Help the refugees

If you move around the world by choice, consider helping those forced from their homes by conflict. Donate to the UN Refugee Agency today.

Home Dutch News Bernhard laid to rest with military honours

Bernhard laid to rest with military honours

Published on 13/12/2004

13 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — Prince Bernhard, the husband of the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, was laid to rest in Delft with military honours on Saturday. Attention has now turned to the 93-year-old prince’s daughter, who was born out of wedlock.


Prince Bernhard …
1911 – 2004

Besides publishing a photo of Alexia Grinda-Lejeune, newspaper De Telegraaf claimed on Monday that the Dutch royal family opened its arms to Bernhard’s fifth and “secret” daughter last week. Grinda-Lejeune personally bid farewell to her father at Soestdijk Palace last week.

Grinda-Lejeune is reportedly deeply saddened by the loss and is coming to terms with her grief among friends and will continue to stay out of public life. A joint decision was made against her attending Prince Bernhard’s funeral.

Bernhard had four daughters with Queen Juliana — present Dutch monarch Queen Beatrix, and princesses Irene, Margriet and Christina. But it was long suspected that Bernhard also had a child who was born out of wedlock.

Grinda-Lejeune’s half-brother Cyril Lejeune was quoted by De Telegraaf saying that “the sisters share an immense grief”. Lejeune, who works in London as a banker, said his sister had a deep relationship with her father. But together with Bernhard and her mother Hélène Grinda, it was decided to keep the relationship secret.

Publishing a photo of Grinda-Lejeune, 37, taken as young girl celebrating her birthday with family, the newspaper also said it was the first time that a member of the Lejeune family had spoken openly about Bernhard’s out-of-wedlock child.

Prince Bernhard had never explicitly said he did not have a child in Paris from an extramarital affair, but had said earlier in an open letter to the Dutch media that he was not in a position to comment on the constant rumours.

Bernhard was interred in the royal family vault in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft on Saturday. In honour of his military service during World War II, “The Last Post” was played as his coffin was taken into the crypt.

Queen Beatrix, her three sisters and Princess Margriet’s husband Pieter van Vollenhoven accompanied the coffin to its final resting place. Bernhard was to be placed next to Queen Juliana, who was laid to rest in March.

Due to the fact that Bernhard served as a commander-in-chief of the Dutch military in the latter part of WWII, his funeral included fighter jets flying in a “missing man” formation to signify he had not returned from battle.


Bernhard was laid to rest with military honours

Some 6,000 soldiers — including some 400 war veterans — were deployed along the 13.2km funeral procession route. Bernhard was dressed in the uniform of an air force officer, despite being stripped of the right to wear a uniform due to a 1970s bribery scandal with US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed.

The gun carriage carrying Bernhard’s remains to Delft left The Hague at about 9.40am on Saturday and arrived in Delft at about 12.15pm. Some 1,900 people had gathered for the funeral, including many representatives of European royal houses.

Prince Bernhard died on 1 December of cancer at the UMC hospital in Utrecht. Some 42,000 people paid tribute to him last week at Palace Noordeinde in The Hague, where he lay in state in a palace chapel.

Pastor Carel ter Linden drew a brief outline of Bernhard’s life and work during Saturday’s funeral, recounting that “something broke inside” the German-born prince when he saw German planes invade the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. “From that moment on, he was forever Dutch with the Dutch people,” he said.

Ter Linden went on to talk about Bernhard’s post-war years, in which he travelled extensively on assignment for the Dutch government to win business contracts for Dutch industry. Thirdly, he praised Bernhard’s role in environmental conservation and his efforts as co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund.

The funeral service was closed with the sixth verse of the Dutch national anthem, the Wilhelmus. The royal family departed at 1.50pm for The Hague, where royal guests and others were welcomed for a wake.

Some 3.6 million people watched the funeral service on television and more than 17,000 people passed through the Nieuwe Kerk on Sunday. The church was officially meant to be open from 10am to 8pm, but the last visitors did not leave the church until 10.15pm.

[Copyright Expatica News + Novum Nieuws 2004]

Subject: Dutch news