Flags at half-mast as Dutchmourn Bernhard's death

2nd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Flags were flying at half-mast on government buildings on Thursday following the death of Prince Bernhard, whose body is expected to be interred in the royal family tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft on 11 December.

2 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — Flags were flying at half-mast on government buildings on Thursday following the death of Prince Bernhard, whose body is expected to be interred in the royal family tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft on 11 December. 

Bernhard died at 6.50pm at the UMC hospital in Utrecht on Wednesday, surrounded by three of his four daughters, Queen Beatrix, Princess Irene, Princess Magriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven.

The news comes after initial speculation that Bernhard was alone at the time of his death. Nevertheless, it is not yet known if the 93-year-old prince's fourth daughter, Princess Christina, was also by his side.

The Government Information Service RVD said Bernhard died of a range of complaints and, despite the fact it had warned Monday that his health was gradually deteriorating, the prince's death came somewhat as a surprise.

He is believed to have died due to the build-up of pulmonary fluid, which compressed his lungs and made it extremely difficult to breathe. The complaint was caused by the spread of a malignant tumour.

Bernhard had also been diagnosed with intestinal cancer and was said to be in great pain. The RVD had revealed two weeks ago that the prince was incurably sick and he received a swathe of family visitors in the days prior to his death.

The prince's body was taken back to Soestdijk Palace at about 10pm on Wednesday. Bernhard lived at Soestdijk for 67 years with the late Queen Juliana, who died on 20 March 2004 and was interred in Delft.

Prince Bernhard's body will be later transferred to Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, the working palace of Queen Beatrix. It is expected that the public will be able to pay their final respects to Bernhard in The Hague.

Bernhard will probably be interred in the royal family tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft on Saturday 11 December.

All Dutch newspapers focused on Bernhard's death on Thursday, with coverage ranging from the sober to the sentimental. Photo spreads were common, editorials explored his legacy, and Bernhard's extensive medical history was also given attention.

The RVD has issued mourning instructions and all flags on government buildings will fly at half-mast without pennant for the coming period, except for Sunday.

Flags will also be at half-mast on Tuesday, the first birthday of Princess Amalia, the daughter of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima. Amalia is second in line to the Dutch throne behind her father.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has also issued a special 'noise' instruction, allowing only for the pealing of tower bells on the day of Bernhard's funeral. An exception will be made for traditional bell tolling in certain regions.

Official celebratory government events will be postponed until after the funeral and other events will be amended to reflect the sombre mood.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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