0662 – Royalty

Prince Harry says fatherhood has given him ‘new focus and goal in life’ as he speaks of loss of his mother

The Duke of Sussex has spoken of how his three-day-old son Archie has “given him a new focus and goal”, teaching him the “miracle” of new life after the challenges he faced following the loss of his mother. The Duke, who was in The Hague for the launch of the one year countdown to the Invictus Games, told of his pleasure in knowing his baby had made “a lot of people happy”, saying he was still “very quiet” at just a few days old. Having left Archie at home in Windsor with the Duchess to return for one day of work, he spoke of the joy his baby son has brought but advised a fellow father-to-be to learn his lessons and not plan too much after the baby’s arrival.

During a bike ride around the Zuiderpark, the Duke had a candid conversation with former soldier Dennis van der Stroom, 31, about mental health and parenting, speaking poignantly of the loss of Diana, Princess of Wales. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Monday morning, with the Duke appearing to abandon the idea of paternity leave with one engagement today another already announced for Tuesday.

“Above all, he said he was just The Duke of Sussex (R) makes a bike ride with Dutch athlete Dennis Van Der Stroom (L)  by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy,” said Mr Van der Stroon. “He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet.“ But he also told me not to make too many plans and that there’s no way you can plan for when the baby arrives. The Invictus athlete, who served in the army from 2006 until 2011, described his conversation with the Duke as “amazing and emotional”. “At a certain moment, we just got connected on this level,” he said. “We talked about how my wife, Mireille, is 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, a girl, and he told me how special it was that his son has just been born. “Harry talked about how having a small child was his new focus and new goal and I told him how a couple of months ago, I was struggling with my mental health but my wife’s pregnancy has given me a goal.”

Van der Stroon was a Corporal First Class and served on operations in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. In 2014 his mother, Marion, died aged 58 from chronic lung disease, and in 2015 he was diagnosed with PTSD, triggering what he described as a “domino effect” of mental health issues. “I told Harry about my mother and we talked about our shared experience of missing a mum,” he said. “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is presented with an Invictus Games baby grow by Princess Margriet of The Netherlands during the launch of the Invictus GamesThe Duke, who had pretended to prop his eyes open with tiredness as he arrived at a sports stadium in The Hague, will travel home with a new soft rattle toy, a stuffed bird, some newborn socks with “I love Daddy” written on them, and a special Invictus Games babygrow for Archie. His branded jacket was embroidered with the word “Daddy”. Chatting to a friend in the arena, he discussed how fatherhood was the “best thing he will ever do”.

JJ Chalmers, a former Invictus star and broadcaster who has become a friend of the Prince, disclosed: “He said it’s amazing but it’s hard work. He said that Archie slept for the first 24 hours like all babies do… and then he woke up.”


Nice Lion King Backgrounds iphone background the lion king flickr photo sharing

I got two free tickets for The Lion King in the AFAS-Circus Theatre in the Hague. As I had not been to a musical since at least 30 years (Jesus Christ Superstar in London), I was lucky to get them. As Pierre is not a musical fan, I called my friend Roel (pic below) in the Hague. He was immediately enthoustic about the idea to go together. And because the musical lasts more than 3 hours, I accepted his offer to stay over the night.







Dinner in Scheveningen, conveniently close to the theatre, at “La Galleria”, an Italian restaurant.









0366 – The Hague

At the AFAS Circus Theatre in The Hague with my friend Roel, on March 8, 2018. That is tomorrow in four weeks 🙂 🙂 🙂

0181 – The Hague

Krikke is third female mayor of large cities

It is the first working day Pauline Krikke (55), the first female mayor of The Hague. It’s 2017, so it would not be special. Yet it is not often that a woman at the helm of the city-state. In the four major cities is only the third woman ever allowed to bear the title mayor. Jozias van Aartsen (VVD, 2008-2017), Wim Deetman (CDA 1996-2008) and Ad Havermans (CDA 1985-1996). These are the last mayors of the royal residence. No woman in sight. In Amsterdam, there has never appointed a woman and Rotterdam can not distinguish well. The only city of the four major who stands out from the rest is Utrecht. From 1981 -1992 stood Lien Vos-van Gortel (VVD) at the helm and from 1999-2008 was that Annie Brouwer-Korf (PvdA).

Who is Krikke?
The origins of Friesian lives in Arnhem, but has definitely been feeling the Government city. Until March 7 she was a member of the Senate, and they had to be in this city. That is why they have a pied-à-terre in the Square. This time, from September 3, 2001 to July 1, 2013, she was Mayor of Arnhem. In her farewell as Mayor of Arnhem Krikke was appointed Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau. Previously, she was an alderman in Amsterdam.

Van Aartsen praise: Fantastic mayor of The Hague
Former mayor Jozias van Aartsen has now truly passed the baton to Pauline Krikke, installed since tonight as Mayor of The Hague. Van Aartsen, the town at least in good hands. He himself once her must learn the tricks of the trade. In preparation for his mayoralty Hague he was looking for someone who could help him on his way. ,,I was no mayor, sometime in February 2008, I believe, and I thought, I have to find a mayor I do not know so well. So no Job Cohen and Ivo Opstelten”, Van Aartsen says. And he came to Pauline Krikke, who was mayor of Arnhem. ,,I have with her as a fantastic evening in Arnhem. It was a very pleasant conversation, in which she explained how she did that box.”

And with success, Van Aartsen presents smiling. ,,I have only received praise recently, I think that was partly due to her.” According to the former mayor, and also honorary citizen of the Hofstad, the Krikke strength lies in dealing with people. ,,The Hague gets a very good, very concerned and later mayor is fantastic in The Hague. I can so confidently back home.”

Eindelijk kreeg Pauline Krikke vanmiddag de Haagse ambtsketen omgehangen.

Proud Krikke: It feels great
Proud as a peacock stood Pauline Krikke, with the chain of office obtained tonight around her neck, to the press. “I have long looked out.” ” It feels great”, said the new mayor of The Hague brilliant to this newspaper. ,,It was a very quick process, so it’s happened very quickly, but I’m happy that I can now really start today.” Thus begins her a time to the city and get to know the people in the city. ,,If you look at from the outside The Hague, you see the embassies, the Parliament and the Royal Family, but I zieook half a million citizens of The Hague with whom I want to build a good relationship.” That ambition is shaped by a tour of the city, where Pauline Krikke goes to places that they really should not miss as AD readers. It is in her be a while before she has already seen those places. ,,The Hague is a very big city, with many different aspects. I am very pleased that the judges, officials, municipal and readers of AD help me there to find a way. I look forward to meeting lots of people and get to know many places in The Hague.” Officially Krikke still lives in Arnhem, where she was mayor for twelve years, but in their own words they will be most in her pied-à-terre on the Square. ,,First we have to sell our house in Arnhem and then we go to buy a house in The Hague.”

0099 – The Hague

The Hague – Mauritshuis – Royal Collection

The principal responsible to build the Mauritshuis was Count Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen, then Governor General of Dutch Brazil. This city palace between mauritshuis251020071633 and 1644 built by Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. Van Campen transferred his part of the work to Pieter Post, as both also worked on the Huygens House near the Mauritshuis at the same time, but all was finished in 1637. The building of the Mauritshuis took so long as John Maurice in 1636 for a 20161117_134252_001period of more than seven years went to Brazil and there was no rush. Another problem was the briidge which was on the site of the current building. This was not to be broken before a new bridge was built with a new gate to the Courtyard, the current Grenadiers Gate. The Mauritshuis should not be confused with the Maurice Tower, located on the west side of the Courtyard, named after governor Maurits van Oranje. The square building was built in Dutch Classicist style and stands on a high pedestal. The facade of the building has a cornice supported by Ionic columns with the known curl in the capital. It swung roof and the use of brick is typically Dutch. Because the stone provided central portion protrudes slightly (called risalit), the building resembles a Roman temple. This style is often used by supporters of Renaissance ideals. Before mauritshuis25102008Johan Maurits in Brazil came back he had sent all tropical timber to the Netherlands for the stairwell. He himself took more kinds of valuables such as skins, Native American weapons, corals, stuffed animals and paintings by Brazilian subjects (slaves, plants, villages). These were hung in the vestibule and staircase. Many Brazilian valuables he donated to other princes. Family portraits were in the large mauritshuis25102009room at the back of the house. In the hall on the first floor he hung portraits of members of other royal families. His bedroom and office were on the first floor left. In his office hung paintings on the courageous fight against the Spaniards. In his bedroom stood a bust of his employer, the Prince of Brandenburg. Shortly after the Mauritshuis in 1644 was completed Johan Maurits moved in 1647 to mauritshuis25102000Germany where he was governor of Cleves. He then just used his Hague city palace during diplomatic visits. As a Hotel Condition: high guests from the States of Holland were housed. In 1660 this was as part of the Dutch Gift a great banquet offered to King Charles II of England. On the ground floor is to recognize something of the splendor of the golden hall. After the death of Maurice in 1679 the Mauritshuis purchased by the Hague mortgagee Maes remains rent to the state. Meeting of the Committee for the Improvement of Rhyme Psalms of the States General in the Mauritshuis in 1773. In 1704 the Mauritshuis was severely damaged by fire. There was a raffle organized by the heirs of Maes to finance the rebuilding. The rebuilding was completed in 1720. The States of Holland rents again. In 1773 there 121 times gathered to arrive at the new metrical psalms of 1773. The Council of the Colonies settled there.

Visiting museum “Mauritshuis”, next to the Prime Minister MARK RUTTE’s office. We started with the permanent collection.

We continued with the Dutch masters and the Royal Collection.






20161117_135758Jan Steen was the son of an Havick Steen, a grain merchant and brewer, and Elisabeth Capiteyn. They were married in 1625 as Catholics for the ships and in all probability only then married in a clandestine church. Jan was the oldest of eight children. Like his even more famous contemporary Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen attended the Latin School in Leiden. In 1646 he enrolled at the University of Leiden, but that probably had more to do with privileges, such as exemption from militiary service and beverage tax, then with serious career plans. He received painting lessons in Utrecht Nicolaus Knüpfer, a German painter of historical and figurative scenes. Influences of Knüpfer can be found in Steen’s use of composition and color. Another source of inspiration was Adriaen van Ostade, a painter of peasant life, who lived in Haarlem. It is not known whether Steen actually pupil of Van Ostade has been. In 1648 Jan Steen was admitted to the painters’ guild of St. Luke founded that year in Leiden and worked with Gabriel Metsu. In 1649 Jan Steen moved in with landscape painter Jan van Goyen in The Hague and married his daughter Margaret. Both painters worked together for five years. In 1654 he became a member of the local militia. Steen moved in all likelihood to Delft, where he ran the tavern De Slange without much success. The local economy went into the doldrums after an explosion in which many homes were destroyed and known as the Delft thunderclap. From 1656/1657 till 1660 he lived in Warmond from 1660 till 1670 in Haarlem, where he experienced his most productive period. Nevertheless, he still paid off debts from Delft in this period. In 1669, his financial situation improved only in the spring his wife died. A year later, his father died and Steen moved back to Leiden, where he would live the rest of his life in the house he inherited from his parents. In 1671 he was elected head of the artists’ guild. In 1672 Jan Steen opened a tavern The Peace. April 22, 1673 he married Maria van Egmont, with whom he had two children. His debts were again high in the period after the art market slackened as a result of the Disaster Year. In 1674 he was re-elected head of the Guild of Saint Luke. In this time the painter was often accompanied by Frans van Mieris, and according to Arnold Houbraken and Jacob Campo Weyerman was then largely spent drinking. Jan Steen died in 1679 and was buried in the family grave in the Pieterskerk in Leiden. His daughter Catherine married the marine painter Jan Porcellis.















0059 – The Hague

The Hague – Mauritshuis

The famous Royal Collection, managed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, contains highlights from the oeuvres of famous painters such as Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu and Jan Steen.
For this exhibition are selected genre paintings by Dutch masters of the Golden Age. Here we see life itself: peasants fighting, flirting ladies and gentlemen, but also loving mothers or an ordinary shopkeeper.


Johannes Vermeer

The absolute highlight of the exhibition is Lady at the virginal with a gentleman ( “The Music Lesson”) by Johannes Vermeer. “The Music Lesson” is one of the rare pieces of Johannes Vermeer who have survived a total of 36 paintings. The painting from around 1660-1662 shows a lady and a gentleman in a virginal. Above this musical is a mirror that reflects the foot of Vermeer’s easel. Without doubt the music in this painting symbolizes love, which further emphasized by the Latin motto on the virginal. The painting was acquired in 1762 by King George III, but stood still book as a work of Frans van Mieris the Elder. Only became clear later that it was a work of Vermeer.


Jan Steen

Another highlight of the exhibition Woman in a Jan Steen bedroom from 1663. We see a woman who, judging by the marks above her calves, not buying her sock but pulled out, said she looks at the viewer. Here too there is an amorous context. Contemporaries were fond of this kind of performances. That physical pleasure is fleeting, Stone made clear by depicting the skull in the doorway, under a lute with a broken string.

The Royal Collection and Mauritshuis

The exhibition Dutch house: Vermeer and contemporaries from the British Royal Collection is the result of a collaboration between the Royal Collection and the Mauritshuis. Under the title Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer was shown earlier this exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace, London, and The Queen’s Gallery at The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.