Queen Beatrix on April 13 re-opened the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum on Monday will see her close her 33 year reign with a dinner in its Gallery of Honour. After that all that will be left for the 75-year old monarch is to sign the Act of Abdication in the Royal Palace, Tuesday morning. The moment her signature is on paper her son Willem-Alexander will be the new King.
Royal guests from around the world have been invited to the farewell dinner of Queen Beatrix, who succeeded to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on April 30, 1980. Her family will be present too, along with other special guests in the most prestigious Gallery of the Netherlands’ most prestigious museum.
Rembrandt’s world famous Nightwatch will be the background to the gathering of most of the wordl's heirs to the throne, including of course the Dutch King-in-waiting Willem-Alexander and his wife Máxima. At the same time the guests are sitting down for dinner Queen Beatrix will address the nation in a pre-recorded and much anticipated farewell speech.
The Queen extended her reign long enough to see the re-opening of the Rijksmuseum, which closed for refurbishing and renovation late 2003. ‘The renovation, which cost 375m Euros (£320m), had been delayed by flooding, asbestos and a cycle access dispute’, the BBC reported earlier this month.
The reviews of the revamped museum however have been uniform in their praise.
‘The rejuvenated Rijksmuseum is back at the heart of Amsterdam, and it is time that you came back to this most creative of cities, which decorates the map of Europe so elegantly’, The Independent wrote.
‘Never has a national museum reopened to such scenes of fervency. The restored, extended and rejigged Rijksmuseum is a triumph of curatorial intelligence and sensitivity. Once again - at last - the world can experience the richness of the greatest art tradition ever produced by a tiny, sea-hemmed nation: from Vermeer to Van Gogh, Rembrandt to Mondrian’, the Daily Telegraph said.
The Queen’s opinion is not known, but by selecting the Rijksmuseum for her final public appearance as queen – apart from the abdication – she is showing her approval. Read also: Queen Beatrix reopens Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.
© RoyalblogNL, Hans Jacobs. Photos of the re-opening.