Winterpalace Het Loo

I admit I am to blame myself! I missed part of the Christmas exhibition at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, on Saturday. A tiny part, but anyway … It had been a very busy week, so I did receive the press announcement about it and had just a very quick look at it, saw something about the wedding dress of Princess Margriet and that was it. I did receive some paperstuff when I was at the ticket office of the Palace on Saturday morning though, after having arrived as about the first visitor of the day.

But you know, like all regular visitors, who come at least once a year, or sometimes even more often, you think it is mainly the same as last time, so you don’t really have a closer look. If there is something special going on in the usually very quiet east wing of the Palace, can’t it just be indicated on a board or something just outside the wing, as also happens when there is an exhibition in the west wing? Then I would certainly have gone inside. A pity really, as I now missed the Christmas table with tiny exhibition about Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven, who lived in the wing until 1976, and celebrated their last Christmas there 40 years ago.

But as usual Winterpalace Het Loo was wonderful. In the hall of the ticket office was a beautiful Christmas tree, the fences were decorated with gorgeous wreaths. After entering the palace grounds just before 10am (I said I was early) I passed the ice rink near the stables. When I passed it in the late afternoon it was filled with skaters. More about the Emperor Wilhelm II exhibition I first visited later on, but first the palace itself, where I still can spend the whole day, even if I have been there dozens of times now. There is always something new: an exhibition, like last year a new walking tour through the park. And yearly around Christmas the place turns into a Winterpalace. This year the palace from 12 December 2015 to 3 January 2016 looks atmospherical with perfect table settings, decorated Christmas trees and lots of other green decorations.

If I understood correctly this is the table of King Willem II and his wife Queen Anna Paulowna.

Miniature version of the table for the gala dinner for the Corps Diplomatique in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on 24 June 2015. More than 230 guests attended the dinner that was attended by King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven. This table setting is only for twelve people.

On 24 March 2014 world leaders had dinner in the Orange Hall at Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, on the occasion of the Nuclear Security Summit. Guests included Barack Obama, President of the USA. Six round tables were set in the hall, one of them shown at Het Loo.

18th-century style sugar palace. The dinner table hosted by the city of Amsterdam for Stadtholder Willem V and his wife Wilhelmina in 1768 looked like this. The miniature building is the Corps-de-Logis of Palace Het Loo.

Dinner table of Queen Wilhelmina with a never before exhibited Jugendstil service. And on the right a dinner gown from Queen Wilhelmina from around 1900.

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