Prince's death the news of the day

2nd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Dutch newspapers and the foreign media focused a lot of attention on the death of Prince Bernhard on Thursday.

2 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch newspapers and the foreign media focused a lot of attention on the death of Prince Bernhard on Thursday.  

The mass circulation Dutch daily De Telegraaf stated the 93-year-old was aware prior to his death that he was locked in a fight he could not win.

Bernhard — renowned for leading the Dutch royal family to safety in World War II and spearheading the nation's resistance from London — asked doctors at the UMC hospital in Utrecht to discontinue treatment. He died at 6.50pm, probably from breathing difficulties caused by pulmonary cancer.

Amid six inside pages of news about Bernhard, an editorial in De Telegraaf said that for the royal family and many generations of Dutch people, life without Prince Bernhard was unthinkable. Bernhard had not lived in the shadow of his wife, Queen Juliana, despite the fact he did not have a Constitutional function.

After the Lockheed scandal — in which Bernhard was implicated in a bribery case involving US aircraft maker Lockheed in the 1970s — the German-born prince focused on the protection of the environment and culture.

He was also deeply involved in the annual ceremonies for World War II veterans, having attended the signing of the German capitulation in Wageningen on 5 May 1945.

Rotterdam-based Algemeen Dagblad (AD) ran almost a full broadsheet-sized recent photo of Bernhard with a military beret on its front page and published a large number of photos from Bernhard's life on its inside pages. The paper said Bernhard was not afraid of death.

An AD editorial said Bernhard partly determined the face of the Dutch monarchy for 70 years, but said his greatest legacy was his role during and directly after World War II. On the side of Queen Wilhelmina and later as the commander of the Dutch military, he became the symbol of resistance.

The front page of quality daily De Volkskrant featured a black and white photo of Bernhard showing him leaving Soestdijk Palace at the end of 1935, the year he became engaged to the then Princess Juliana. It devoted four pages to the "jet setter prince".

Its editorial said Bernhard was a man of the world who made close contacts with the high finance community, foreign monarchies, the international business community and important political leaders.

Newspaper Trouw was somewhat more restrained in its coverage, but said in an editorial that it was tragic that Bernhard's last years were marred by negative aspects of his life, such as the Lockheed affair. The strength of the prince was that he was not weighed down by negatives.

Media in neighbouring countries also focused on Bernhard's death, with Belgian media in particular publishing lengthy obituaries. Like Dutch public television, Belgian broadcaster VRT interrupted normal programming Wednesday night to present an extra news broadcast.

Belgian newspapers De Standaard and Het Gazet van Antwerpen quickly published obituaries following the news of Bernhard's death. Belgium's best Flemish-language newspaper De Standaard said Bernhard was the "most colourful member" of the Dutch royal family.

In Bernhard's homeland Germany, sensationalist newspaper Bild said Queen Beatrix was deeply mourning the prince's death, as was the rest of the country. Most German newspapers such as Die Welt and the Frankfurt-based Allgemeine Zeitung, published short chronologies of Bernhard's life.

[Copyright Expatica News + Novum Nieuws 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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