Royal Showpieces at Het Loo

The layout of the rooms at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, doesn’t change too often. Once in a while a new piece of furniture or a painting is added. With Christmas there are Christmas trees and decoration all over the palace … But now five historical rooms of the palace have been emptied and have been given a completely new and different look. Shown are works of art by Dutch designers. Originally the exhibition “Royal Showpieces. A Royal encounter with Dutch Design” was to be shown until 29 June, but because of its success it is open until 24 August 2014.

The theme of the first room is “Dining with the King”. Old items from the museum collection are being shown with modern designs belonging in a dining room. Funny are the tailcoats for gentlemen-in-waiting, and the small kitchen stove that was used in one of the palace kitchens years ago.

I fell in love with room 2 “The Flowers of the Palace”. Flowers are always present in and around a palace. The room now contains a few nice paintings. And at the ceiling is a huge chandelier surrounded by a sea of flowers. The fun is that you are allowed to lie down on the carpet or the sofa and look at it from that position.

Room 3: “Dancing till Midnight”. Centerpiece in this Great Hall are two dresses by fashion designer Jan Taminiau. You only have to look once to notice that the dress you see first when you enter the room is the dress – or actually a copy – of the dress that Queen Máxima wore in October 2012 on the evening before the wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg. Just a pity that it just hangs down, so you can’t see the pattern of the skirt very well. The other dress is a paradisiacal torrent of flowers … Máxima wore a stola like this with her dress. I’d love to see her in the dress itself.

“The Royal Bed” is the theme of room 4. Romantic dressing gowns in the corners and a wall with candlesticks.

And finally room 5 “Dress for a Little Princess”. In a show-case lots of old dresses and jackets of Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana, who mainly wore white dresses when they were little. In the middle of the room an antique chair with silk dresses all over it. Gorgeous dresses, old and new, that you’d just like to wear. Unfortunately that is not allowed …

All in all, quite a nice exhibition. For people like me, who know the palace rather well, it is fun to see the rooms having been transformed into something completely new.

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