Thousands flock to Soestdijk to mourn Juliana

22nd March 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 March 204 , AMSTERDAM — Thousands of people laid flowers along the fence surrounding Soestdijk Palace on Sunday as a mark of respect for the passing of Princess Juliana. Scouts and Girl Guides later placed the wreaths on the palace steps.

22 March 204

AMSTERDAM — Thousands of people laid flowers along the fence surrounding Soestdijk Palace on Sunday as a mark of respect for the passing of Princess Juliana. Scouts and Girl Guides later placed the wreaths on the palace steps.

Most visitors to the palace of the former Dutch queen — who died in her sleep at 5.50am on Saturday surrounded by her husband, Prince Bernhard, and much of their immediate family, including daughter Queen Beatrix — came from the nearby towns of Baarn and Soest.

Primarily older people — who regularly flocked to the Soestdijk palace on Juliana's birthday in the past few decades — returned to the palace again on Sunday, but there were also a noteworthy amount of younger visitors.
 
The body of Princess Juliana will remain in the Soestdijk Palace until Wednesday. Members of the public can pay their last respects to her in Palace Noordeinde in The Hague from 25-28 March. Juliana will be interred in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft on Tuesday 30 March.
 
Flags on government buildings hung at half-mast to mark the passing of the 94-year-old Juliana and the Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer, has postponed all plenary sessions until after Juliana's funeral.

Lower House chairman Frans Weisglas has decided that no commission meetings or other activities will be held in the Parliament either, news site nu.nl reported.

Belgian King Albert II has sent a condolence telegram to Queen Beatrix, while British monarch Queen Elizabeth, German President Johannes Rau, Norway's King Harald, Surinamese President Ronald Venetiaan and Antillean Prime Minister Mirna Louisa-Godett have also expressed their sympathies.

Churches across the nation also honoured the former monarch over the weekend. In the Kloosterkerk in The Hague — where Queen Beatrix regularly attends — the sixth stanza from the national anthem, the Wilhelmus, was sung as a tribute to the former monarch. Queen Beatrix did not attend Sunday's service.
 
Participants in the Silent Procession (Stille Omgang) in Amsterdam on Saturday night observed a moment of silence.

The estimated 8,000 to 10,000 participants prayed for Juliana and the royal family as 15 Eucharist celebrations were staged during the annual procession held to mark the Miracle of the Host of 1345.

Juliana's death was also honoured at sporting events, such as Premier Division football matches over the weekend. A minute of silence was held prior to the start of each match.
 
Newspaper De Telegraaf launched its Sunday edition this weekend filled with news over Juliana's death, but it faced competition as the Algemeen Dagblad, De Volkskrant and the NRC Handelsblad also published special Sunday editions.

Most newspaper editorials described Princess Juliana as a down-to-earth and progressive monarch, public news service NOS reported. Foreign media also widely reported on Juliana's death.

But it was a weekend of mixed feelings for the royal family, which mourned the death of Princess Juliana but also welcomed the birth 18 hours later of the sixth in line to the Dutch throne.

Princess Laurentien, the wife of Queen Beatrix's third son Prince Constantijn, gave birth at 12.37 am on Sunday. The baby boy has been called Claus-Casimir after Prince Claus, the late husband of Queen Beatrix. He died in October 2002.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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