Royal Gatherings

It was pretty clear to anyone who passed the Bookshop Van Hoogstraten in The Hague, The Netherlands, in the weekend of 8 and 9 November 2014. On the occasion of Royal Gatherings II the whole shop window was full of royal books. Normally there is a bit of everything, but because of the weekend the owners had done everything to show that it was being held … royal books were all over the place. Not that they usually don’t sell royal books, but it has never been so clear!

And if you wouldn’t notice on the outside, you would have seen it inside the small shop. Just over 60 people from about 12 countries attended the royal weekend in The Hague and the ones who arrived early already had a look in the shop before the weekend, others had a look in the breaks after noon on both days and sometimes came out with bags full of books. Very handy there were several authors at the conference who could sign their books. The conference itself was held in the Park Hotel near the Noordeinde Palace. Just a pity the Dutch royals didn’t show up šŸ™‚ Both days started at 9.15am and ended around 5-5.30pm.

The programme on Saturday:

  • Opening and introduction. All people attending actually had to introduce themselves.
  • Coryne Hall: APAPA: King Christian IX of Denmark and His Descendants.
  • Bearn Bilker: Anna of Hannover.
  • Renny van Heuven: Queen Wilhelmina and Her British Governess.
  • Ted Rosvall: Notabilities: Royalty and Celebrities in the late 19th Century.
  • Tatiana Cheboksarova: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna: Aunt Miechen.

The programme on Sunday:

  • Coryne Hall: The Royal House of Bavaria.
  • Bjarne Steen Jensen: Royal Jewels (actually it was about the imperial FabergĆ© Easter Eggs).
  • Susan Symons: SchloƟ: The Fascinating Royal History of 25 German Castles.
  • Arturo E. BeĆ©che: The Lesser-known Coburgs (The Coburgs “cursed”).
  • Galina Korneva: The Vladimir Villa in Tsarskoe Selo.

The weekend was closed with a drink in the Bookshop Van Hoogstraten. I suppose it was “Oranjebitter”, drunk to celebrate events in the Dutch royal family.

I had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the lectures and company. However I had far too little time to talk with all my acquaintances from Ticehurst – many were there. And I met some new people too, which was really nice. I thought it was a bit of a pity there was nothing really arranged for lunch and dinner on Saturday. Arturo asked me and some others to join him for dinner on Saturday, but as it was quite late to go for dinner in the Netherlands, and I had to be back in time as I stayed with friends during the weekend, I had to say no. And unfortunately I had arranged to go back home on Sunday evening, so I couldn’t join some of my British friends for dinner that evening either. I also thought the room the conference was held was a bit small … not for the conference, but it took ages to get in and out of the room as always people were standing in the way or waiting in front of the coffee machine.

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