Dutch royals demolition plans hit problems

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The Dutch royal family wants to demolish two farms on its De Horsten estate in Wassenaar near The Hague. However, the plan is being opposed by local historic buildings enthusiasts. They say the farms are good examples of the post-war Delft school.

The farms are making a loss and the royals want to replace them with three new villas which the government information service explains will be profitable. However, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his family live on the estate and it is rumoured the villas are intended to be used by his wife Máxima’s family.

Her father, Jorge Zorreguieta, served as a minister in Argentina’s Videla military regime from 1976 to 1981. The presence of the Zorreguieta family in the Netherlands has been a cause of embarrassment to the royal family in the past.

Wassenaar Council announced in the spring that the demolition plans had been passed, but local politicians have now joined preservation groups to object to the move. One of the groups, the Heemschut Union, has Queen Beatrix as its patron. Opponents of the plans say they will take the issue to court if necessary.



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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