26 March 2004
AMSTERDAM — Royal family outcast Princess Margarita is expected to attend the funeral of her deceased grandmother, Princess Juliana, and the aging Prince Bernhard might be fit enough to bid a final farewell to his 94-year-old wife also.
The princess reportedly visited Soestdijk Palace earlier this week to pay her last respects to Juliana, but she was not accompanied by her out-of-favour husband, Edwin de Roy van Zudydewijn.
Margarita is locked in a dispute with much of the royal family, accusing them of conducting a smear campaign against Edwin and using the Dutch secret service AIVD to run a background check of him.
The controversial royal couple claims its privacy was violated and is pursuing a civil suit against the royal family in preparation for a compensation claim that could top EUR 30 million.
Princess Margarita was not invited to the October 2002 funeral of Prince Claus — the husband of Queen Beatrix, the sister of Magarita’s mother Irene — but visited her grandmother regularly and attended her 94th birthday last year.
The government information service RVD refused to confirm that Princess Margarita will not accompany her mother into the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft for next week’s funeral, public news service NOS reported.
Former Dutch queen Juliana died in her sleep at 5.50am on Saturday morning and will be interred in the Dutch royal family tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk on 30 March.
Various foreign royals including Britain’s Prince Phillip, Spain’s King Juan Carlos, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Japan’s Prince Akishino are expected to attend the funeral.
Meanwhile, the RVD said Prince Bernhard might attend Juliana’s funeral. It was previously reported that Bernhard, 92, is physically unwell and was uncertain of being fit enough to attend the ceremony.
The RVD said the Prince has strengthened after taking some rest in recent days and has resumed his normal daily routine. It refused to reveal whether the prince’s suddenly worsened condition was due to the death of his wife or another reason.
The RVD had previously said that Bernhard is “extremely affected” by the death of his wife — whom he married in 1937 and had four daughters with — and the coming days would indicate whether he would be fit enough to attend the funeral.
The body of Princess Juliana has been placed in a special chapel in the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague and about 6,500 people filed past her coffin as a final mark of respect on Thursday.
Hundreds of people were lining up again on Friday to farewell the popular post-war queen and police said at about midday there were 1,500 people standing in line. It was slightly busier than yesterday.
The palace is open from 9am to 10pm each day and the public has until Sunday to bid farewell to Juliana. The weekend is expected to be busier than Thursday and Friday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news