Saturday, 6 August 2016

Royal Palace 't Loo

The main part of the palace
In the middle of the Netherlands, near Apeldoorn is the little palace of ‘t Loo. It is situated in the woods (Loo is an old Dutch word for forest). This used to be one of the palaces of the Dutch royal family, but it is a museum now.

In 1684 stadhouder of the Dutch republic (governor) William III of Orange (he was the one who was married to Mary Stuart) bought this estate. 

There was an old hunting lodge, but William wanted to build a new palace and when he became king of Engeland in 1688, the palace had to be a bit bigger to fit his new status. So new wings were added and the gardens were designed into a formal French style.

In later years the palace was used mainly as a summer residence by stadhouders (governors) of The Dutch Republic. 

In 1795, when the French invaded, the last stadhouder, William V, fled to England.
During the French invasion, king Louis Napoleon (brother of Napoleon) used the little palace, but he wanted to change a few things. He transformed the garden into an English landscape-garden, and plastered the whole palace white from the outside.
Cosy little room
When Napoleon was defeated and The Netherlands became a monarchy in 1813 (the son of stadhouder William V was to become king William I), Palace ‘t Loo was to be used as a summer residency again.

Queen Wilhelmina and queen Juliana both spend a great deal of their childhood in this palace and queen Wilhelmina lived here after her abdication in 1948 until her death in 1962.
The last royal inhabitants were princess Margriet (sister of Queen Beatrix) and her husband, who lived here until 1975.

The palace was to be converted into a museum and in the years that followed there were major reconstructions. The white plaster from the outside was removed, the gardens were restored into the original baroquestyle of William and Mary and the rooms were renovated and furbished as they had been in the old days.
Playroom of then princess Wilhelmina.
When she was 10 years old and became queen,
she was not allowed to play with her dolls anymore. 

The palace is not a big palace, and many rooms are actually quite cosy. They have tried to give you as much information about the royal family who used this palace and the different rooms they used. 
This chair was embroidered by queen Anna Pavlovna
There is the bedroom of William III, the sitting room of Anna Pavlovna (who was married to King William II), the sitting room of queen Emma (mother of queen Wilhelmina) and the workroom of queen Wilhelmina or the bathroom of queen Wilhelmina.
Sitting room of queen Emma 
It has been ages since I last visited the museum, but a couple of weeks ago, I went there again. I loved to see it and I liked how modern some rooms felt, or how homely. The workroom of queen Wilhelmina looks like a lovely room with a huge desk full of knickknacks and little things she must have loved. I would not mind working in a room like that!

Desk of queen Wilhelmina
The gardens were also amazing and we really enjoyed walking here, sitting on benches and enjoying the beautiful flowers, but I'l tell you more about that in a seperate post. 

If you want a little overview of the Dutch royal family: HERE is an article I wrote when queen Beatrix abdicated in 2013 which gives some background. 

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