Dutch Royal Honor the ‘Soldier of Orange’

  November 1, 2010 at 7:13 am by

View image at PPE

Various members of the Dutch royal family attended the premiere of the muscial ‘Soldaat van Oranje’ (soldier of Orange) at a special theatre on the former militairy airport of Valkenburg. The musical is based on the WWII memories of Erik Hazelhoff-Roelfzema (1917-2007), a Dutch RAF pilot and spy. In 1977 Paul Verhoeven already made a movie of the book, and now the plot was adapted for the musical by Edwin de Vries.

Hazelhoff Roelzema was a friend of the royal family. During the war he became an adjudant to Queen Wilhelmina and he befriended Prince Bernhard. After the war he and his wife Karin frequently received the prince in their house on Maui.

He accompanied Queen Wilhelmina back to the Netherlands in May 1945, and piloted the airplane in which Princess Beatrix and Princess Irene flew back to the Netherlands from Canada. Hazelhoff Roelfzema helped Beatrix walk her first steps on liberated Dutch soil. During the enthronement ceremony of Queen Beatrix he was one of the two kings-of-arms. Hazelhoff Roelzema was also the godfather of prince Pieter-Christiaan (son of Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven).

View image at webregio.nl

View image at webregio.nl

So it was no surprise that various members of the royal family went to see the musical. Princess Irene arrived together with Karin Hazelhoff Roelzema, prince Pieter-Chritiaan arrived with his wife Anita and Queen Beatrix attended the premiere as well, wearing a nice diamond and sapphire necklace. The premiere was also attended by the mayors of the Hague and Almere, various Dutch actors and by Marja van Bijsterveld, the new minister of Education & Culture.

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One Response to Dutch Royal Honor the ‘Soldier of Orange’

  1. Just a few corrections: Erik was best man at Pieter Christiaans wedding, not his godfather.Prince Bernhard visited the Big Island, not Maui.Finally, he did not pilot the plane from London to the Netherlands when the queen returned,( he had been a pilot in the RAF as a Pathfinder, flying 72 missions over Germany) and also accompanied, not piloted, the plane when Beatrix, Irene and Margriet flew home from London with their mother, Princess Juliana.

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