Paleis Soestdijk

During my recent Travel to the Netherlands i also visited Pales Soestdijk which was for 67 years the Residence of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard. But before them a lot of other membes of the Family of Orange-Nassau lived in the Palace. The Palace which was originally a Hunting Lodge was build from 1674-1678 for Stadholder Prince Willem III. who later became King of England. But only a few yearsd later as he build Paleis het Loo at Apeldoorn he used it not very much. After the death of Willem III. who died without issue the Hunting Lodge went to the frisian line of the Family. Itr was used by Stadhiolder Prince Willem IV. and after his death by his wife Pricness Anne,. née Princess of Great Britain. In 1795 all the residences of the Statdholder where seized by the French who had invalied the Netherlands. Thus the Palace became State Property. In 1806 it was extended and refurnised by King Louis Napoleon of Holland the brother of the french Emperor Napoléon I. In 1815 the Netherlands became a Kingdom. Palace Soestdijk was presneted to the Prince of Orange, son and heir of the new King in recognition of his Services at the Battle of Waterloo. In the same tiome the 2 Side Wings where added. From 1818 it became the Resjdence of the Prince of Orange, who became King Willem II. in 1840, and his wife Anna Pavlovna, née Grand Duchess of Russia. Queen Anna OPavlovna used the Paklace also after the death of her husband and when she died in 1865 it went to her younger son, prince Hendrik. After the death of Prince Hendrik it passed to his elder brother, King Willem III. During this time the Palace was not used very much. It only became the Summer Residence of Queen Emma, the widow of King Willem III. after her daughter Queen Wilhelmina ascended the Throne. Queen Emma used it as Summer Residence until her death in 1934. Three years later the Palace became the permanent Residence of the new married Crown Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard. It also remained their Reisdence after Juliana became Queen in 1948. In 1971 Queen Juliana sold the Palace to the dutch State but it remained her Residence also after her abdication in 1980. In 2004 both Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard died. The Palace is now for a limited time open to the Public until a Solution for its future use will be found.

 

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The stairs where the Royal Family every years stood
during the Queensday-Defiles in Queen Juliana’s reign

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Busts of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard in front
of the Paleis who where only recently unveiled
by Queen Beatrix

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The entrance in the private Wing

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