) there was official celebration with many foreign guests. On behalf of the Dutch Royal family Princess Beatrix was present. The day began at 10:00 with a Te Deum (a thank service) in the chapel of the Royal Palace, afterwards there was a military ceremony in the courtyard of the Palace and the public also got the opportunity to congratulate the King. The day also included a lunch and a dinner.

Kungaparet med hedersgäster 30 april 2016. Rad 1: H.M. Drottning Silvia, H.M. Konung Carl XVI Gustaf, Rad 2: President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Fru Dorrit Moussaieff, H.M. Drottning Margrethe II. Rad 3: President Sauli Niinistö, H.M. Queen Margarita, Fru Jenni Haukio, H.S.H. Prince Albert II, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix, H.M. King Philippe, H.M. Queen Mathilde, Rad 4: H.M. King Simeon II, H.K.H. Kronprins Frederik, H.K.H. Kronprinsessan Mary, H.K.H. Kronprinsessan Victoria, H.K.H. Prins Daniel, H.S.H. Hereditary Prince Alois, H.R.H. Hereditary Princess Sophie, Rad 5: H.R.H. Crown Princess Margareta, H.K.H. Prins Carl Philip, H.K.H. Prinsessan Madeleine, Herr Christopher O’Neill, Rad 6: H.R.H. Prince Radu, H.K.H. Prinsessan Christina, Fru Magnuson, H.R.H. Crown Prince Alexander, H.R.H. Crown Princess Katherine, H.K.H. Prinsessan Benedikte, H.I.H. Princess Hisako Takamado, H.H. Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Rad 7: Herr Thomas de Toledo Sommerlath, Herr Ralf de Toledo Sommerlath, Generalkonsul Tord Magnuson, H.K.H. Prinsessan Margaretha, Mrs Ambler, H.K.H. Prinsessan Birgitta, H.K.H. Prinsessan Désirée Friherrinna Silfverschiöld, Friherre Niclas Silfverschiöld, Rad 8: Fru Ewa Westling, Herr Olle Westling, Fru Marie Hellqvist, Herr Erik Hellqvist, Ms Eva Maria O'Neill
© Kungahuset Photographer: Peter Knutson

Footage: Belga Images – Photos MPE

Kingsday 2016

Yesterday it was Koningsdag (Kingsday). This year the King celebrates his birthday together with his wife Queen Maxima ,  daughters the princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, brother Prince Constantijn, sister-in-law Princess Laurentien , nephews the Princes Maurits, Bernhard,  Pieter-Christiaan and Floris and their wives princesses Marilène, Annette, Anita and Aimee his birthday in Zwolle.

The weather forecast for King’s work were not good. 9 degrees, rain and even hail to expect. Reason for King Willem-Alexander to share an encouraging message

“Perhaps the coldest Kingsday ever, but the good atmosphere in Zwolle will warm everyone. See you soon! – WA”

Bron: RVD
Bron: RVD

The royal visit to Zwolle started at the ‘Nieuwe Havenbrug’ There the Royal Family received by the Mayor of Zwolle Henk Jan Meijer and Commissioner of the King of Overijssel: Ank Bijleveld -Schouten. Queen Maxima and the adult princesses got a bouquet. For the daughters of the royal couple, there was a flower bracelet. The Fakkelteitgroep (rap) and Britten Youth String Orchestra made sure the tone for the day was set directly

Then the royal family walked to the Grand Place. During this walk they were shown different things. Performances with sing dance and piano and there was also a large graffiti artwork. This artwork was not finished yet and the princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane and Prince Pieter-Christiaan helped.

The Grand Place was the setting of the big parade, a presentation in wich centuries of regional coöperation, commitment and innovation about four themes: plastic, water and commerce, recreation and agro food was served. Serve was not only figuratively but also literally. At the end there was served asparagus soup. The princes Constantijn, Maurits, Pieter-Christiaan, Floris, and the princesses Aimee and Annette helped with serving. The Grand Parade was accompanied by the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Firebird.

After the grand parade the family walked to the Rodetorenplein. Here they were shown different sports. There was an ice-skating training on a skateboard, a football training and  there was a beach volleyball, hockey and basketball court. Several members of the royal family allowed themselves to join. On high heels that was not always easy. Participation also created hilarity. For example, when Prince Pieter-Christiaan stepping on the skateboard. Princess Alexia, who has broken her leg two months while skiing, participated as well. It seemed that she was not suffer of her fracture any more

After the sporting challenges the royal family boarded a sloop for a short boat trip on the Thorbeckegracht. During the tour the family not only waved, Princess Aimee has a whole conversation in gestures with someone on shore

Near the Pelser bridge the Royal Family stepped out walk further to the Broerenkerkplein. There was the closing festivities with Typhoon. And at his music no one could stand still , even the Royal Family could not.

The King gave a short speech. He thanked for the visit, which was, according to him,  not the coldest day, because “you radiate such warmth that despite the weather it was still the warmest Kingsday ever ‘




Photos ANP – Photos PPE – Photos MPE – Photos Robin Utrecht

1 minute video RTL – Video VorstenTV – short video Shownews

Live broadcast NOS ( commentary and interviews are in Dutch, but I think the footage are quite nice to watch)

The royal couple and their daughters tells what they like about the visit. It’s in Dutch!

A summery of the video above:

The reporter congratulated the royal couple with the king’s birthday and asks what they think about this King’s day King Willem-Alexander said that it is “Warm, heartwarming, wonderful here in Zwolle, they showed us what they can do here, We are still impressed about the parade, the history that had shown excellent. I think we are witnessing a wonderful King’s day here.”

Queen Maxima asked whether the soup was tasty. She says yes and then continues with her view on the parade. Everything was perfect, and the Queen thought it was great that there was a lot of humor in it”

The princesses are asked whether they enjoying themselves. Princess Ariane responded with a very definite “Yes!”. Then she was asked what she liked the most.

Princess Ariane went with “eehm, everything!”, Princess Alexia responds that the “parade was actually the most fun.” The journalist noted that it was nice that she was able to attend the festivities, given that she injured her leg during holiday in February. “Yes, well, it was a huge blow, but I made a full recovery,” Princess Alexia  responded.

Thereafter, the King was asked if he has prepared for the bad weather. He said that you can do nothing about that, and he’s glad it is not that bad.

Amalia agreed with her father that it is nice that the “sun shines a little.” Ask to what she enjoyed the most she said that she can not judge yet, because she have not seen everything yet

In the end the king was asked about security. He said: ‘We live in troubled times, but let’s continue with normal conviviality, show what we stand for, our way of life. We should not let destroy us. We make sure on such a good possible way that safety is guaranteed. I am convinced that those responsible for the safety, doing the best to make sure that everyone can celebrated safely. 


Historic day: return Wilhelmina in Netherlands

Written by Yvette 
Who doesn’t know the fragments of ‘Radio Oranje’  with Queen Wilhelmina? From London she tried to courage the dutch people by speaking and also tried to help them free up Netherlands again.

Seventy years after the liberation, Queen Wilhelmina is still the figurehead of the resistance fight in the second world war. Today it is exactly seventy years since the ‘ mother of the Fatherland ‘ set foot  on home soil again. No ceremony, but a simple event.

One thing turned out at her homecoming. Pomp and circumstance were still nothing for her Majesty
 From an American limousine appeared an old lady with coat and hat. They stepped to  Zeeuws-Vlaanderen by cross  a line made with flour. Almost as soon she took place  in the car again.
On her return the Queen got to do with disappointments. Partly for this reason, in 1948 she decided to convey the throne to her only child, Juliana.

In the spotlights: Princess Carolina

Today is the 40th anniversary of Princess Carolina. A good reason to put her ‘in the spotlights’

Princess Maria Carolina Cristina was born on 23 June 1974 as the fourth child of Princess Irene and Prince Carlos Hugo. The Princess has two older brothers Prince Carlos and Prince Jaime and one older sister Princess Margarita (twin sister of Prince Jaime). In her early years the Princess lived in France and Spain. After her parents ‘ divorce in 1981 the Princess moved to the Netherlands with her mother, her brothers and sister. Here she first lived in her grandparents home,  Palace Soestdijk.  Thereafter she lived at a villa close to Soestdijk Palace and after a while she moved to Wijk bij Duurstede.
Prinses Margarita en Prinses Carolina Soesdijk 1980
Under the watchful eye of mom and dad Princess Carolina and her sister Princess Margarita jumps on the trampoline in the garden of Soestdijk Palace on 31 May 1980 (RVD)

Study and work

Princess Carolina received the Master (MA) in international relations and political science at the University of Amsterdam and Havord and a master’s degree in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford.

After her study the Princess began her career at the United Nations. Since the beginning in 2000 she has work for this organization in New York, Eritrea, Palestine, Indonesia, Haiti. On this moment she works at an office in Geneva. There she mainly worked with the Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Princess Carolina works also as an independent consultant in the field of humanitarian aid and development and is on the Board of the Foundation for Human Dignity.

Marriage and family

On 9 January 2012, it was announced that Princess Carolina was engaged with Albert Brenninkmeijer, a member of the family who owns the international clothing department store C&A. On 21 april 2012  the couple married  before the law, in Wijk bij Duurstede. The religious wedding was celebrated in the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte by Florence on 16 June 2012. On 1 February 2014, it was announced that Princess Carolina and Albert Brenninkmeijer expect their first child in  mid May 2014. On 20 May 2014 their daughter Alaïa-Maria Irene Cecile Brenninkmeijer born in Zurich

Her father was the head of the “Bourbon de Parme ‘dynasty and therefore Princess Carolina is a Princess de Bourbon de Parme. Her title: Her Royal Highness Princess de Bourbon de Parme. In 1996 her father gives her the title ‘Marchioness of Sala.’ In 2003 Princess Carolina received the Spanish Carlist titled “Duchess of Guernica. Neither of the two titles recognized by the respective countries. Through Royal Decree in 1996  the title prince / princess Bourbon de Parme with predicate Royal Highness is a dutch nobel title.

Member of the Royal family

 Princess Carolina (First person from the left in the photo) at the baptism of Countess Eloïse in 2002 (RVD)
Princess Carolina (First person from the left in the photo) at the baptism of Countess Eloïse in 2002 (RVD)

Although Princess Carolina  has built up a private life outside the spotlight in Switzerland, she is present at family occasions. In 2001 she was even one of the bridesmaids at the wedding of her cousin Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, in 2005 she was one of the witnesses at the church wedding of her cousin Prince Floris and she is also godmother of Countess Eloïse (Daughter of Prince Constantijn en Princess Laurentien) and Eliane (Daughter from Prince Floris and Princess Aimee


Doop Eliane
Christening of Eliane in 2010 (RVD). Princess Carolina is the second person from the left.