1,8 Million Viewers For ‘Bernhard, Scoundrel of Orange’

  January 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm by

Click on image to see photo at mediacourant.nl

The first episode of the television series ‘Bernhard, schavuit van Oranje’ (Bernhard, Scoundrel of Orange), about the late prince Bernhard of The Netherlands attracted more than 1,8 million viewers yesterday. According to the scenario writer Tomas Ross, three other episodes will follow.

In each episode another woman in the life of the prince will be highlighted. In the first episode it was the mother of the prince, Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld who pushed him with a soft but steady hand towards a wedding with the heiress to the Dutch throne, princess Juliana. Ross uses a lot of fiction and rumours about the prince in this story. In the first episode there were already references to the so-called Stadholders letter. Some say that in this letter prince Bernhard offered his services to the Nazi’s and suggested that he would become stadholder of the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation. Not the slightest evidence for such a letter has ever been found however.

Click on image to see picture at royalblog.nl

The plot starts on 1 May 2003, when princess Máxima visits Soestdijk Palace after Queens Day (April 30th). During the conversation between the princess, prince Bernhard and princess Juliana it becomes clear that the prince was responsible for arranging the meeting between Máxima and prince Willem-Alexander. With a lot of flashbacks all the different moments form the life of the prince such as his engagement period, the war, his alleged involvement with Eva Perron and his role in the Greet Hofmans crisis become clear. Queen Juliana is played by the 88 year old actress Ellen Vogel. She plays a Juliana whose memory is troubled, but who can be very sharp at the same time. In an interview with GDP newspaper Vogel says that she was moved by the comment of Eric Schneider, who played the older prince Bernhard. At the end of his life the prince says about his wife to princess Máxima: ‘I was abandoned by many, but not by her’.

The series does not pretend to factual correct, in some cases Ross actually changed the truth on purpose, but it is a quick drama about the life of the prince where the truth and fiction meet. The success of the series is not very surprising, an earlier drama about the engagement period, the marriage and the war of Juliana and Bernhard, aired by the EO, also attracted a lot of viewers, while the recent publication of the book on the wedding crisis of the royal couple by professor Fasseur was a Bestseller, which got a lot of attention (and critisism) in the press.

Click here to see the trailer of ‘Bernhard, schavuit van Oranje’.

Click here to see the first episode of the series online.

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