The Netherlands

Princess Christina’s coffin moved to mourning chapel


©RVD - Emannuela Loddo

The coffin containing the remains of Princess Christina of the Netherlands – who died last week at the age of 72 – has been placed in the mourning chapel of the Fagel’s Garden Pavilion on the grounds of Noordeinde Palace.

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The simple wooden coffin is decorated with her sunflowers – Princess Christina’s favourite flowers. In front of the coffin, the insignia of the Order of the Netherlands Lion is displayed. Princess Christina was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion on 18 February 1965. Several other yellow flowers decorate the small chapel and the ribbons show that they are all from her family – including her nephew King Willem-Alexander and his family.

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Princess Christina will be cremated following a private ceremony on Thursday. She will be the first Dutch royal to be cremated.

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Members of the Dutch Royal House are normally interred in the royal crypt in Delft, however, Princess Christina ceased to be a member of the Dutch Royal House when she married Jorge Pérez y Guillermo in 1975. She remained a member of the Royal Family. The last to be interred in the royal crypt were Princess Christina’s parents, former Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, who both died in 2004.

King Willem-Alexander’s brother Prince Friso – who died in 2013 after a long coma after he was buried under an avalanche – was also not interred in the royal crypt, and he was instead buried at Lage Vuursche, near Castle Drakensteyn where Princess Beatrix lives.

Princess Christina was born on 18 February 1947 as the daughter of the future Queen Juliana, who reigned from 1948 until her abdication in 1980, and Prince Bernhard. Her elder sister Beatrix was Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 until her abdication in 2013. She was born nearly blind because her mother had contracted rubella while pregnant with her. Princess Christina was one of four sisters. She married Jorge Guillermo in 1975, and they went on to have three children together: Bernardo, Nicolás and Juliana. She renounced her rights to the succession upon marriage and converted to Catholicism in 1992. They were divorced in 1996.

Princess Christina was a singer and also focussed on dance and sound therapy.