The relationship with the British royal family has always been warm: “You have to give it a human dimension”

Royals from all over the world attend today’s service. Relations between the Dutch and British royal families are excellent, says former ambassador to the UK Simon Smits on Good Morning Holland. “You can see that well in the salute Queen Elizabeth gave when our King and Queen paid state visits in the 1980s.”

Smits witnessed many visits between the two royal families. He says: “William-Alexander and Máxima spent the night with us on the official visit with Elizabeth, Charles and Camilla and then took them at our house to come with us. They got there in two cars.” Then they went on their way to the official part.”

Royal family expert Justine Marcella also confirmed the good relationship. “Elizabeth was certainly the Queen of Queens. I think he and Beatrix together: that was indeed exemplary in their behaviour.” However, she says there is also a generational difference. The relationship between the Orange family and the Danish royal family is somewhat warmer in this regard. “It’s not that the Orangemen will come to them for a birthday visit.”

accessible and human size

In any case, Smits notes, Charles’s accessibility is appreciated. “You have a few occasions where you have been invited to Buckingham Palace as an ambassador. A state visit is of course more intimate and you have more contacts,” he says. “I remember Charles when my wife and I greeted him: ‘I didn’t realize you lived here.’ This is because the Crown Estate had evicted us from our old official residences because they weren’t willing to pay a large amount of rent, and then the Foreign Office bought this house. ‘Oh my God, oh my! She has a pity.”

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According to the former ambassador, Charles also has to rely primarily on his humanity. “He invited us to Poundberry, which is an experimental city that he developed himself. He’s very fierce against ugly architecture and building blocks and he said, ‘You have to give it a human dimension.’” Poundbury consists of a small center where everything is mixed: schools, housing and businesses. “Everything is a ten minute walk from the centre. Not only is he a man with great ideas, but he also puts them into practice. I find that very special.”

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Written by: Matthijs Meulblok

Megan Vasquez

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