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  #61  
Old 09-27-2014, 07:24 AM
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Oude woning prinses Beatrix verkeert in deplorabele staat - AD.nl

The topic of the costs of renovation of several dutch royal buildings (and gardens) is not out of the media yet:
Apparently Huis ten Bosch (where P.Beatrix used to live) is very outdated: a lot of overdue maintenance, lead in the water supply system, electrical outlets not safe, asbestos and dry rot.

Political parties have stated they will be critical on which part of the money that is set aside for the renovation (35 million euro, rumoured possibly to end up as high as 70 million euro) will be because of overdue maintenance (which is necessary) and which is luxury.
(The last part would not look good after it appears that the rest of the country still has to economize to overcome the economical crisis of recent years)
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:47 AM
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I place question marks by "in very outdated state". In the 1950's Huis ten Bosch, heavily damaged in WWII (the palace park was used as a launcher base for V1 and V2 missiles), was completely renovated. In the 1970's and the early 1980's Huis ten Bosch was again completely renovated to the most sophisticated standard possible. And now suddenly it is "in very outdated state"?

What about all those stately homes in and outside the Netherlands which did not have the luck to have extensive renovations every three decades? Come on... It is also "just" a private residence as Noordeinde Palace in The Hague and the Royal Palace in Amsterdam are the more important ones.

Below pictures from ANP Historisch Archief, showing Huis ten Bosch right after the last renovation (1982):

Front side: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...85-800-538.jpg

The Orange Hall: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...76-534-800.jpg

Doors in the Orange Hall: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...20-531-800.jpg

The "Blue" Salon: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...00-800-539.jpg

The Japanese Salon: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...17-800-544.jpg

The Green Salon: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...18-800-516.jpg

The Chinese Salon: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...96-800-509.jpg

Detail of the Chinese Salon: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...64-800-534.jpg

Salon in the oldest 17th C part: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...01-800-521.jpg

Salon in the oldest 17th C part: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...51-800-513.jpg

Anne of Hanover's Salon: http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...81-800-536.jpg

The Marot Chamber (White Dining Room): http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...10-520-800.jpg

The White Salon (Van der Aa Chamber): http://fast.mediamatic.nl/f/tqgr/ima...45-800-530.jpg

Etc. Etc. Etc.

It is hard to believe that all of this is now in urgent need of major maintenance. It looks like the Government is very forthcoming in providing His Majesty all what he wishes...

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Old 09-27-2014, 10:30 AM
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Once again, they're not talking about refurbishing or redecorating the palace. They're talking about the critical elements of the buildings themselves--electrical wiring, asbestos, etc.

Many buildings have fallen into this same condition because standards have changed-what was permissible in the 1980s or 1990s is not permissible now. Especially re:asbestos, which was an extremely common building material until about 30 years ago.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by casualfan View Post
Once again, they're not talking about refurbishing or redecorating the palace. They're talking about the critical elements of the buildings themselves--electrical wiring, asbestos, etc.
The political parties will see to it that indeed it will only be critical maintenance, the lavish spending by the government on behalf of the royal couple on non-critical things recently is starting to raise eyebrows
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  #65  
Old 10-07-2014, 05:34 PM
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Today the Budget of the Department of the Prime Minister was read in the Second Chamber (Lower House). Part of the Budget is Chapter 1 "The King". Not enlisted on this Budget are the enormous amounts for the renovations of Huis ten Bosch (the private residence in The Hague), Noordeinde Palace (the official residence in The Hague), Noordeinde 66 (the pied-à-terre for Princess Beatrix in The Hague), the erection of temporary workspace in the park of Villa Eikenhorst (the private domain of the King in Wassenaar) and the security costs for the holiday villa in Greece.

All fractions in the Chamber stressed their appreciation for the way King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have executed the kingship in the first year. However they were critical about the enormous amounts of costs. The leader of D66 (progressive liberals) thought that a King should be treated royally indeed but "excess" should be avoided: "Royal when needed, sober where possible". He urged the Prime Minister to stand for the King and defend him against unjust images (it is the State, owner of the named residences, which decides, plans, orders and pays for the renovations and not the King). He thought that maximal transparency would help otherwise "we keep stumbling from the one hiccup to the other" and that would be damaging for the monarchy. Some fractions wanted the incomes for the members of the Royal House (the King, the Queen and Princess Beatrix) be taxed "like all Dutchmen".

The Prime Minister rejected that there was not enough transparency. He stated that every expense was budgetted in the State Budget and comptrolled according the rules. He agreed that the prize tag was "considerable" but "we are talking about 17th C top-listed monuments and these come with a prize tag". The Prime Minister urged that all the planned works were necessary maintenance and "simply needed".

About the taxing of the members of the Royal House the Prime Minister reminded the Chamber that taxing the King, the Queen and Princess Beatrix would practically mean nothing because the bruto-netto calculation would be adapted so that these members would keep the same net income after taxation. The factions however pointed to the "symbol working": we all pay taxes, also the King. The Prime Minister stated that for a change in the systematic of the royal incomes a revision of the Constitution is needed and that is a long process (two readings by both Chambers of the States-General before and after elections, which need to be approved by a qualified majority both times).

In 2009 a special commission updated the finances of the Royal House and tried to bring transparency in the costs. The Prime Minister stated that since then the Netherlands have one of the most transparent monarchies. Not only is the Budget complete, there is also an annual financial report on the spendings. A loophole however are the enormous costs for large projects as the renovations of the royal residences. The Prime Minister was willing to study how a better long-term prospect can be given in the Budgets so that big costs will not come as "a surprise" as this will then have been announced (and discussed) a long time before.

Result: the Budget for the Department of the Prime Minister (including Chapter 1 "The King") will be approved.

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Old 10-07-2014, 07:26 PM
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I just watched a part of the debate & Ferry Mingele in 'Pauw'. What an abominable way of discussing things. It was idiotic. They were debating about a fence at a neighbors property for much of the time, it seemed like an episode of Judge Judy. The PM even said that contrary to what is said, the queen does not use the government airplane to buy clothes, and that she didn't visit Milan since she was 21 y/o. One member of parliament, of the orthodox christian party (who do not allow women to vote) even went to Greece on holidays and took pictures of the villa.

Ferry Mingele says that at the base of the criticism for many trivial matters is an unease with the jetset-image of the king and queen. And an unease that in these times of 'hardship' the king is spending money on a flashy boat and a flashy villa. This doesn't give a signal of solidarity. Why they are so interested in what he does with his own money is a mystery to me though, what do they care if he buys a Greek house, a boat or if he decides to dump it all in the North Sea. It is his money.

The PM didn't do a good job IMHO, he was too defensive and some simple facts would have clarified a lot, instead he was rather vague. Though his view on the Greek fence was revealing. The state leases the ground for 400.000 euros for a few decades while the value is 35.000 euros. However, the PM said that the ground was severely undervalued, due to look holes in the Greek tax system which the owner uses. The real value is much higher but by registering it for 35000 euros the owner can pay less tax.

Quite depressing that I am paying tax to finance this theater play in The Hague with actors who have time for these kind of things & who are looking the other way while our welfare system is being brought to shambles due to 2 decades of privatizations, draconian budget cuts etc. The worst thing is that the press and politicians are collectively neglecting the fact that in a republic these historic buildings need to be maintained too, and that a president costs money too. Even more so as there will be many of them.

Having said that, the jetset image has been an ongoing problem for thee couple, even before the Mozambique-house and it is quite curious that again and again they fall in this trap, get an avalanche of criticism from the press & parliament, which is addressed unsatisfactory by the PM.

----
Re: Huis ten Bosch -> apparently it needs a new roof, new technical installations and asbestos needs to be removed. I doubt that the government would allow WA to spend 35 million on his 'private wishes'. TBH, I doubt that WA has much say in it (save the private apartments), the government building service is in charge.
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  #67  
Old 10-07-2014, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualfan View Post
Once again, they're not talking about refurbishing or redecorating the palace. They're talking about the critical elements of the buildings themselves--electrical wiring, asbestos, etc.

Many buildings have fallen into this same condition because standards have changed-what was permissible in the 1980s or 1990s is not permissible now. Especially re:asbestos, which was an extremely common building material until about 30 years ago.
I guess they have the fire in Windsor Castle as a great example of what happens when rountine maintenance is not carried out and the vulnerablility of some of their most noted heritage buildings. Not only the buildings but irreplaceable art and treasures were destroyed. The fire was an accident that highlighted the fragility of older heritage buildings regardless of country. Cheese paring at base level endagers the treasures that are their heritage.
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  #68  
Old 10-08-2014, 04:11 AM
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The biggest surprise to me (and many others) was that these costly renovations were needed at all. We always thought that Queen Beatrix has started and ended her Reign with spic-and-span maintenanced palaces: the Royal Palace in Amsterdam: restored into grand state. Palace Het Loo in the East of the Netherlands, restored into 17th C grandeur, the park changed into a baroque Garden of Eden. Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, from the first to the last brick meticulously restored to the wishes of Queen Beatrix. Noordeinde Palace in The Hague: from a "forgotten palace" brought back in grand state and since 1982 the centre of the monarchy.

In between additional (and very costly) renovations have been done as well, like the restoration of the imposing Orange Hall inside Huis ten Bosch Palace. Most people will not have thought otherwise than that King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will start their Reign with access to splendid royal residences, maybe the best maintenanced of all royal palaces in all monarchies. (When I see Buckingham Palace, the Royal Palace in Stockholm, especially the Royal Palace in Brussels, etc.) then I really see some neglect, some temporary windowdressing and repairs to hide more profound problems.

I have no doubt that what needed is needed. When the State Housing Agency thinks Huis ten Bosch Palace needs an updo for 35 million Euro (while in my eyes it looks impeccable), okay I trust on their judgement. But that it is apparently needed, that is the big surprise. There will be no excess like golden bath tubes, after all it is a 17th C building and everything must be tasteful and in harmony with the building. When Queen Beatrix left, I -for myself- thought: okay: some new fresh wallhangings, new carpets, some antique furniture need new upholstery, the gold ornaments here and there need new applications, maybe the lighting scheme will be changed (all in LEDs or something) and maybe new installations in the kitchen. Okay, that is it. But that really the roof, the technical installations, the security, God knows what, is needed, thát is a surprise indeed.
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  #69  
Old 10-08-2014, 09:26 AM
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By the way, the Prime Minister also stated that there was no pied-à-terre created especially for Princess Beatrix. The 17th C house at Noordeinde 66 is just added to the palace complex, so it is not only for Princess Beatrix, it will remain part of Noordeinde Palace.

Noordeinde Palace is optically a very strange building. What the people see on television or in real life, is an elegant 17th C city mansion: https://haagsepraatjes.files.wordpre...e-den-haag.jpg

The backside however shows how big the building really is, no one would guess that, standing in front of the palace: http://www.paleizen.nl/Paleizenbesta...e-paleis-3.jpg

Apparently it is not big enough, so now Noordeinde 66 is definitely added: http://haagspraak.files.wordpress.co...1203_31471.jpg
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:11 AM
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The criticism of politicians on the costs of renovations for the royal residences was not too sharp. But somewhat hypocritical because now new facts have come above water:

The office of the Prime Minister (the Department of General Affairs) including "the little tower" (where the Prime Minister has his bureau) will be totally stripped and renovated. Like the royal residences: "new technical installations, new wiring, improvements" etc.: http://www.gewoon-nieuws.nl/wp-conte...0/Torentje.jpg

The same renovations will happen to the buildings of the First Chamber (the Senate), the Council of State and the Second Chamber (the House) which are directly surrounding the Inner Court. These buildings are the oldest parts of the complex of the parliamentary buildings. The total budget is not known but it will be very costly too.

Like for the renovations of the royal residences, also here it surprises me a bit. The First Chamber has been renovated not so long ago. The Second Chamber has been extended in the 1990's (new buildings were added) and the old part was completely renovated. The Council of State moved to the former Kneuterdijk Palace and the old stately rooms at the Inner Court were restored in old splendour. So, like in the case of the royal residences, my understanding was that it all looks pico-bello. When you see old pictures of these buildings in the 1980's, 1970's, 1960's and compare it now, it is really a world of difference. The parliamentary buildings have never looked better than now. And -like the royal residences- again the same surprise: millions, millions and millions for "very necessary" renovations????



The old chamber of Prince Willem V at the Inner Court: http://www.tweedekamer.nl/images/Sta...181-239495.jpg

The old ballroom of Prince Willem V at the Inner Court: http://www.tweedekamer.nl/images/oud...181-237956.jpg

The stunning Trêves Chamber in the Department of General Affairs (the office of the Prime Minister) at the Inner Court: http://www.bronnenberg.nl/content/po...aal-03-def.jpg

The "Noon Chamber" (dining chamber) in the First Chamber: https://www.eerstekamer.nl/9370000/g...s/60-aa-ah.jpg

The elegant ballroom of King Willem II at Kneuterdijk Palace (recently renovated): http://www.dearchitect.nl/binaries/c...mage%3Apicture
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:47 AM
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Apparently it has simular problems as Huis ten Bosch: dated technical installations. I am sure the costs will be a multitude of those of Huis ten Bosch. Still, the main royal issues were the odd containers/office in the garden of the Eikenhorst and the Greek fence.

--

And another weird story, from the columnist Paul Jansen (Telegraaf). He claims that some politicians/ ministers feel that the royals are sometimes behaving as spoiled aristocrats. A secretary-of-state told Jansen the following story: after the death of Juliana and Bernhard Soestdijk Palace was emptied. The secretary discovered that state-properties were moved to Huis ten Bosch, while it belonged to the state. So he send a truck to the palace in The Hague to get the items back from Beatrix. Q. Beatrix retaliated a few weeks later by asking the return of a valuable museum-piece of Het Loo palace, that they loaned to the palace.

I suppose that the secretary must have been Pieter van Geel (CDA) who was underminister for housing at the time. Another option is the present prime minister who was state secretary for culture and education at the time.

It is a curious story, esp. as I assumed that all furniture, paintings in the palaces were private property. Esp is Soestdijk, which was a private residence.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:46 AM
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It is indeed very complicated. What belongs to the State and what belongs to the private collection of the royal family? When you visit Soestdijk Palace now, there is still some antique furniture in the stately rooms. Who owns these furniture? The state (the owner of empy Soestdijk Palace)? The royal family? But then: what is their private property doing in the empty palace?

The same with the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Most of the Empire ameublement is part of the Royal Palace and belongs to the state, since it was commissioned by Louis Napoleon and never privately owned by the Oranges. What about the other furniture, carpets, candelabras, chandeliers, artworks, etc. Many of these come from other properties and are (were?) privately owned. I can imagine that after centuries it is difficult to tell what-belongs-to-who. I think in the meantime extensive catalogues will have been made to ensure that all properties are correctly filed. With Soestdijk Palace, for 70 years occupied by the same couple, in use as official residence but privately owned, it is not so strange that there will be a mix of private and state items.

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Old 10-10-2014, 07:14 AM
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I had no idea that Noordeinde 66 was that close to the
Noordeinde Palace,thanks for all the photos and information on the Palaces and renovations!
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:41 AM
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Dutch royals under fire over 'exorbitant' £110m housing costs bill - Telegraph

The Dutch royals - the most expensive royal family in the world - face being taxed after the country’s MPs were furious to discover that over £100million had been spent on renovating family’s palaces and houses

Quote:
Under pressure from the parliament, Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, has reluctantly instructed ministers to draw up plans to tax King Willem-Alexander and his family.

The Dutch royals are the most expensive monarchy in the world and spending on their lavish palaces and holiday homes has angered the public in a country which has implemented painful eurozone austerity measures.

MPs have been particularly angered by a £7million bill to renovated a “pied de terre” for the former Queen Beatrix in The Hague and spending of £362,000 on a temporary office for the king in the grounds of his personal home.

That spending comes on top of restoration work costing £28million on the the Huis ten Bosch palace, which will eventually become the official residence of the royal family.

“I understand that it is a lot of money but its is a normal price for renovating a 17th century palace,” said Mr Rutte.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:36 PM
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The 'most expensive in the world' part makes a good case against transparancy. The guy who made the comparison (a Belgian) already stated in the report that comparisons were unfair as some are more clear about the costs than others. The Dutch costs have been made more transparent in previous years, while for other RF's the costs are still 'hidden' in the budgets of other departments. They may or may not be the most expensive one in the world, but the report is incomplete and therefore the conclusion is too easily made and repeated.

The security risks and costs for the British and Spanish royals should be much, much higher. And the Dutch palaces are rather small too & only three of them are in use (two in The Hague while the one in Amsterdam is usually open to the public and only used once a month or so.

The 110 million pounds on buildings also added the costs for the much needed restauration of Dam palace in Amsterdam, which started a decade ago and finished 5 years ago. The place looked rather bad and little had been done since the early sixties. The present renovations cost +/- 40 million euros, a high sum but not as shocking as the sum that the Telegraph is using.
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:15 PM
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I refuse to believe that the Dutch royal family is more expensive than the British or the Spanish one.

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James Palace, Kensington Palace, Clarence House, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, etc. etc. the costs for maintanance, staffing, operating these residences must already cover the whole Dutch budget. Leave alone the costs for transportation, flying and everything. The comparison of costs is VERY uncomplete and the Dutch 'suffer' from the fact that their costs are amongst the most transparent in the world.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
I refuse to believe that the Dutch royal family is more expensive than the British or the Spanish one.

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James Palace, Kensington Palace, Clarence House, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, etc. etc. the costs for maintanance, staffing, operating these residences must already cover the whole Dutch budget. Leave alone the costs for transportation, flying and everything. The comparison of costs is VERY uncomplete and the Dutch 'suffer' from the fact that their costs are amongst the most transparent in the world.

According to the table below, which is somewhat dated (from 2012, I guess), the most expensive monarchy in terms of per capita cost was actually Luxembourg's, followed by the Norwegian and Dutch monarchies. As a comparison, the table also includes the annual cost of the head of state in the Federal Republic of Germany. Note that the UK tops the chart in terms of absolute cost, but is ranked 7th only in terms of per capita cost.

Before you ask me, I don't know how the author came up with those figures. The source of the report, however, is the file linked below the table.



Source: https://facthai.files.wordpress.com/...monarchies.pdf
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the list! The study makes an interesting read.

It is comparing apples to oranges. The Belgian costs are almost double, as has been announced this week. But half of it is security costs, which may have been left out in this chart. Likewise, it is impossible that the Spanish sum does include the security costs.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:54 PM
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The Royal House has issued the Annual Overview 2014. Lots of great pictures of the most important activities by The King, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix.

Little factual financial information: unlike to the annual reports in Denmark and the UK, the Dutch Royal House reports its financial accounts via the regular Budget audits in parliamentary commissions. Not via the annual overview.

Jaaroverzicht Koninklijk Huis 2014 | Jaarverslag | Rijksoverheid.nl

There are some facts and figures about the Royal Mews. When there are grand ceremonies with lots of mounted horses, these are usually from the cavalry regiments, the Royal Marechaussee and the Corps National Police. The Royal Mews however houses around 35 horses owned by the Royal House. Eight horses are riding hores in use by the royal family, the other horses are used to pull carriages. Most horses belong to the KWPN Studbook (Royal Netherlands Warmblood Sports Horses). The horses which are used to pull the royal carriages are half from the Royal Friesian Studbook and half from the KWPN Studbook (Guelders horses).

The Royal Mews house carriages which are in regular use or belong to the most important carriages of the Royal House: amongst the caléches, the landauers, de gala coupés, the berlines and another types, especially the Golden State Carriage, the Glass State Carriage and eight gala berlines are the most important carriages from the Royal Mews.

The Royal Mews at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn (East of the Netherlands) have a more museal function. The Royal Mews at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague are the "daily operational mews". The Royal House employs around 50 persons specially working for the Royal Mews. These vary from chauffeurs, planners, coachmen, grooms, a blacksmith, a saddlemaker, a carriagemaker, etc. Major restorations are given in hands of specialized firms.

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Old 05-20-2015, 06:27 AM
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The annual report of the royal budget was presented to day and is accessible to all:

http://www.nrcq.nl/2015/05/20/wat-er...rverslag-staat

40 million euros are explained in the report. 72 million euros are not specified, which is spent on security, state visits and buildings.

The salaries of employees forms by far the largest part of the 40 million. Of the 72 million less specified costs, 40 million is used for security, 30 million on palaces and 2 million on state visits.

The security costs for the Belgian RF were last week estimated at 15,5 million, so one wonders what causes such a large difference.
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