Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Prince Beer

At the end of April this year, The Netherlands will have a King. For the first time since 1890. Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange will be named 'King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands'.

Did you know that his nickname is 'Prince Beer' (in Dutch 'Prins Pils')? In the past he used to drink beer in public and smoke cigarettes. A lot. What kind of King will he be? He will survive. Although, at the same time I'm convinced that, being (better: playing) a King will be though for him. His main constraint is - next to the fact that his wife Máxima is much more popular than he or his mum Beatrix - that he wants to be taken serious. On his opinions. On his cleverness and sensitivity. On his public tasks as King. On his dreams. On every step he takes privately. He wants to be taken serious as an individual on what is, in essence, irrational: inherit a Kingdom by birth.

Did you know that one of his family-members, John Maurice of Nassau (1604-1679) ruled as governor over a part of Brazil? Between 1630 and 1654 we Dutch ruled over Dutch Brazil or New Holland. Our main interest was wood and sugar. This colony never became a success because no-one (better: hardly anyone) wanted to live there. A part of Recife, Cidade Maurícia (in Dutch 'Mauritsstad'), was named after him.

Did you know that one of his family-members lived in 'Kasteel van Wijchen'? Countess Emilia of Nassau (1569-1929) lived there with her husband Manuel of Portugal (c. 1568-1638). I got married in the house that once was theirs.

P.S. More details on the King's family tree: here.
P.P.S. Last weekend I finished Tom Wolfe's book 'The Right Stuff' (1979). What a lovely and interesting book #mustread on test pilots after World War II and on the first astronauts. Those who had the right stuff for being in control of an air- or spacecraft.

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