Prince Bernhard dies

1st December 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 December 2004AMSTERDAM — Prince Bernhard, the father of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, has died. The 93-year-old prince was recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

1 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — Prince Bernhard, the father of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, has died. The 93-year-old prince was recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

Dutch television and radio stations broke with regular programmes at 9.30pm on Wednesday evening to announce Prince Bernhard's death. He had died at 6.50pm.

Commercial station SBS 6 interrupted its programming to play the Dutch national anthem and show a portrait of the prince before commencing its report of the prince's death.

The Government Information Service (RVD) confirmed the prince's death in a short statement issued shortly after 9.30pm. It said he was rushed to hospital due to his worsening condition. But in consultation with his doctors, the prince asked that no further medical measures be taken. "His wishes were respected," the RVD said.

Prince Bernhard's body was taken from the hospital and returned to his home at Soestdijk Palace at about 10pm. Family members were reported to be gathering at the Palace. 

He had been receiving visits from family members at Soestdijk in the past few days. Princess Margriet and Irene visited their father on Wednesday before he was taken to hospital, as did Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.

Prince Bernhard — the husband of the late Queen Juliana who died on 20 March 2004 — had been suffering shortness of breath in recent weeks. He had fluid in his chest cavity due to the spread of an inoperable tumour and had also been diagnosed with an intestinal tumour.

The German-born prince met the then Princess Juliana in 1936 during the Winter Olympics in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany, and their engagement was announced seven months later. They were married on 7 January 1937.

The couple's first daughter, Queen Beatrix, took the Dutch throne when her mother abdicated in 1980. The royal couple also had three other daughters: Irene, Margriet and Christina.

Upon her death in March of this year, Queen Juliana, 94, was interred in the royal family tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. Despite initial concerns about his health, Prince Bernhard was fit enough to attend the funeral.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news, Prince Bernhard, Dutch Royal Family

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