COTE DE TEXAS: A TOUR OF THE HOUSE IN THE WOODS !!

A TOUR OF THE HOUSE IN THE WOODS !!


A quick note or two.  Sorry this took so long to publish, but I had a huge learning curve and became quite taken with the Huis ten Bosch palace owned by the Dutch Royal Family.  The research was intoxicating.  For instance:  One small picture of a previously unseen room would take me days to discover where it was located in the Palace.   For me, the research of these stories is the most fun of blogging and I hate to cut it short just to get more stories out there.  I hope you will love the House in the Woods as much as I have grown to.Finally, when I started writing this the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were off on a ‘much needed’ Christmas holiday.  I had my suspicions that things were not right, but never was I as shocked as I was when they stepped down.  I’ve decided to leave this story as it was while I was writing - the Duke & Duchess of Sussex as they were.  Sob!And on to The House in the Woods!I've been obsessed with the British Royal Family for as long as I can remember.  I should say that, in reality, my obsession was with Lady Diana or Shy Di as she was known then.  Ever since she came on the scene with her girly ruffled blouses, I couldn’t get enough news of her outfits, her jewels and then, the cracks in her marriage.

  Back then, pre internet, I would race each Monday to the hotel across the street from the hospital where I worked to get the new weekly HOLA magazine.  HOLA was the Spanish language precursor to HELLO magazine and besides Majesty magazine, one of the best resources to see what new dresses Diana had worn that previous week to all her parties and occasions.
Cover of Hola!
  I didn’t understand a word of what the Hola articles would say, but it was filled with photos of then Princess Diana in her ballgowns and tiaras and that was enough for me.
Diana’s untimely death marked the end of my fascination with the BRF.  It just wasn’t as fun or glamorous anymore without Diana.   
But, life marches on, and years later, a new young generation of Royals brought that lost vibrancy back into royal watching:
Harry & Meghan’s Wedding:  I loved the colors, the lime green with just a hint of purple and pink – that perfectly matched the Green Room at Windsor where this photograph was taken.

And something different was happening in the European royal families that was just as interesting as the BRF or more so.  Two that stand out are young Queens who are beautiful and dress in gorgeous couture clothing:   Queen Rania of Jordan and Queen Letizia of Spain.

The young fashionable Queens:  Rania and Letizia.   It’s always hard to choose between the two who looks cuter!  But today, I think that Letizia takes the prize.  Stunning!There are more.
Other royals such as the Crown Princesses of Sweden and Denmark attract the paparazzi wherever they appear.  These two will be Queens one day.   A Queen in Chanel? 
And there is the Queen for this story:
Queen Maxima!Even her name is exotic and intriguing.  Maxima!!
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands poses in one of her three palaces.
I have been wanting to write about Maxima for some time now, but her clothes and incredible jewelry really don’t have much to do with an interior design blog.
Or do they?
Researching Maxima, the adage that having good taste in clothes usually means you also possess good taste in interior design, proves true with Maxima.So while this story could be about clothes and jewelry, it is actually about Maxima and her homes and palaces.Just wait until you see how she turned her royal palace into a hip, chic home.  And in this, she is not alone.  The newer royals have been busy updating their old, musty palaces – keeping the fineries, the furniture and art but displaying it all in a brand new way.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden shows off her modernized palace.
Norway’s Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit’s palace is one of my favorites!  Skaugum, outside of Oslo.
William and Kate’s newly redecorated apartment at Kensington Palace is homey and warm, but not as cutting edge as the other royals.None of the younger royals have been more influential in palace redesign than Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik.  He spent five years completely restoring his palace, turning it into a cross between antique Dane Decor and ultra modern Danish art.  It is amazing and he has personally influenced the other young royals in their own restorations. Even the Duchess of Cambridge has been said to pick Frederik’s wife Crown Princess Mary’s brain about interior design.  Oh to be a fly on that wall!!!    What is interesting is Prince Charles and Prince Frederik are probably the only male royals that are interested in interior design.   Even William has announced he is not as interested in architecture as his father.  Pity. But let’s start at the beginning with a very short look at who is Maxima and where did she come from before we move onto her palace.  At birth, she was plain Maxima Zorregueta Cerruti, born in 1971 in Argentina.  Both sides of her family came from the very wealthy landed gentry.
A smart student, she attended a Catholic university where the mass was led each morning by a man who would one day be called Pope Francis!  With degrees in business and economics, including a masters degree – she moved to NYC and worked as a Vice President for several prestigious companies.While on vacation, she met a red-headed young man who introduced himself as plain Alexander.  In truth, he was the Crown Prince of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander.  Maxima had no idea who he truly was and their courtship sounds like the plot of a Hallmark movie and it probably was!They married after three years of dating but their engagement and wedding were not exactly easy.  Maxima had to first become a citizen of Holland and then she had to learn Dutch.  Languages must come easy to her because she already spoke Spanish, English, and some French – and by the time of the marriage she was fluent in  Dutch.The engagement is announced and Queen Beatrix looks elated.  Maxima’s hair is still brown here.  Soon, she will be platinum blonde while today the color is more toned down with highlights.Despite all the smiles, underneath there was a major issue threatening to block the marriage.  Willem’s bride had to be approved by the court, if not – he stood to lose his throne to be.The issue was that Maxima’s father had been a government cabinet member in Argentina during the dictatorship where tens of thousands of people were massacred or went missing.  You probably saw a Hollywood movie about those terrible times in Argentina. Maxima’s father denied any knowledge of this and also denied any participation in this horrible stain on Argentina.  The Dutch government finally agreed to allow Willem-Alexander and Maxima to marry only if her father did not attend the ceremony.  Her mother agreed to stay home with her husband.  It must have been terrible on Maxima because she was very close with them both.At her wedding, an Argentina tango was played and Maxima started crying, missing her parents.
The couple rode in the gold carriage between the civil and religious ceremonies.  This carriage is used in coronations. Willem’s grandmother Juliana used it when she was crowned Queen in 1948.Male rulers of the Netherlands is a rarity.  The last King ruled until he died in 1898, over a century ago.
His mother Queen Beatrix abdicated her throne in 2013, making Willem-Alexander King the first male Dutch King in over 100 years. Maxima’s dress was designed by Valentino, after she and Beatrix flew to Italy for private meetings with the man himself.  The dress was stunning, simple, with elegant lines and a gorgeous veil. If anything, this is a love match.After the wedding Maxima became Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg.Wait.  Who?Her wedding ring included a rare orange diamond!  Or maybe it is just a dirty yellow diamond?   LOL.There ARE orange diamonds and they are very rare, as long as they are pure. The rare orange diamond engagement ring. Maxima also wears many pieces made with citrines which Willem-Alexander has made for her.Why orange?   Orange and sapphire blue are the King's standard colors.  After the wedding, three daughters followed in quick succession:  Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange and heir to the throne, Princesses Alexia and Ariane – called the A Team by Willem-Alexander.Maxima received a substantial Push Ring for each birth:For her last birth, Ariane’s, Maxima was given this emerald cut diamond.
Her Push Gift for Alexia was this large citrine and diamond ring.And for her first baby, Amalia,   Maxima was given a ruby ring.With their three daughters happily enrolled in school, the couple were living in the countryside outside The Hague. 
After not being able to attend their daughter’s wedding, Maxima’s parents were at their granddaughters’ christenings. 
Maxima’s parents, Queen Beatrix attend the christening of the Crown Princess Catharina Amalia.The royal couple have a house in the ski district of Argentina where her brother owns a popular restaurant.  They also have a house in Greece near other celebrities like Tom Hanks and Putin!
 The vacation house in Greece.
All was not exactly easy in their lives.  When Maxima’s father died, all her children and her husband flew to Argentina for his funeral.  Saddest of all, Maxima’s sister committed suicide after a long battle with depression.  Maxima tearfully talked about her sister saying she hoped she was finally at peace. But, nothing was bigger in they life than when Queen Beatrix announced in 2013 – her abdication.    Everything would change for the couple and their family, especially where they would live.The Royal Family of the Netherlands has an interesting history.  A relatively small kingdom, they are one of the wealthiest of the royal families.  It is estimated that Beatrix is worth over 200 million dollars plus there is all the untold amounts of Shell Oil stock.   The Netherlands was ruled exclusively by queens throughout the 20th century.Additionally, the Queens abdicate rather than rule until they die:Top Left, Queen Emma was regent for her daughter until Wilhelmina became of age at 18.  She later abdicated for Juliana who in turn gave up the throne for Beatrix. The last King of the Netherlands died in 1890.Queen Beatrix, who graduated from law school with a degree,  ruled as Queen from 1980 until 2013, when she gave up her throne to Willem-Alexander.   For the remainder of her life, Beatrix will be known as Princess until her death at which time she reclaims the title Queen Beatrix for eternity.Maxima became the Queen Consort, the first in the Netherlands in over a century – since Queen Emma. 
She is also the first Queen to have been born a commoner and the first to have been born outside of Europe. Let’s take a quick look at her fashion! hats! and jewels!! and then we’ll get down to the real business of INTERIOR DESIGN - MAXIMA STYLE!There is no doubt that shoppers in NYC did not know that this regular looking couple were the King and Queen of the Netherlands!!!    Not sure how the paparazzi knew!!Most of these outfits shown are from either this year or last year.Instead, the couple is usually seen in public like this – dressed to the nines.  Here in England for the Order of the Garter ceremony, Maxima wears a trademark over-the-top hat and this year’s trend for her, a belted dress.   Notice her gorgeous leather gloves and her blush suede pumps!!!!  Loved this look!
Two Queens and two future Queens – Maxima comes out on top in my opinion.  Notice how she handled the long sleeves look without looking matronly.   Sophie Wessex on the left misses and I’m not crazy about Queen Letizia’s outfit either.  I do like Camilla’s – age appropriate and  Kate looks youthful and pretty for sure, but Maxima is just stunning.
At Royal Ascot week many fashion commentors agreed that Maxima stole the show with her suede shoes, leather gloves and stunning hat. She brought along with her these little earrings.  LOL.   These removable round earrings actually sit atop the fabulous Stuart Tiara.  More about the Stuart Tiara later.Look at that smile.  Her hat was such a huge showstopper she would need to have a smile and the confidence to match it, which she does.She rode to Ascot sitting right next to the Queen – a huge honor for the once commoner.  Huge.  The Queen obviously has a soft spot for Maxima, even though there is 40 something years between them. At another meeting. Another belted look with more leather gloves.  I’m telling you the Queen adores Maxima and that’s good enough for me!! In India – another beautiful outfit.Stunning!  You will often see Willem-Alexander in a royal blue suit and Maxima in orange, the two colors of his standard.  Their flag is red white and blue, though another flag is the same in orange white and blue.   Don’t ask.   Nobody can give an easy explanation of the two flags.  But blue and orange is their brand and they wear it very well and often.
Bright yellow and pale gray.  A rare color combination for Maxima.
Back to an orange stunner.
Another trademark side profile hat with flowers - Opening of the Parliament.
       Their gorgeous thrones!!!  Love this.
Love this dress!!!In India, another beautiful dress in pink with important jewels.Three major pieces:   the Stuart Tiara earrings and the corsage pin that is shown here - only half of its actual size.  But check out the Bandeau  Tiara.   At the end of the century Queen Emma was given a necklace when she married the old, mean, and slightly insane King.  Her daughter Wilhelmina had the necklace made into this tiara.  Just look at the size of those diamonds. 
Here Maxima wears the Corsage pin with the hanging pearls that she had removed in the photo above.  The corsage includes five large pink diamonds.  This tiara is known as the Antique Pearl Tiara.  
Another huge laugh with a well know celebrity – this time, President Obama.
Another meeting with the Obamas, in the White House’s beautiful oval sitting room.   It looks like Maxima and Michelle planned their clothes to match the upholstery!
For day events, usually a large hat is Maxima’s main accessory.
And here in fuchsia.
I love this material on the dress.  She has several dresses that are made of similar fabric.
 This is my favorite – in Japan.  Another gorgeous floral hat!    Not many women could pull off such a hat but Maxima wears it beautifully.   This dress was accessorized with gold bangles on both arms.  Her dress designer is rarely given but this was by Claes Iversen.
A bit older photo, at her brother’s wedding – stunning.Most of the outfits shown above are from this year.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of photographs of Maxima in different outfits during the years.  I chose mostly the newest looks.  But there were a few older ones that I had trouble passing up, her brother’s wedding for one.
Here an old photo of Maxima at the christening of a daughter.   An early version of the floral hat.Here she is dressed for Queen Letizia's wedding to the King of Spain!
The Family Jewels     There are sets of jewels in all colors, rubies, aquamarines, sapphires, etc.  Here on a trip to Ireland she wore emeralds.
The aquamarines.   That pin!

The Wurttemberg Ornate Pearl Tiara – made initially in 1897 for Queen Wilhelmina’s enthronement, it was a favorite of Queen Beatrix.  She wore this tiara many times, and most notably at her wedding.
Queen Beatrix at her wedding with the pearl tiara.
 One of my favorite tiaras is the Mellerio Ruby Tiara, along with all its matching pieces.

Maxima wore it here with an unusually sexy (for her) gown.
 Here, the tiara is worn with the gorgeous matching necklace.
I love this photograph.
The entire dress.  She is just gorgeous!Here is Queen Juliana in the entire set.  Somehow it just doesn’t have the same effect as it does when Maxima wears it.  Maybe if she removed her glasses for the photo????!!!
The Sapphire Tiara was worn at their inauguration.   It was made for Queen Emma who also wore it at her inauguration.The tiara can be worn smaller – here it is at its largest. The event.  Gorgeous!!!!  There is the Dutch Blue and the hint of the Orange.Notice, the tiara is a bit smaller than how it was worn above.
The three girls.  The eldest will one day be Queen.  Here Queen Beatrix became Princess Beatrix again.  I think that is sad – she should keep her title like the Queen Mother in England!   Once Beatrix passes she becomes known as Queen again, eternally.The official portrait in the sapphire tiara. Worn at its larger size.  Yes!!!  The bigger the better.  We need a closeup of the bracelet.   This is one of three royal palaces.                 
Queen Emma wearing her sapphire tiara which was made for her inauguration.  And here you can see the sapphire bracelet up close.  Queen Juliana in the sapphires plus the huge pin.
Beatrix – while Beatrix is surely the prettiest Dutch Queen of the 20th century, Maxima will probably have everyone beat for the next century.   I hate to say it but those Dutch queens are not exactly lookers.  It’s good that Maxima brought in some plain ol' commoner blood!!! Queen Wilhelmina is a fascinating woman if you want to read about her.  Her actions during WWI and WWII are very interesting.Look  at this tiara on her!!!  Gorgeous!
And now we come to the famous Stuart Tiara.  It’s a long story but I’ll make it short for here.  There are several fabulous royal jewelry blogs if you want to learn more about these jewels. Just google Royal Jewel Blogs and it will give you the gamut.The Stuart Tiara can be worn several ways – here it was worn in its smaller version.   The tiara had not been seen for over 40 years when Maxima started to wear it.
There is no way that Maxima was not going wear THE STUART TIARA!!  Are you serious?!!! Forty years be damned.  That tiara is going to be worn and seen and enjoyed by Maxima the most!
Here in its smaller version again.
AND finally – when Maxima came to the English court, it was decided she would wear the Stuart Tiara in its biggest size, including the 40ct Stuart Diamond!!All the royal fans were discussing the event in various forums – would Maxima wear the Stuart tiara in the large version??????It was a veddy important discussion.The Stuart Tiara contains a diamond that is one of the more important stones in the Dutch collection.  It belonged to King William III and Queen Mary II who ruled England, Scotland and Ireland in 1689.  Mary had the pale blue diamond cut into a pear shape and set in a brooch.  After they died the stone was returned to the Netherlands in 1702.  Mary’s sister sued to have the stone returned to England.  The diamond was set in a necklace until Queen Emma put it in the tiara for Wilhelmina’s inauguration  She and Juliana wore it often but Beatrix was never seen in it.  It was not until Queen Maxima wore the full tiara in London that it was finally seen again.  Before she was seen in the tiara, there was endless talk about whether she would she wear it or not???? Look at the tiara with the large Stuart diamond!!  Unreal.  I earlier showed Maxima wearing two earrings which are removable from this tiara.Notice the pin.  Maxima was interviewed about wearing the Stuart Tiara in London and here is what she said: "The Stuart Diamond was bought in 1690 by Mary Stuart," she said. "It's a very [big] thing for our relations, between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, so we thought this was the right moment to wear the Stuart Diamond and the diadem this time, and we hope to wear it more often in the future."   She added: "We did it yesterday with much pride, with such a historical background for both our countries." When asked whether the huge diamond gave her a headache at all, she quickly laughed, "No, no."I just love how Maxima acts like wearing this tiara is an attempt to make world peace between two friendly nations. 
Sure Max, that’s why ya wore it!
Queen Emma in the Stuart necklace before it was made into the tiara.    Hmmm.  Good thing it was remade.
Queen Juliana with the Stuart Tiara.The King’s grandmama. 
Do you think she wore the Stuart Tiara to make peace between England and the Netherlands?                                                                        Well, blimey!   She sure did.Juliana and the Stuart Tiara at the English Court.  It wasn’t until decades later that the Tiara would be seen here again when Maxima wore it last year.Look how handsome Prince Philip was!!!!
All these beautiful photos of Queen Maxima.  Does she ever miss?  Well of course she does.  I found quite a few photos I’m sure she wishes would just go away.

Like this one.  I’m not sure what is going on with her hat and hair?!?!?!?  I guess that is a hat or a beehive ?
Maxima has extremely thin hair which is usually disguised in buns and curls.  When she wears it down you can see how thin it really is.  She probably should just cut it short.
Yikes! Without makeup and with her hair down.  See?  She doesn’t always Just usually!!!  In her emeralds.
The A Team today outside in the back gardens of their newly renovated palace “The House in the Woods” or the Huis ten Bosch as it’s known in Holland. 
Enough about clothes and jewelry, let’s talk homes.
When then Queen Beatrix abdicated her throne in 2013, she had to move out of the royal palace, the House in the Woods/Huis ten Bosch.Where to go? 
Beatrix chose to return to the castle she lived in before she became Queen and where her three sons, including the now-King grew up.The approach to Queen Beatrix’s estate is through quaint country roads, lined with charming restaurants and shops.
Drakensteyn Castle is a charming octagonal shaped home surrounded by a scenic moat.
 It was originally built in 1389 and then it was restored in the 1600s.   Beatrix bought it in 1959 and her new husband moved in in 1966.  When crowned Queen, she moved to the royal palace – Huis ten Bosch - in 1980.   Her octagonal castle remained basically empty until Beatrix’ abdication in 2013 when she returned to her charming former home. Much of the octagonal house was modernized, but this room retains much of its original charm.  Notice the tiled fireplace! Now that they were crowned Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander, they had to move too into the royal palace that Beatrix had just moved out of.   But, the palace had not been restored since Beatrix had moved into it decades earlier.   It needed a total renovation – all new electrical, plumbing, roof etc.   Trust me, Maxima was not going to move into something that needed new plugs and lighting fixtures!!! The restoration took five years and reports are that it cost between 65,000 and 100,000 $ to restore the inside and outside.  But remember, the Dutch royal family is one of   the most wealthy. During the long five years of restoration, the King and Queen continued to stay where they had been living, in Wassenaar, near the Hague in the Villa de Eikenhorst.  Last January 2019, they finally got to move into their newly renovated palace – The House in the Woods/Huis ten Bosch which is located very close to their old family house. First, let’s look at their family house where they moved in 2003 as Crown Prince and Princess and where their three daughters were born: The approach to Villa de Eikenhorst has farmland on both sides.   The Villa is located on a large estate owned by the crown. Several members of the royal family have houses here on the 1000 acre De Horsten Estate.  The Villa is a short 10 minute drive to the beaches of the North Sea.The house where Maxima and Willem lived had a long royal history:  Queen Wilhelmina, above, bought the property so she could paint there.  Her daughter Queen Juliana later inherited the property and in turn let her 4th daughter, Princess Christina, move to the old farm.
In 1984, Beatrix’s baby sister, Princess Christina, born almost completely blind due to congenital rubella, built a large house on the old  foundations.     Princess Christina and her husband built the new house Villa de Eikenhorst where Maxima & Willem-Alexander later lived for 16 years.  
When Christina divorced, she moved out and had a large sale at Sotheby’s - selling all the art work and antiques her husband had collected, for a great profit.  She said since she was blind, there was no need to keep the art work!
Aerial view of Villa de Eikenhorst.An early view of the front approach to the villa.
And before the family moved out.  The ivy now covers the facade.  And the King’s standard flies above letting everyone know – the King is home!!!!
Willem-Alexander remained at his old house for five years after becoming King while the royal palace was renovated.Actually the King now owns this house himself.  When Queen Juliana died, she left the estate to Beatrix, who when she abdicated her throne gave the house to Willem-Alexander.  
Maxima added both the orangery at the side of the house and the large terrace along the back.
The foyer.  To the right of the front door is the large living room.  I’m assuming there is another pink bench on the other side of the door.  Maxima likes symmetrical design – except the skirt of this dress!  Oy!!!  I wish we could see more of the floor.
Notice the mural above the door.    The house has thirteen rooms and seven bedrooms with two floors and an attic. 
We are only able to see a few rooms, the main reception room, the library, and the terrace room – but they are so pretty - a cross between English and French decor – but it might just be Dutch decor!  I couldn’t find who the interior decorator was.The large living room is divided into three areas.   The left and right are similar, while the center area revolves around the fireplace.Look how beautiful this is!  First – seagrass!!!!  Wow!!!   They must like the “Houston Look!!” I love the pink Fortuny fabric on the two French sofas (one is in the other section) and the four antique chairs with green damask, updated with black lacquer.   I love the French chair, in pink velvet.   And the modern artwork offsets it all – giving the room a youthful look for a young family.The orangery is seen through the curtains.A closer look.  The table on the right is skirted!  Again, Maxima loves the “Houston Look!”
Here you can see the rest of the room.  Two sofas face each other and sit next to the fireplace.
Looky here!   The Duchess of Cambridge pays a visit.   Where's Meghan?!?!  LOL
Here, a closer look at the center section.  Two coffee tables sit on a needlepoint Aubusson rug.  Marble fireplace.  Trumeaus above the fireplace and the doors.  In this side section – there is a grand piano.   Notice these two coffee tables, you will see them again – later.
Blurry view of the center section with the molding that flanks the fireplace.   Wish this was clearer.  The marble mantel is so pretty.  Love the clock.
Here you can see that in the other side section – there are two tufted blue chairs next to the pink Fortuny covered sofa and a tufted ottoman. Which side arrangement do you prefer – this one with the blue tufted chairs or the opposite one with the four French chairs with the round table?   I like the four chairs and the round table.  See below:
I love this, although for the photo they moved the other two chairs out.  I love the green fabric with the pink.  Love the skirted table.
The view from the center section.
What a sweet face this priest has!
I think the King gives his Christmas Address to his countrymen,  from this room, standing up.  I could be wrong though.The side chairs and ottoman are moved out of the way.
In the Sotheby’s catalog of Princess Christina’s sale, there are a few photos of the house as it once was!  I wish I had the catalog, but it would have taken too long to get it here in the mail. 
Before:  Very blurry. Sorry!  Princess Christina painted the walls a deep peach.  Sapphire blue pillows after the royal color.  Oriental rug.  She used four sofas, two back to back, to create three seating areas.  Very pretty, but not as pretty as Maxima’s decor!!!
The orangery with its round skirted table pulled up to a French bench.  The A-Team – were always dressed alike as young girls.  Today – never!  The Crown Princess is in the center.  She will be Queen one day. Look how straight the youngest girl's back is!   I'm more slouchy like the one day queen!!  Teach them when they are young. 
I suppose this marble floor is what is in the foyer.  Love the curtain fabric  Wish we could see more of the decor.
The Library: The Library is more masculine and is where the Crown Prince saw visitors.  When he became King, he needed more space for official visitors. 
Bookcases line the walls in the library. 
BEFORE:  Here’s a real treat!  From the Sotheby’s catalog when Princess Christina had her auction after she had moved out of Villa de Eikenhorst!!  What a room!!!  Oriental red lacquer walls.And the baby’s cradle was brought downstairs for the photoshoot.  This is probably the eldest baby, you wouldn’t do this for the second or third child.  Such a pretty crown.
And there is this!  Remember, Willem-Alexander was crowned King five years before the family moved into the palace.  But he needed a large office to run the monarchy.  The solution was a type of trailer placed on the Eikenhorst land.Here is the King in the trailer!!!!   What a trailer!!Here is the new trailer/office the King installed for the five year restoration wait.  Kind of terrible looking – blocking the view and path to the orangery!!  Once the five years restoration was over – the family moved to the royal palace, Huis ten Bosch – House in the Woods.If it’s good enough for the King….But what happens to this house, Villa de Eikenhorst?
The King hinted that he was renting the house out to a foreign diplomat (which is a great idea since he owns the house.)  The rumors are that in the future, after the Crown Princess Catharina Amalia graduates college, she will move into the Villa Eikenhorst until her father King Willem Alexander abdicates and steps down.  If history repeats the King will move back into Villa Eikenhorst just like his ownmother did when she moved back into her octagonal house!!Got that?!?!This January the King finally moved, five years later, into his palace, Huis ten Bosch.  They didn’t have far to go, though.Their new palace, Huis ten Bosch is just 9 miles from their Villa.The palace was built in 1645 for Prince Frederik Hendrick as a summer house for him and his wife, below.  Through the years various royals have lived at the palace in the Hague.Amalia of Solms-BraunfelsBetween 1645 and 1652, the Princess of Orange, Amalia van Solms, designed and decorated the Huis ten Bosch, considered the best  preserved interior of the Dutch Golden Age.  In 1645, as the Dutch Republic was gaining independence – and Amalia’s husband was in poor health.  She was given land on which to build her own, personal palace.  It was used to show her family’s virtues and to place the House of Orange at center of Dutch identity.  The murals in Orange Hall tell the story of her Crown Prince, herself, and their family.
The original Huis ten Bosch palace with the wall around it – and no wings.  Notice the windmill out back!Originally, the palace consisted of only the central section which had a cupola over the Oranjezaal or Orange Hall.  The hall is covered in murals painted by numerous artists of that time in memory of Prince Frederik Hendrick whose wife, Amalia, . commissioned the palace.  He died soon after he moved in.
The original floorplan before the wings were built. Huis ten Bosch, the back side overlooking the gardens.  This was before the two wings were built.  You can see the rotunda over the Orange Hall here.  The three tall center windows on the second floor are the Orange Hall.
In the 1700s, the two wings were added along with a glorious dining room. One of the earlier photographs of the palace’s facade.I love this photo.  The carriage!   You can see a lot of the windows are half opened to let in cool fresh air.  Huis ten Bosch was built as a summer house only – with no heating, it was too cold for anyone to stay in during the long, cold winter months.                                                                                                                                                                         Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana watch a welcome home parade at Huis ten Bosch palace.During the many centuries, an assortment of royals lived in the palace most notably Queen Wilhelmina who permanently moved in during WW I.   During WWII she was forced to evacuate to England and the Nazis wanted to demolish the palace but were convinced not to.Many dignitaries came to call at the palace including Eleanor Roosevelt.
Queen Juliana and her Prince.    Love the paparazzi!!! The approach to the House in the Woods, before the restoration. Before:  the facade with the white paint.
After:  the more historically correct ivory paint and black accents. 
The facade, today.The Wassenaar Wing on the left is for the family and the Hague Wing on the right is for guests.
Today, the standard flies above the restored cupola.
Turn of the century back gardens with flowery and colorful bushes and vines.
Queen Beatrix with her fountain out back.
This summer - King Willem-Alexander and Maxima with the A-team out back with the new landscaping and painted facade.The floorplan for Huis ten Bosch:
1. Front vestibule2.  Orange Hall3. Chinese Hall4. Small Kitchen5.Dining Room   6. Japanese Hall7.  ?8. The King’s Office                   9.  The Green Room/DNA Room10.  The Blue Room11.  The Queen’s Study12.  The Library There are many Befores & Afters of the rooms. First, let’s look at the front foyer – the vestibule.   The vestibule contains two sets of stairs that lead up to the second level where the yellow ballroom is.   In between the stairs is the door to the fabulous Oranjezaal or Orange Hall with the murals that were painted in the 17th century.
An aerial view of the palace taken during renovation.  You can see the roof above the vestibule is raised - this is where the ballroom is.  Behind the vestibule is Orange Hall with its raised cupola.
A very early photo of the vestibule, probably during Queen Wilhelmina’s rule.  This niche on the right is no longer there.  Through the door you can see the Chinese Hall, which is still there today as it has been for centuries.The 1940s during Queen Juliana’s rule.  More sparse than before.
Before:  During Queen Beatrix’s rule – with the moldings painted green and new electrical lanterns.Another view of Queen Beatrix’s green and white vestibule. Queen Beatrix welcomes George H.W. Bush and Barbara to Huis ten Bosch. After:  Queen Maxima’s vestibule!   The stunner is the modern light fixture which hangs from two places on the ceiling.Studio Drift created the light using dandelion bulbs handpicked and glued seed by seed.  Stunning.
Maxima added a rug and curtains which softens and warms the room.   The same artwork was reused here.  Notice the twin benches.  Recovered, these were used at their former entry at Villa de Eikenhorst.And note:  Through the door is the Chinese Hall and through the second door is the Dining Room.
Looking towards the front door.I love this color on the walls – and its matte finish.  It looks like Farrow & Ball, but not sure if it is or what color it is, but it looks like F&B Red Room Library.Regardless, the colors of the vestibule are evocative of the Dutch Royal's Orange and Sapphire Blue. 
Through this door is the Blue Hall and on to the private wing. I love all the oversized oil portraits!The antique library table displays different floral arrangements depending on what functions will be held at Huis ten Bosch.l 0;
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I love the antique globes.  I adore this vestibule – royal but on a human scale.
I love this moody photo – the lighting,  it looks like a Dutch painting, minus the modern clothes.
Let’s go through the double doors into the famous Orange Hall.The view when you walk in – it looks out to the back garden.During the latest renovation, Queen Maxima had the murals cleaned and restored – they were damaged from dry rot.  Fortuny-like curtains at the windows.  Four brass chandeliers hang down from the cupola. From the late 1600s – this is fabulous.  You can see the actual drawings match up here.  Also – look at those scalloped seating areas by the windows!  Who are those for?  The King or others titled?   And look, people are sitting in the cupola area!!
AFTER:   A closer view up to the rotunda.


The wood floor meets in the center under the cupola.
Close up of the Fortuny curtains and the beautiful window hardware.The view of the back gardens out the three large windows in the Orange Hall.  Double staircases lead down to the garden.
Banquettes are placed around the room along with ottomans to go with the consoles.  The double doors are the ones that lead to the Japanese Hall.    This is a particularly beautiful  wall of murals.The view up to the rotunda.
The panels tell the story of the royal Orange family as related to the artists by Princess Amalia.     When the panels were removed for cleaning, a secret was discovered.  There is one panel that depicts Amalia and her daughters at this corner on the left between the console and the candlestick. 
 This panel is actually attached to a door that opened to Amalia’s room.  At parties, she would emerge from her portrait!!!  As best I can tell, her bedroom today called the Blue Room.
The front door.  Amalia’s panel is at the next to far right.
                                                                                                                                                                         0                                                           0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000003 The restoration.  To see what this wall looked like before it was restored some time ago – in the 20th century – look below:
Wow! The middle panel is not even there!  Shutters instead of curtains at the windows.  And what are all those packages of sand doing?  This shows you how involved the restorations truly are.
It’s hard to photograph the entire room – here you can see a dinner party through a special lens.  This door leads to the Japanese Hall.THE CHINESE HALL:Off the vestibule on the right, guest wing.   The Chinese Hall and Japanese Hall are both very old designs in the house.  I’ve tried to find if they are original to the house, but no luck. No date, from a hand tinted postcard – but this must be from early 1930 or 40s.  The chairs were reused later, but not much else was.  This fireplace, rug, chandelier, mirrors are all removed for the next remodeling in the 1940s.Apparently, the rice wallpaper was a gift from the East Orient Company – over two hundred years before.  The same is said of the paper in the neighboring Japanese Hall – which you can see through that through that open door. Perhaps the furniture and trinkets were also gifts which created the need to showcase them all in a designated “Chinese Hall.” Another photo from the same era.  There aren’t a lot of changes, but you can see the chandelier better and look at those lamps on the fireplace!                                                                               What?!?!    1943.  New fireplace mantel.   Here you can see the fireplace heater which is quite horrible looking.  The wallpaper was updated as were the moldings – now they have an Oriental theme.  There is beautiful lacquer furniture that remains today, as does the overmantel and doors.
For Queen Juliana the paper was removed and new carpet installed.  Later wallpaper was added, which rotted over the 30 years.Queen Juliana welcomes Robert and Ethel Kennedy to the Chinese Hall!
Today the Chinese Hall is totally restored and is gorgeous!  New wallpaper was provided with its original design.  The furniture was all recovered.  The lacquered pieces are gleaming, as is the chandelier and the molding.  New carpets were made.
The fire insert is restrained compared to other versions.   The official white dining room is through the closed door while the Japanese Hall is through the open doors.Restored ceiling moldings.And another view.  Just beautiful.
Through the door is another themed room, The Japanese Hall. There aren’t many before photos of the Japanese Hall because it hasn’t changed that much over the many years.  The biggest change today is the center urn is no longer there and the center table is today in the Chinese Hall, holding the clock.  Look at the piece on the center table!  Whoa!!!!Today, the murals are the same as are the lacquered doors.  The rug was copied from one used before.  I LOVE the blush pink on the daybed!!!  And the fireplace!!!  Be sure to notice the center medallion.Looking outside the French Doors.  What a fabulous room to serve tea to guest!!  Just fabulous!!  


And notice the corner medallions that match the center ones.
From this room you can enter the Orange Hall or another smaller room #7 on the map, unnamed!  I can’t figure out what room it is!!!
Plus there is a small hall that walks through a service kitchen that facilitates those teas!!
The hall from the Chinese Hall to the Dining Room and on through to the wing’s guest rooms.  From Queen Wilhelmina’s time.                                                                                    During renovation.  The hall that leads to the dining room and guest rooms. This is probably how the hall looked during Queen Beatrix's years - just plain with exposed heater pipes.
Today:  The same hall from opposite view,   fitted with modern art, curtains, and runner.                                                                                           The dining room has an interesting history in the palace, along with the ballroom located above the vestibule.The dining room was originally in the room above the vestibule – this was before the two wings were built.Queen Mary of Scots lived in the palace and wanted a chapel.  Out went the dining room and a chapel was put into its space – right above the vestibule.Once she moved out, there was no need for a chapel, but there was a need for a dining room.   The chapel above the vestibule became a very unholy ballroom and a beautiful dining room was built in the right, guest wing – next door to the  Chinese Hall!
Got that?!?!?!?
A 1934 photograph of the white dining room with its incredible moldings.
A vintage photo of the marble fireplace – the white dining room. 
 Dining Room today!Here you can see the gilding on the columns           – so beautiful. The ceiling.Wow. Just gorgeous!!! But, I have to say the tablecloth is awful.  They need to get another one - IMHO!
The view outside the dining room – it looks out to the front entry.  You can see the family wing from here.  Beautiful hardware!
During the renovation – new wiring was hidden in the paneling.
And – I LOVE this photo.  It shows the dining room with its raised ceiling into attic crawl space or the third floor. Leaving the White Dining Room we are going to see the Yellow Ballroom at the top of the vestibule - up these stairs.   Remember now, the Ballroom used to be the dining room, then a chapel, and now it is a ballroom.The ballroom is up the stairs on either side of the door to the Orange Hall.  Painted the same color as the vestibule - each stair leads to an upstairs foyer and in between the two foyers is the ballroom.   Maxima and Willem entertain formally here, first at the foyer and then in the ballroom.The foyers themselves are quite interesting:
The Right Foyer:  An early view of this foyer shows a sitting room furnished with Dutch antiques and art work.
Later, the furniture was removed while the antiques remained.  That desk is gorgeous and so is the armoire!!!!
    Today, after the renovation, the Right Foyer is more of a vestibule set up for greeting guests before they go to the ballroom for dinner or a state meeting.  It is the same color used in the vestibule downstairs – without the orange color.
And the view to this side of the room.
I wonder where the desk went to?  Hmm.Through these double doors is the ballroom. 
BEFORE:   The left side foyer is the mirror image of the right side foyer. 
Here, Obama pays a call to King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima who is commanding all of Obama’s attention, not that I blame him!  LOLThere is no photo of the left side foyer from the restoration.
The Ballroom Between the Two Foyers:
BEFORE:  In between the two staircase/foyers lies the ballroom, once the dining room and once the chapel.
Above, this is from Queen Beatrix rule.
Today – after the restoration, it looks much the same, except the art work.  There is more art work and it is symmetrically
hung.   Through the double doors is one of the two foyers.
Another side.  It’s almost like a Dutch art gallery.
The chandelier is gorgeous!  I love this photo of the ballroom.  
We’ve seen all the public rooms on the right side, the Hague Wing with its fantastic Chinese and Japanese Halls, so now we go to the left side, the Wassenaar Wing where the family rooms are.  There are several public receptions rooms in this wing and through the door here, you can peek into the first room – The Blue Salon.
The Blue Salon:
An early photo of the Blue Salon from 1938, Queen Wilhelmina’s reign.  Curtains hang over the doors.  Through this door is the second reception room – the Green Salon. (check the floorplan!!)This room, the Blue Salon is the match in size and location to the Chinese Hall while the Green Salon matches the Japanese Salon.
A bit later and edited.  I like the plate/sconces hanging next to the mirror, exactly like I would do!  And notice the chair next to the fireplace, quite exotic – as are the two matching chests on each side of the settee. A view towards the opposite side of the room.
The Blue Salon before the restoration.   Through the door is the Green Salon.
And during Queen Beatrix’s reign with Angela Merkel:  you can see how boring this room actually was.When renovating the room – Maxima talked about how dull the blue and green salons were compared to the Chinese and Japanese rooms – how they made the house seem lopsided.  Plans were made to make these two boring rooms more exciting – more modern, more works of art, just like Prince Frederik of Denmark had done to his palace.

The Blue Salon today!!!!  This shows the same view as above with the door leading to the Green Salon and the fireplace.  But, the excitement in the room is the treatment on the walls.  The walls are woven – and they depict the lives of Willem and Maxima – one  for each and one together.
Another view of the living scrapbook. It’s a fantastic work of art that took three years to produce.  You can look and pick out items and think – whose is this?  what is this?  Ever bit has been identified as something personal or important to the King and Queen's lives. Notice the two coffee tables?  They came from their old home Villa de Eikenhorst!!!  I assume other pieces of furniture came from their first home too.  Through the doors is the Green Salon - you can see the trim remains the same, as does the ceiling trim.  Although the walls have been updated, the architectural details have not, which is so nice. This view shows the door on the right that opens to the front vestibule.  The windows across the front facade have shutters and blue sheer shades that you can see in the fireplace mirror. Notice the contemporary lamps on the console.  And..now through this door at the left, visitors meet with the royals in Green Salon or the DNA Salon as it is known today.Ready for the DNA Salon?The Green Salon is in the position of the house as the Japanese Hall in the Hague Wing.   Just as the Blue Salon was hopelessly bland, the Green Salon too was in dire need of eye-catching beauty that matched the other rooms in the Hague Wing making the house look less lopsided as Maxima complained.She told the designers that the Chinese and Japanese Halls were so breathtaking that all the important visuals were on that side of the house.  With the new Blue and Green Salons - that all changed.Through the jib door next to the fireplace is the King palace office.  His main office is in another castle.
The beautiful wall of windows in the old Green Salon.
AFTER:   The DNA Salon!  That is not wallpaper.            It’s mini bricks that make up a combination of Maxima and Willem’s DNA.  Done in shades of their trademark orange, it looks like shimmering gold.  Amazing and gorgeous.  Stunning actually. 
The double doors from the Blue Salon open onto   DNA Salon. Here’s a photo of the DNA wall being installed. And here is a closeup of the DNA  bricks – you can see the light orange is flat while the darker orange bricks are textured.60,000 bricks were used which follow selected pieces of Maxima’s and Willem’s DNA.
The boring bland Green Salon is now the grand combination of art and science:  DNA.
I love the way the gold and orange blend together and make the color undulate.  Through the double doors is the Blue Salon. 
This collection of silver came with the King and Queen from their house - Villa de Eikenhorst. Do you remember seeing them there?
Genes for Alzheimer and cancer were not used on the wall.  For Willem-Alexander’s DNA, a piece was chosen from the Y Chromosome inherited from his father and which defines his masculinity.  It was the DNA that made the king, the king – the scientist said.  Maxima’s DNA is what she shares with her three daughters.This is just a tiny bit of information about the wall.  There is more information about the common Dutchman's DNA on the wall.  You need to go the link to read more if you are interested in DNA as an art!!!
To see more of the artist, Jacob van der Beugel, who created the DNA room, go HERE.#8 – Through the jib door in the DNA Salon is the King’s Office - modern and masculine with caramel leather.  Love that portrait.Can you imagine getting to decorate with century old portraits???  Must be nice.  Doubt the King even looks at it once a day, if that much.  The portrait is actually the father of the line – Willem van Oranje.
This door leads to the back corridor off the Orange Hall.  Another leads to the DNA Salon.
More modern versus antique. That clock!!!!  A new window was added to the King’s office, which before was his mother’s office.  It lets in more light in what was once a rather dark place. BEFORE:   Originally, this was what is today the Queen’s private office. at #11 on the floorplan.



And today, #11 looks like this -  Queen Maxima’s office with the mural wallpaper and a fabulous Dutch cabinet.  Just a gorgeous antique.  The sapphire blue is the standard color of the Orange family. The beautiful wallpaper with the Dutch cabinet and blue and white above – all gorgeous!   The Delft is so much finer and more beautiful than regular transferware.  But it's so much more expensive that everyone gets the transferware instead!   But dang, it's beyond gorg!!
A larger view of Maxima’s office.  The handpainted panorama wallcovering comes from the Galerie Ananbo Wallpapers. HERE.
Queen Maxima’s office overlooks the front facade of the house.And right next door to Max's office is the library in sapphire blue, of course!  The light fixture and wallpaper ties it in with the office.That's all the photos of their old house and the new palace.  The second palace is more ceremonial but it has been renovated too.      The bottom floor with its glorious arches host a kitchen and a garden room.
And the last two times the Queen was seen out and about - here with King Willem-Alexander.  Maxima is wearing a bit shorter, fuller skirts recently.  And the King is in his ever sapphire blue and orange.                                                                                    And here in a silk ensemble, again, fuller and shorter.Can't wait to see what 2020 brings.  All I know is it is great having a new royal who seems wonderfully happy in her role.  And here's to a happy and healthy 2020 to all of you and your families!!! x
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37 comments :

  1. This was another stunner, Joni!!
    As you know I live in the Netherlands, so Maxima and Alexander are my Queen and King.
    Reading about them and the restored Palace from the perspective of somebody 'not from the Netherlands' is just great and interesting.
    As usual you dig up info and pics I have never seen.
    I was lucky to have been inside the palace, that is NOT open to the public....(cannot say why I was there) So it was lovely to see the professional pics of the end result.
    Thank you for this wonderful post. I am forwarding it to all my friends.
    CHeers and happy weekend.
    Your friend in Holland.
    Ron

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    1. I thought about you the entire time!!!!!! HOw lucky you are to have such a great Queen and King! Can't imagine!!!!!!

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  2. I love this post. Queen Maxima (the highest, the most) was aptly named by her parents. Notice she is continuously smiling.

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  3. You certainly do your homework, Joni! Thank you for this most thorough visit. Very interesting as well as your comments.

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  4. never read any article wish you this much of inside get to learn a lot which you this much of inside get to learn a lot about the houses and the life of Royal peoples love to read more from you I also write a blog but I can't write this Deep and informative you have done lot of research for writing a single article which is what actually needed

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  5. Learn a lot from this post from where do you collect this much of information your research is very strong and also the image you added put some visuals in our mind about the houses and all wish I have any Telegram aur WhatsApp group where I can get this information do you have any WhatsApp group which I can join through WhatsApp group link ok or you can also suggest me your Telegram channel link if you have your Telegram channel so that I can get a deeper insight and get to know your blog article and what you posted here as a notification really want to read search research article

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  6. I am so happy to see you posting. I worried that something had happened--glad it was just research!
    You do a fantastic job, as ever. I always was struck by the love of orange in the Netherlands.
    Another European royal for you: Mathilde of Belgium. I almost met her once. It was about 20 years ago, when I had a glamorous life. I was at the palace for an event and saw her nearby and she looked familiar. But I didn't place her as the princess. I thought, oh, she must be somebody I met somewhere and I should say hello. I started moving toward her, and then noticed a couple of burly guys coming toward me. I looked at her again and did a Homer Simpons-esque "Doh!" It's the princess (well, she was princess then). I turned and went to the bar instead.
    I am very impressed that Maxima seems so relaxed and happy and normal. Also that she isn't Botoxed. She is still beautiful and it is nice to see expression on her face.

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    1. omg-that is hysterical!!!!!! Cant imagine being in a palace and meeting the princess. Great story!!!!!

      She's not botoxed - yet. I wonder if she will. What a smile!

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  7. Thank you Joni! I was always so obsessed with Shy Di. Our birthdays are one day apart. My oldest son’s name is Max. I am now girl crushing on Queen Maxima.

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  8. I think I remember a Chinese or Japanese room in the palace in Vienna and Edinburgh. Am I wrong? It must have been in vogue!

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    1. oh no! don't get me started !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a rabbit hole.
      I think the Netherlands had it because of their East Orient Co. etc.

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  9. I have been to 81 countries, and the Netherlands is by far my favorite. I go there every year and have bicycled all over the country, even past the lane leading to their home. The Dutch are hard workers, and very kind. I have many friends there. Thank you for this informative post.

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    1. One more thing......the Dutch love Maxima.

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    2. I can only imagine. YOu need to meet Ron Von Impel who lives there! He makes the most fabulous lamps. Google him. He would love to meet you one summer.

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  10. I love this article and the design is awesome!

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  11. Joni, I just love your post. Let me count the years, a decade I have followed you? I very long time and you are so fun, love your sense of humor,
    (the world needs more of to me), and taste. I agree with you so much, I am flattered to know that secretly, lol lol. I love design, fabrics, clothes,
    before and afters, gardens, it truly is inspiring. My best to your husband & you for 2020! XO suzanna from Florida

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    1. So sweet!!!!!!!!!!! Same to you for 2020.
      Thanks!!!!
      J

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  12. Joni, a wonderful post - you have done so much research. The very talented Belgian dress designer Edouard Vermeulen is responsible for many of Maxima's outfits, ditto for many of the trendy young European royalty. Edouard's stunning Villa featured in Verandah magazine a few years back. Now there is a project for you!
    Many thanks for the hours you have dedicated to this post. Greetings from The Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand. Kay

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    1. New Zealand?!?!?! Wow!!!

      I figured Vermeulen was behind her clothes but they just don't confirm that anywhere. I know his house - the gorgeous green paneled one. Incredible. Hmmm. I do need a new topic to cover! lol

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  13. Love, love, love. But Joni in all the big rooms the furniture seating looks small and underwhelming. How would you remedy that?

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    1. I think it's because they are used as reception rooms - the Blue and DNA Salons - the ones I think you mean?
      The offices are furnished perfectly and her house was too.
      I'm sure if those rooms were just for private living only they would have more furniture - which is what they need.

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  14. This was such an interesting and enjoyable post. Thank you! I would love a book with all you blog posts and photos in it,
    XX
    Bo Bryant

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  15. Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative

    posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us.

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  16. What a fabulous post! Many thanks for your thorough research. The Dutch royal family have superb taste. Clever in every way. And those Jewels! Surely they have outdone the BRF by a long, long stretch. The DNA lined room! Brilliant!

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  18. Wow, Joni. Amazeballs. Outdid yourself. I gasped at her Dutch sapphire blue inauguration day attire...woww. I can't point to one thing I found more interesting than another. Thank you for your work (passion) and sharing this with us!!

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    1. She's something else. Those jewels were wasted until she came along. Amazing how much better they look on a gorgeous woman.

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  19. This was a beautiful post. It had to have taken you forever to find and post all of these wonderful photos. I noticed,in the pictures where people are seated and talking, there never is a beverage served. Is it not "proper" to serve a guest a drink of any kind? Just wondering. Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us. It is a delight to see, and "learn" also.

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  20. Whoops, I did go back to check, and I see a couple of photos with a glass of juice on the table. Guess I should have been paying better attention. Thanks again!!!

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    1. ok Bonnie!! Glad you went back. There aren't but a very few of people seated anyway.

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  21. I appreciate that you became enamored/obsessed of this particular woman, but this is not a thesis for your doctorate, Joni! It was hard to wade through so very, very much. It's probably just that I'm not as completely interested in this person as you are. How about less intensity (1/2 or 1/3 as long would have still been long) and more frequent posts instead? Like I said, I guess this person is interesting; just not quite THAT interesting for me anyway. You must be exhausted.

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  22. most people just scan and look at the photos anyway. no one has to read it !!!
    I'm not exhausted - I love it. Sorry to disappoint. lol

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  23. I like the fact that she has a bit of pudge on her. Makes her feel more relatable.

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  24. Another home run for Joni. Thank you so much for all the research- fascinating from tip to toe. Maxima seems like a lovely lady. And yes, the Dutch are very kind people.

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