My Highs and Lows of 2022

On the last day of the year it is time to reflect on 2022. After two years in which Covid-19 played a huge role in the life of people all around the world, 2022 was going to be a lot better, with much less restrictions in many countries. Unfortunately then Russia attacked Ukraine and for the first time in quite a while Europe saw war. Lots of people fled Ukraine, including one of my friends, who happily managed to get out of the country in August.But lots of her countrymen are still suffering. On a personal level I lost my father in March after his health had deteriorated since early 2020, so it didn’t come too unexpectedly, but still is a huge loss.

But otherwise personally my year was quite good and very, very busy. Finally it was possible to really travel again and visit exhibitions, so I did. I carefully started in February with a visit to the wonderful Frida Kahlo exhibition in the nearby city of Assen. At the end of April a small but lovely royal exhibition about the dolls collection of the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands was opened at Borg Verhildersum, a small castle in a village not too far from home. I enjoyed finally meeting my friend Moniek from the blog History of Royal Women again, as well as fellow royalty journalist Justine Marcella.

The first royal I saw in 2022 was Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in May 2022, when she was handing out the King Willem I Prizes here in the city of Groningen. I enjoyed trips alone or with my mother to several places here in the north of the Netherlands. I also loved the wonderful folk dance festival “Op Roakeldais”, that took place for the first time since 2019. Groningen celebrated the Groningens Ontzet 350 (Siege of Groningen) with lots of festivities at the end of August. Apart from travelling I also enjoyed several bicycle rides and walks.

In July I travelled to Germany, Denmark and even Sweden for one whole week. I had such a great time, visiting castles, palaces and exhibitions. And even more: I finally met with royal friends again: Joe even spent two days with me, Sue and Mike, and my old colleague Susanne. Although I am not always a very social person, I really enjoyed spending time with my friends. At the end of the month of July I also enjoyed a visit to the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, that finally opened its doors again after three years. In The Hague I also met a few friends again after quite a while: Josée, Mirjam, André, Bjorn … did I miss someone?

I had had to cancel my trip to Denmark twice in 2020 and early 2022 and this year I visited the country even twice, as Queen Margrethe II finally celebrated her 50th anniversary on the throne in September. Unfortunately the festivities were partly cancelled because of the death of the British Queen Elizabeth II. I and several friends nevertheless enjoyed everything that did take place: Stig, Ove, Arjan, Jakob, Saad, Nellie, Marjan, Jelland thanks for keeping me company. Hope I haven’t forgotten to mention anyone. Finally also in September I managed to see my 35th royal wedding. Also early September I ended up with another stray cat, called Daisy.

It will be very interesting to see what 2023 brings. It is hard to imagine, but I will celebrate my 50th birthday in September 2023, and also NettyRoyal will celebrate its 25th jubilee in October 2023. I hope there will be much more reasons to celebrate. There could be a great wedding in the South of Germany, another one in Portugal, but I am not yet certain whether I will be able to travel there. It would be fun seeing my German friends again, or finally visit Portugal, which has been on my to-do list for quite a while. I also have something planned that I for now have to keep a secret, but stay tuned!


I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it was to visit castles again. Only if you are not able to, you notice how much you miss that. This is a list of the castles and palaces I visited or looked at from the outside in the year 2022. I have noticed I still haven’t found time to write reports about a lot of places, so who knows what will appear on NettyRoyal in 2023.

  • 23 April 2022: Assen, The Netherlands – former estate of Vredeveld (Valkesteijn), estate Overcingel, estate De Lariks (all from the outside only)
  • 30 April 2022: Leens, The Netherlands – Borg Verhildersum
  • 18 June 2022: Cornjum, The Netherlands – Martena State
  • 18 June 2022: Jelsum, The Netherlands – Dekema State
  • 26 June 2022: Leek, The Netherlands – Museum Nienoord
  • 10 July 2022: Glücksburg, Germany – Glücksburg Castle
  • 11 July 2022: Kolding, Denmark – Koldinghus
  • 12 July 2022: Helsingborg, Sweden – Sofiero Castle
  • 13 July 2022: Frederiksborg, Denmark – Frederiksborg Castle
  • 13 July 2022: Fredensborg, Denmark – Fredensborg Palace
  • 14 July 2022: Copenhagen, Denmark – Amalienborg
  • 14 July 2022: Copenhagen, Denmark – Rosenborg Castle
  • 15 July 2022: Helsingør, Denmark – Kronborg Castle
  • 15 July 2022: Sorgenfri, Denmark – Sorgenfri Castle (only the outside)
  • 30 July 2022: The Hague, The Netherlands – Noordeinde Palace
  • 30 July 2022: The Hague, The Netherlands – Mauritshuis (only the outside)
  • 9 September 2022: Copenhagen, Denmark – Amalienborg
  • 10 September 2022: Copenhagen, Denmark – Rosenborg
  • 11 September 2022: Gentofte, Copenhagen, Denmark – Bernstorff Palace
  • 11 September 2022: Copenhagen, Denmark – Christiansborg (only the outside)
  • 17 September 2022: Neustrelitz, Germany – site of the former Neustrelitz Palace
  • 23 October 2022: IJsbrechtum, The Netherlands – Epema State (only the outside)
  • 5 November 2022: Leeuwarden, The Netherlands – Princessehof
  • 26 November 2022: Appingedam, The Netherlands – Ekenstein Estate
  • 26 November 2022: Wirdum, The Netherlands – Borg Rusthoven
  • 10 December 2022: Tilburg, The Netherlands – Royal Palace (only the outside)
  • 10 December 2022: Breda, The Netherlands – Breda Castle (only the outside)
  • 11 December 2022: Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Royal Palace (only the outside)
  • 18 December 2022: Leek, The Netherlands – Museum Nienoord (only the outside)

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