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Jacqueline 02-15-2003 04:43 PM

Princess Margarita & Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, News 1 (February 2003-February 2008)
Princess 'takes revenge' on Dutch royal family
By Joan Clements in The Hague
(Filed: 14/02/2003)

A princess has caused a scandal in Holland by alleging that her Spanish-born aristocrat father had an illegitimate son by his Dominican housekeeper.

The disclosure is seen as an act of revenge by the princess on the fiercely- private Dutch royal family for her ostracisation after marrying a commoner.

Princess Margarita, 30, the eldest daughter of Queen Beatrix's sister, Princess Irene, claims she and her husband, the self-styled Baron Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, have been sidelined since their marriage in France in September 2001 against her parents' wishes. Neither her father, Carelhugo de Bourbon Parme, nor the Queen attended the wedding.

In an interview with the Dutch magazine HP/De Tijd, the princess said: "I have always been a loyal member of my family but did not get support when I needed it most. They have even tried to destroy my happiness."

Of her father she said in a separate interview: "He has double moral standards. He disagrees with my husband but he himself has a son by his former Dominican housekeeper: my dark skinned half-brother Zavier."

She went on to accuse her father of revealing to relatives details of her husband's financial situation dating from a period when he received Dutch social security benefits.

Princess Margarita, who claims her home in Amsterdam is bugged, complains that her husband is constantly ignored by Dutch royals.

Even when they are included as guests at royal parties, members of the family "constantly continue to converse when my husband is trying to speak", she said. "[They] bump into him as though he is invisible and some ladies-in-waiting refuse to shake his hand."

She said the Queen did nothing to correct the royal family's "bad behaviour". Despite a number of conversations with Queen Beatrix, she said, the coolness continued "so I can only accept that my aunt, the Queen, is backing this behaviour".

The spurned princess's apparent attempt to court public support in her dispute with her relatives follows a previous attempt to persuade the Dutch authorities to intervene.

In October 2001 she wrote to Wim Kok, then prime minister, asking him to intercede with the Queen. But Mr Kok replied that he could not involve himself in "family matters".

There is as yet no evidence that the princess's decision to air her grievances in public has won her sympathy. Queen Beatrix, 65, enjoys the affection of most Dutch people. She is still mourning the loss of her German-born husband, Prince Claus, who died in October.

Some observers suggest that the interview may have been masterminded by Princess Margarita's husband. He claimed in the same interview to have seen the Queen "tired and the worse for wear" during a birthday party. Princess Margarita added that her aunt "likes her wine".

Observers say the princess's husband resented royal acceptance of the marriage of Crown Prince William Alexander when his bride, Maxima, was a member of Argentina's former military junta.

Article From: The Spectator

Jacqueline 02-15-2003 04:46 PM

Dutch princess causes royal stir after going public with family row
Thu Feb 13,10:14 AM ET

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - An unusually open conflict in the Dutch royal house was tarnishing its image of family harmony Thursday, after an embittered princess went public with complaints she was targeted by a smear campaign intended to destroy her marriage.

Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme, the eldest daughter of the Queen Beatrix's sister Princess Irene, told the respected weekly magazine HP/De Tijd that her home had been bugged and her husband's confidential records fed to the press to blacken his name.

"I was loyal to my family my entire life, but the moment I expected support there was none. They have tried to destroy what makes me happy," she said in a nine-page interview published Wednesday. A similar story also featured in Germany's Stern magazine.

The row in the House of Orange was splashed across the front pages of national newspapers, which ran bold headlines quoting her as saying that her father has an illegitimate child. She also claimed that Queen Beatrix had coldly rejected her pleas to stop the royal house from releasing damaging information to the media.

In an effort to end a string of negative media reports about her, Princess Margarita said she first went to the queen asking for help and then wrote former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok. Under the Dutch constitution, the prime minister bears responsibility for the royal family and speaks on their behalf. She did not indicate when she wrote, but Kok left office last year.

"I have the feeling the flow of negative press is being fed by my own family," the article quotes Margarita as having written to Kok. "I am asking you to intervene."

The interviews prompted a statement of three terse sentences, distributed through the government's official press office, in which the palace expressed regret over the articles and said it "doesn't recognize the family's portrayal" in them.

"Out of love for Princess Margarita, the family restricts itself to this reaction," it said.

Margarita married Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, who is not of royal decent, in September 2001 in a relatively low-key ceremony in the Dutch capital. The newlyweds live in a castle in the Gascogne region of southwestern France and rarely appeared in the Dutch press.

In the article, the first of a series to run in coming weeks, Margarita claimed the royal house took such a disliking to her choice of partner that the couple have been socially isolated.


Article From: Yahoo News

Jacqueline 02-20-2003 01:18 PM

More 'royalgate' allegations emerge

19 February 2003

AMSTERDAM — Queen Beatrix and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander argued for two months about his engagement to Argentinean banker Maxima Zorreguieta, according to a royal insider.

Princess Margarita claimed that her aunt, Queen Beatrix, told her that she thought Maxima — now the star member of the Dutch royal family — was not "strong enough" to marry Willem-Alexander.

In the second part of her interview published on Wednesday by magazine HP/De Tijd, Margarita claimed that the Queen had given serious consideration to naming her younger son Constantijn to be her successor. Constantijn is married to Laurentien Brinkhorst and her father is reportedly a close confidant of the queen.

Unlike the Windsors in Britain and the royals in Monaco, the Dutch monarchy is not used to scandals and allegations of infighting. But Margarita's allegations threaten to undermine that stable image.

She spoke to a HP/De Tijd reporter for some 60 hours and in the first part of the interview published last week she claimed that the Queen and other royals disproved of and tried to discredit her husband, Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn.

She also alleged the royal family had bugged conversations between herself and her husband. She said her mother, (the Queen's sister) Princess, Irene and her father, Carlos Hugo de Bourbon, were part of the alleged conspiracy.

Princess Margarita said that while having an argument with her mother on one occasion, Princess Irene shouted: "Naturally you are being bugged, don't be so naïve".

Princess Margarita has also claimed that her husband's bank statements had been copied on order of the royal household.

NOS news reported that after the first portion of the interview was published, the government information service RVD let it be known that the royals "did not recognise the image portrayed in the articles". The AIVD secret service also denied that it had never investigated Margarita's husband.

The avowedly republican Socialist Party has taken full advantage of the situation by tabling parliamentary questions about the allegations. The party has asked Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to explain what role his predecessor Wim Kok played in the scandal. Balkenende has to date declined to respond to the questions.

Article From:

Jacqueline 02-20-2003 01:22 PM

Princess Margarita embarasses Dutch royal family with tell-all
Wed Feb 19, 2:45 PM ET

By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A disgruntled member of the Dutch royal family says Queen Beatrix bitterly opposed the romance of her son, the crown prince, with an Argentine commoner.

In a second round of embarrassing revelations published Wednesday, Beatrix's niece, Princess Margarita, said the queen and Crown Prince Willem Alexander avoided each other for months because of their argument over his love for Maxima Zorreguieta.

In public, the queen was highly supportive of the couple when she announced their engagement in 2001. They had a fairy tale wedding a year ago, attended by royalty from around the world.

In her interview with the respected weekly HP/de Tijd, Margarita broke with family tradition by publicly airing the dirty laundry in the House of Orange. The first installment of the series, called "Orange Bitters," was published last week, and created a sensation in the Netherlands.

While most of the material is tamer than the scandalous tabloid headlines and paparazzi photos that have haunted other European royal houses, it's hot stuff by Dutch standards.

Margarita said her own father had an illegitimate child with a Dominican nanny and alleged that it is an open "family secret" that Prince Bernhard — her grandfather and the Queen's father — has kept a mistress for 20 years.

The royal family responded in three terse sentences, distributed through the government's official press office, that it "doesn't recognize itself as portrayed" in the articles, and "regrets" their publication. "Out of love for Princess Margarita, the family restricts itself to this reaction," it said.

Margarita said she decided to go public after the queen and other members of the royal family conspired to snub her husband, blacken his name, and exclude the couple from royal functions.

She married commoner Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn in September 2001 in a relatively low-key ceremony in Amsterdam. The couple lives in a castle in the Gascogne region of southwestern France.

Margarita said Maxima initially experienced the same opposition and smear campaign from the royal family that she says de Roy van Zuydewijn continues to face. She said Maxima was once confronted by courtiers with questions about her "wild life" while working in New York.

"My aunt (the queen) told me that she thought Maxima wasn't strong enough," Margarita told the magazine. "If my aunt doesn't get her way, she stamps her foot literally and figuratively."

Article From: Yahoo News

Julia 02-20-2003 06:02 PM

Oh, my! :o I wonder if any of this is true? If so, Beatrix is a pretty good actress as she seems so fond of Maxima!

Jacqueline 02-21-2003 03:13 PM

Hi Julia!

Princess Margarita is really on a roll (a bad one at that)! Talk about airing the dirty laundry of one's family on the clothes line for all of the neighborhood to see! :o :o :o I am sure that she is frustrated, but it is all becoming far too uncivilized at this point.

Maybe Queen Beatrix is now fond of Maxima. Perhaps it took a while for Her Majesty to get used to Maxima and accept her, but in time she may have simply been won over by Maxima's love for her son. Those two seem to still have a serious crush on each other and that has to be given credit by even one who was completely against the relationship (or still is :unsure: ).

I simply can't believe that Her Majesty actually thought that Maxima wasn't "strong enough." Maxima simply doesn't appear to be a weakling or a cry baby.....Then again, I don't know her. :blink: But, still a bit far-fetched, don't you think?

Jacqueline 02-21-2003 08:56 PM

Hmmm...., so Princess Margarita is preparing to file a damages claim. So, it is money that she and her husband may want? What does everyone think?

Angry princess readies damages claim

21 February 2003

AMSTERDAM — The Queen's niece Princess Margarita is reportedly preparing to lodge a EUR 35 million damages claim against the royal family.

Newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Friday that Princess Margarita and her husband Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn intend to sue the monarchy for running a boycott and smear campaign against Edwin that lost him business contracts.

He allegedly lost EUR 4.5 million in a business deal because of the smears and is prepared to call 35 witnesses, including top company managers, to prove his case, the newspaper said.

Princess Margarita is one of the lesser-known members of the royal family. She is the daughter of Princess Irene, a sister of Queen Beatrix.

Princess Margarita and her husband have scandalised the normally sedate Dutch monarchy in recent weeks by making extraordinary allegations in current affairs magazine HP/De Tijd.

The couple have alleged that the royal house disapproved of Edwin and tried to prevent the marriage with a smear campaign. They also claimed that they were bugged and that Edwin's bank statements were secretly taken and photocopied.

Worse still for the monarchy's image, Princess Margarita has claimed that Queen Beatrix initially opposed the marriage of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, to Argentinean Maxima Zorreguieta.

Queen Beatrix allegedly felt that trained banker Maxima — whose father was a civilian member of the murderous military junta in Argentina in the late 1970s — was "not strong enough".

Princess Margarita told HP/De Tijd that the Queen had big arguments with Willem-Alexander and considered naming his younger brother Constantijn as her successor. The Queen turned 65 in February 2003.

The Dutch gossip magazines have lapped up the unproven revelations. They will take great pleasure in Princess Margarita's unsubstantiated allegations that the Queen's father Prince Bernhard had a 20-year affair with his personal assistant, "Cocky" Gilles.

Princess Margarita said he arranged for her to be given a private apartment at Soestdijk palace, and that he had later given her a house. The relationship was an open secret in court circles, the Princess claimed, adding that she was annoyed to have to ask permission from her grandfather's mistress when she wanted to see her grandmother.

Margarita had been required to address the secretary as "aunt" and to kiss her on the cheek when greeting her, Margarita said.

It has long been alleged that Prince Bernhard has had children from past affairs. A woman, who lives in France, told a Dutch radio programme recently that she had heard the rumours she was his daughter, but did not know if they were true.

Article From: Expatica

sourpuss 02-22-2003 01:03 PM

I think this lady has burned all bridges with regard to her family. For her sake the marriage better work because it will be very difficult in the future if she needs her family for support. They may forgive her but I doubt they will forget such a betrayal.

Jacqueline 02-22-2003 06:37 PM

Hi Sourpuss!

I agree that Margarita and her husband had better have a very enduring marriage and be extremely devoted to one another, because if the marriage ends, Margarita will be going through the divorce alone most likely (and spending a large amount of time alone).

Julia 02-22-2003 07:27 PM

Hey Jacqueline!

Jacqueline, I agree that Maxima does not seem like a shrinking violet-cry baby kind of woman. I don't think that W-A would find that kind of woman attractive (but what do I know). I think perhaps, initially, Maxima might have been a little too strong for Beatrix (I don't mean strong in a negative way). I think sometimes strong-willed women don't enjoy seeing their sons marry other strong-willed women. Friction always seems to arise. But you have a very good point in that perhaps Beatrix was completely won over by Maxima's love for W-A (that and I imagine that Maxima can be very charming as well).

Jacqueline 02-26-2003 12:18 AM

This Europe: House of Orange's apparent unity may peel away in court

By Isabel Conway in Amsterdam

22 February 2003

The House of Orange has turned crimson with rage over allegations depicting Queen Beatrix as a manipulative snob who falls asleep at parties after too many glasses of wine.

To make matters worse the lid has been lifted not by the "boulevard" press in the Netherlands, but by an insider – the Queen's niece.

Now the feud between Princess Margarita and her husband, Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, and the Dutch Royal Family is threatening to spill into the courts.

The couple, who now live in France, allege that a sustained slander campaign against them was orchestrated by the monarch and her court and has ruined their livelihoods.

Mr van Zuydewijn claims to have lost millions of euros in contracts. He and his wife say companies who were on the brink of signing contracts with his Fincentives, a business specialising in personnel options, mysteriously pulled out at the last minute. They claim the reason was pressure from the Dutch Royal Family. Palace insiders say Mr van Zuydewijn was seen as a "dodgy character" who styled himself as a baron. A genealogical expert told a Dutch newspaper his wing of the family had never been titled.

Professor W J Slagter of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, who runs a legal business, confirmed that a legal action was planned and the couple intended calling 35 witnesses to back up their claim. For two weeks now a Dutch public, unaccustomed to any controversial publicity surrounding its royalty, has been lapping up further instalments of life inside the royal goldfish bowl in the current affairs magazine HP De Tijd.

Princess Margarita, who is the eldest daughter of the Queen's younger sister, Irene, portrayed her aunt as a tyrant who had decreed that Mr van Zuydewijn was unsuitable for marriage. When the couple married in France in 2001 few family members turned up. They claim that whenever they attended family gatherings since then they have been ignored and insulted.

Mr van Zuydewijn told how he was subjected to "psychological terror" around the royal dinner table during an inquisition on his business background. At one royal wedding the Queen ordered him to be removed from the group photograph. At one party they had attended, on the Queen's birthday, the monarch was slumped in a chair asleep and she drank a lot of glasses of wine, Mr van Zuydewijn told the Dutch magazine.

The couple also claimed that their former home in Amstedam was bugged and Mr van Zuydewijn's mail intercepted by the intelligence service.

Queen Beatrix is said to be appalled at the intrusion into the House of Orange's privacy and furious with her niece. The only official statement has been one stating that "out of love for Margarita the family does not wish to comment".

The Dutch royal biographer Fred Lammers, who has written books on Queen Beatrix and Crown Prince Willem Alexander, told The Independent: "This is all a nightmare come true; for years the Queen prided herself on avoiding the type of thing which has so damaged the British monarchy. Now it seems the skeletons are being rattled and, if anything, what's emerging here is even more damaging."

Article From: The Independent

Jacqueline 03-08-2003 09:11 PM

Bitter princess turns on Dutch royal family

PM steps in to avert £23m suit against queen

Andrew Osborn
Thursday March 6, 2003

The Guardian

The Dutch prime minister was forced yesterday to intervene in a row engulfing the country's normally staid royal family after the queen's embittered niece appeared on television and threatened to sue her aunt for tens of millions of pounds in damages for defamation.
Princess Margarita, 31, went on TV on Tuesday night to accuse 65-year-old Queen Beatrix of abuse of power and of maliciously and illegally undermining the reputation and business interests of her husband, Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, allegedly because he is a commoner.

She reportedly wants £23m in damages from the queen, who Forbes magazine claims is worth £170m.

The princess's TV appearance capped weeks of humiliating and highly damaging allegations against the House of Orange-Nassau in magazines.

The most serious was that the queen and her advisers had mounted an illegal smear campaign against her and her husband in an attempt to break up their "unsuitable" marriage.

This, the princess claims, involved the royal family releasing confidential and embarrassing material to the press which was obtained by bugging her home and photocopying her husband's private papers.

The Christian Democrat prime minister, Jan-Peter Balkenende, stepped into the fray to defend the royal family. A move, said commentators, which signalled that the row had spun out of control and was threatening to damage the monarchy itself.

Mr Balkenende dismissed most of Margarita's claims. "The government is concerned about the methods the princess and her husband have chosen," he said, adding that the wire-tapping claims were "too crazy for words".

He also said government lawyers were considering legal action against the princess over her claim that the head of the government information service had bugged a private meeting aimed at ending the row.

But Mr Balkenende did concede that the Dutch secret service had accessed secret social services files on Margarita's husband, but this, he argued, was a routine practice for any prospective royal spouse.

But Princess Margarita is unlikely to be deterred.

She told the Nova TV programme: "I think it's important that people know who these people are, who, as it is said, 'may rule the country'.

"They abuse their position and that is not right."

To the delight of the gossip magazines the princess has also "revealed" a string of alleged royal indiscretions.

It is an "open secret," she claimed, that the queen's father, Prince Bernhard, had an affair with his secretary, Cocky Gilles, for 20 years while her own father Carelhugo de Bourbon Parme, she said, had sired an illegitimate son with his Dominican housekeeper.

Other embarrassments include claims that Crown Prince Willem Alexander thinks Voltaire is a village in France, that the queen ignored her eldest son for months in protest against his choice of bride (a commoner and the daughter of a former minister in the Argentine junta's "dirty war") and that the queen is overly fond of red wine.

Princess Margarita has also painted a picture of supreme arrogance describing how one of the queen's sons - Prince Johan Friso - waved to well-wishers with one hand while surreptitiously giving the finger with the other.

The princess's husband has often joined her attacks, claiming that he was subjected to "psychological terror" by the royals and was routinely snubbed.

A financial services company which he founded had repeatedly seen lucrative contracts cancelled at the last minute because, he says, the royals leaned on prospective business partners.

Princess Margarita, the eldest daughter of Beatrix's sister Irene, claims she is not motivated by revenge or money.

Her campaign, she says, is "about respect [and] the rehabilitation of my name and that of my husband".

Article From: The Guardian

Jacqueline 03-08-2003 09:14 PM

Parties discuss probe into baron's past

6 March 2003

AMSTERDAM — Home Affairs minister Johan Remkes met with parliamentary party chiefs Thursday to explain the background check conducted by the security service into the husband of Princess Margarita.

Remkes is also due to send a letter to parliament to answer awkward questions about why the check was necessary.

Opposition parties also want to know who gave the royal family confidential information from the so-called baron's social welfare file. In the last week, details of the file have appeared in the media.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende told parliament that the BVD secret service, now renamed AIVD, obtained the file from Amsterdam's social welfare department in 2000.

He said this was part of a routine check into Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, who was engaged to the Queen's niece, Princess Margarita. Edwin, a businessman, is said to have bought the title of baron.

Balkenende reputed claims that the royal family ran a smear campaign against Edwin.

The Prime Minister said that Princess Margarita's suggestion that the head of the state information service RVD used a hidden microphone in his office to tape a conversation with the princess was "too crazy for words".

The RVD has denied the allegation and called in the state prosecutor to investigate the possibility of taking court action against Princess Margarita.

The RVD said what she described as a "small microphone sticking out between two wooden panels on a wall" was actually a screw. Some of Thursday newspapers carried photographs of a screw between two wooden panels on the wall.

The government is finding it more difficult to ward off questions about the social welfare file.

The couple appeared on current affairs programme NOVA on Thursday night and displayed a letter from previous Home Affairs Minister Klaas de Vries.

De Vries denied in the letter written in May 2002, the couple said, that the intelligence service had checked the baron's background.

The couple had asked the Home Affairs and Justice Ministeries to explain how Margarita's father, Carel Hugo de Bourbon de Parme, was aware of the contents of social welfare dossier.

Princess Margarita and her husband reportedly plan a EUR 35 million legal claim against the royal family for allegedly damaging his business interests.

The couple have cited the example of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander's marriage last year.

A royal correspondent commentating on the wedding on national television said she had heard Princess Margarita and Edwin were absent because of money worries.

It has since emerged Prince Willem-Alexander wrote to his cousin to say "in the present circumstances it is not opportune for you to come to the wedding".

Article From:

Jacqueline 03-08-2003 09:17 PM

'Rebel princess' risks jail time

5 March 2003

AMSTERDAM — The state information service RVD is considering taking court action against royal black sheep Princess Margarita after she claimed the head of the RVD bugged a conversation she had with him.

National news service NOS reported on Wednesday that the RVD may take the drastic step as a result of the latest damning interview with the princess screened on current affairs television programme NOVA.

Anyone found guilty of insulting the Monarch faces 5 years in jail or a EUR 11,250 fine but generally offenders escape with a telling off or token fine.

The row between the royals seemed at first glance to be trivial but now threatens the Dutch monarchy with the sort of public humiliation suffered by their British counterparts following the late Princess Diana's television revelations about extramarital affairs and rows in the House of Winsor.

Princess Margarita — a niece of Queen Beatrix — had previously accused the Dutch royals of running a smear campaign against Margarita's husband, businessman Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn.

The couple claimed during a 60-hour interview with magazine HP/De Tijd that his business interests have been badly damaged by a whispering campaign mounted against him by the royal family.

Margarita and Edwin are reportedly planning to sue the royals for EUR 35 million for lost business and defamation.

In the latest twist in the royal squabble, Princess Margarita repeated an allegation that RVD chief Eef Brouwers secretly recorded a conversation she had with him.

Princess Margarita said she went to Brouwers in his office to seek his help with her dispute with the rest of the royal family.

"As we sat down, I looked at the wall and saw a microphone sticking out between two lovely wooden panels. It was very small but clearly a microphone," the princess told NOVA.

Princess Margarita said it was "scandalous that an official of the RVD would record the conversation of a person who came seeking help".

The RVD rushed to dismiss the accusation out of hand, saying that the "microphone" she claimed to have seen was actually a screw used to secure a painting to the wall.

Princess Margarita's outrage at being bugged is slightly bizarre given that she told NOVA that she had also secretly recorded her conversation with Brouwers. She has already said she has recordings for other incriminating arguments she had with family members.

The princess, nevertheless, for the first time directly accused Queen Beatrix of having bugged her during private discussions. The Queen, was also guilty of abusing her power, Princess Margarita alleged.

Article From:

Jacqueline 03-08-2003 09:24 PM

Queen 'backed' Edwin probe

7 March 2003

AMSTERDAM — Queen Beatrix agreed to a secret service investigation into Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, the fiancé of her goddaughter Princess Margarita, "well-informed" sources have told the media.

The director of the Queen's Cabinet, Felix Rhodius, suggested the idea of an enquiry in 2000 because De Roy van Zuydewijn was to become a member of the royal family, newspaper De Volkskrant said on Friday.

The newspaper report is the latest in a series of damaging revelations to emerge in "Margarita-gate" — a royal scandal involving allegations of a smear campaign, taped conversations, leaked files, law suits and inter-family squabbling.

Princess Margarita and Edwin are said to be ready to sue the royal family for EUR 35 million for blacking Edwin's name and the state prosecutor has been called in to see if Princess Margarita should be prosecuted for insulting the Queen. The princess could face five years in jail if found guilty.

On Thursday, it also emerged that Home Affairs Minister Johan Remkes and Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner have written to the couple to apologise for previous denials by their departments that the national security service AIVD had studied Edwin's confidential social welfare file.

The apology came after Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende confirmed that the security service, then known as the BVD, had examined the file as part of a routine check into Edwin's background.

Edwin is a businessman who describes himself as a baron. Critics say that he bought the title.

The ministers said that their predecessors had denied the investigation had taken place because they had not been informed about the probe. The letter said the security service is not obliged to ask for ministerial permission to run a background check.

In an interview with RTL Nieuws on Thursday, Balkenende explained that the AIVD is free to investigate people when it feels there is a need in the "interest of the State".

Both Remkes and Donner have stressed that the security services acted within the law. Labour leader Wouter Bos however, said: "In the future, these things should be handled differently."

Balkenende promised to send a letter to Parliament next week in which he will put all the facts together "carefully and coherently". Parliament is due to have an emergency debate about the situation next week.

The troubled couple’s lawyer said on Thursday that the ministers had apologised for the mess at the ministries, but not for the grief his clients had suffered.

Meanwhile, the royal family is officially keeping quiet. Queen Beatrix was greeted with a warm applause on Thursday during her first public appearance since the affair broke, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

Article From:

Jacqueline 03-08-2003 09:31 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Lurid Tales Tarnish Dutch Queen's Image
Sat Mar 8, 1:10 PM ET

By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - It sounds like something out of a medieval melodrama: The queen stands at the top of the palace staircase, glowering at the upstart princess below. The younger woman glares up at her aunt and sovereign with unconcealed loathing, snarls a veiled threat of revenge and storms out.

In today's version, the princess hires lawyers and launches a media offensive.

Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme, fuming over perceived snubs by Queen Beatrix, is telling tales of an overbearing monarch and arrogant, philandering princes, enthralling the nation with vivid imagery such as her description of the staircase confrontation.

The affair has shocked the normally placid Dutch, who revere their queen as a wise if distant figure and think of their 200-year-old monarchy, the House of Orange, as something out of a fairy tale.

Margarita's allegations surfaced in the respected Dutch weekly HP/De Tijd, in a four-part series called "Orange Bitters."

Among her claims: the queen sometimes drank "rather too much"; one of the princes, while waving to crowds from his horse-drawn carriage with one hand, made concealed obscene gestures with the other; the queen's late father, Prince Bernhard, had a 20-year affair with his secretary; and Margarita's own father had an illegitimate child with a Dominican nanny.

In a statement, the flabbergasted royal family didn't answer each allegation but said it "couldn't recognize itself as portrayed" by Margarita, and quickly retreated again behind the palace walls.

Only a year ago, the Dutch rejoiced in the marriage of Beatrix's son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, in a romantic spectacle that boosted the family's popularity.

Now the Dutch media suddenly have a trove of unfiltered royal dirt.

"It struck like a bombshell," said Fred Lammers, a biographer of Beatrix and Prince Bernhard. "In Britain, when servants leave the court the first thing they do is write a book. Here, nobody leaks anything."

Margarita describes herself as a constant victim of snubs, including that she and her commoner husband, Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, were not invited to Willem-Alexander's wedding or the burial of Beatrix's husband, Prince Claus, who died last year.

But her most provocative allegations were that the royal family launched a smear campaign that ruined de Roy van Zuydewijn's business, and that Beatrix had improperly used her office to have the secret services investigate him.

She said she had hired a lawyer and might sue the family for damages.

"They abuse their power and that's not right," she said in a nationally televised interview.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende confirmed that Van Zujdewijn was vetted but insisted it was a routine security procedure for anyone marrying into the royal family.

He denied as "too crazy for words" the princess' claim that a conversation between her and the spokesman for both queen and prime minister was recorded.

Balkenende beseeched the family to end the feud. "It can't go on like this: the public offensive must stop," he said. "It's painful to watch, and it's bad for the country's image."

In fact, the monarchy is popular and is widely expected to survive the latest flap. Its existence is an enduring paradox among the liberal, egalitarian Dutch — a monarchy established only in 1815 under strict constitutional rules.

Beatrix is thought to be one the world's richest women but has cultivated an image of good mother and able stateswoman. She has a formal role in the formation of new governments, and regularly consults with the prime minister, prompting some politicians to complain that she tries to exert undue influence over policy.

Harry van Bommel, an anti-monarchist lawmaker, expects that the fight over the royals "will escalate." But Gerrie Overweel, a spokeswoman for the pro-monarchy Union of Orangists, disagrees.

"The Dutch population is completely behind the queen, and feels sorry for her niece, whose life is so full of problems," he said. The royals, says biographer Lammers, "have been placed firmly back on earth, and the fallout from that will take a long time to run its course."

Article and Photo From: Yahoo News

Princess Margarita and her husband, Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn on their wedding day in Auch, France on Sept. 22, 2001

Jacqueline 03-11-2003 07:43 PM

Princess sues Dutch spies

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 Posted: 11:19 AM EST (1619 GMT)

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- A princess in the Dutch royal family has filed a criminal complaint against the nation's secret service and a former prime minister.

It is the latest episode of a sex-and-bugs scandal that is enveloping the royal family and threatens to split the monarchy.

Princess Margarita dragged the House of Orange into the headlines with a series of allegations, which quickly spread across Europe after airing on Dutch TV. Among the allegations, she said the Dutch queen recorded a conversation with her and that the queen's father had a 20-year affair.

The princess on Tuesday accused former prime minister Wim Kok and members of his Cabinet of perjury.

She accuses them of writing letters denying that her husband, Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, had been investigated by the intelligence agencies, the Amsterdam public prosecutor told The Associated Press.

The princess is looking for an apology and compensation -- reportedly 33 million euros ($36.5 million) -- while Dutch government lawyers are said to be looking at reviewing laws so that Margarita can be sued for libel.

Although Margarita's aunt, Queen Beatrix, has immunity from prosecution as head of state, Margarita's lawyers told AP the princess wanted a financial settlement from Beatrix, one of the world's wealthiest women.

Margarita's complaint also said other bureaucrats and the secret service were guilty of violating their terms of office by leaking Van Zuydewijn's private tax and social security information, AP reported.

Prosecution spokesman Robert Meulenbroek said it would likely be weeks before a decision is made on whether to press charges against any of the people named in the suit.

Sensational interviews

Margarita, daughter of the queen's sister Irene, kickstarted the public row in a series of sensational interviews for the Nova TV program and a weekly news magazine.

She was angry at an alleged campaign to blacken the name of her husband, a commoner whose reputation in the press is less than flattering. Margarita alleged that Queen Beatrix was behind the campaign.

On Nova TV she said: "I think it's important that people know who these people are. They abuse their power and that's not right."

She alleged that the queen's father, Bernhard, had a 20-year affair with his secretary; that her own father had an illegitimate son; that Crown Prince Willem Alexander thinks Voltaire is a village in France; that the queen is rather too keen on red wine; and that Beatrix bugged their last conversation.

"At a certain point in the last conversation I had with her, I confronted her and said I think that there are people waiting for you.

"You may as well go to them and discuss our conversation. Her eyes widened. She looked slightly surprised and I knew I'd hit the nail on the head," she said on the program.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende has intervened, confirming Van Zujdewijn was vetted as part of routine procedures for anyone marrying into the royal family but denied other secret bugging.

He added: "It can't go on like this, the public offensive must stop. It's painful to watch, and it's bad for the country's image."

The UK newspaper The Times reported on Tuesday that government lawyers were looking at reviewing the possibility of bringing a libel case against the princess.

The royal family has tried to avoid public comment on the row but has said in a statement that it "does not recognize itself in the picture painted by the articles."

Article From:

Jacqueline 03-11-2003 07:45 PM

Kok gets dragged into 'Margarita-gate'

11 March 2003

AMSTERDAM — Princess Margarita and her husband have lodged criminal complaints against former prime minister Wim Kok and two other senior politicians alleging forgery, breaking the oath of professional secrecy and coercion.

In the latest instalment in the so-called Margarita-gate royal scandal that has dominated the news headlines for three weeks, the public prosecutor in Amsterdam has been asked to investigate Kok, former Home Affairs Minister Klaas de Vries and Liberal (VVD) leader and former Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm.

The princess and her businessman husband, Baron Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, have also reported civil servants attached to several departments and officials of the national security service BVD (now AIVD), their lawyer J. Pen said on Monday night on the NOVA current affairs television programme.

He denied the allegations were being made to boost a planned damages claim against the Royal Family for allegedly mounting a smear campaign against the baron. The lawyer did admit he expected the couple to launch their case in the near future.

Kok, who left politics in May 2002, said in a statement he was "astonished to learn of the complaint" laid against him. He said the allegations were baseless.

The prosecutor, newspaper De Telegraaf said on Tuesday, is now investigating whether there were grounds to launch an investigation.

The princess and her husband filed complaints against Kok and De Vries for denying a probe into the past of De Roy van Zuydewijn ever took place.

Zalm is accused of leaking financial data. In NOVA, he acknowledged he was politically responsible at the time but stressed that his ministry had followed procedures.

In a bid to quell Margarita-gate, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has written a letter to Parliament in which he explains that the probe in 2000 into De Roy van Zuydewijn’s past was legitimate because he was marrying into the Royal Family. But the BVD should have informed the ministers, he said.

He has made agreements with the national security service that from now on, not only the minister, but also the prime minister himself will be informed about any important investigation.

The BVD started the inquest against Margarita's then fiancé, because it had "serious questions about his integrity", according to the official account.

When certain issues still went unanswered, Felix Rhodius, head of the Queen’s cabinet, suggested Margarita’s father and brother should be involved. The BVD also went on to inform Prince Bernard, Margarita’s grandfather, about the case.

Balkenende says there were enough grounds for an investigation and it was "reasonable" that some members of the Royal Family were involved. He also said he found no evidence that the couple had been bugged as the couple have claimed.

Article From:

Jacqueline 03-11-2003 07:48 PM

‘Report proves bugging claim’

10 March 2003

AMSTERDAM — Princess Margarita and her husband Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn claim to have an independent report, which proves that they were bugged by national security service BVD.

In 2000, the troubled couple asked a specialist to search their Amsterdam home for microphones.

According to correspondence between the couple and Wim Kok, the princess informed the former Prime Minister about the situation last year, but he dismissed the case as a family matter.

Socialist Party MP Harry van Bommel revealed on Monday morning he has copies of these letters.

Van Bommel says told newspaper Algemeen Dagblad: "Kok should have at least checked with the BVD (now known as the AIVD) what was going on. The former prime minister and the ministers involved could be in real trouble if it emerges that the BVD did bug the couple."

The disclosure is only the latest in a series of revelations, which are becoming increasingly embarrassing for the current and former governments.

Last week, Home Affairs Minister Johan Remkes and Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner had to send a letter of apology to the princess and her husband, admitting that an investigation into the latter's past had taken place. This had been denied earlier.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has been criticised for the way he is handling the royal crisis. Labour leader Wouter Bos, currently in coalition talks with Balkenende’s Christian Democrat CDA, is angry that all the blame is being placed on (Labour PM) Kok. Liberal party VVD leader Gerrit Zalm also says Balkenende’s approach is "not strong".

Balkenende has promised to send a letter of explanation to Parliament on Monday.

Margarita says that her mother Irene, the queen’s sister, has admitted that the couple was bugged.

Article From:

Jacqueline 03-14-2003 08:30 PM

Dutch Royal Family Spat Hits Parliament

Wednesday March 12, 2003 8:30 PM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Parliament put aside issues such as Iraq and the formation of a new government Wednesday to focus on a family quarrel - the feud between Queen Beatrix and her niece over allegations the queen ordered a secret investigation of the princess' commoner husband.

Lawmakers grilled Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende on why Cabinet ministers were unaware that the intelligence service investigated Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn, and why bureaucrats initially denied it.

Princess Margarita and her husband watched from the parliament's gallery.

Margarita has filed a criminal case against the intelligence service and has accused the queen of abusing her authority by ordering the investigation to obtain tax and social security files of van Zuydewijn.

The royal house has not responded to Margarita's allegations.

Confidential information from the files that van Zuydewijn had received welfare payments were passed on to Margarita's father and brother before their September 2001 wedding in Auch, France, the princess claims.

Balkenende insisted that the investigation was a permissible security measure for anyone marrying into the royal family.

But he conceded that ``mistakes were made'' in not informing the interior and finance ministers about the investigation.

``In the future, it has to be done differently,'' he said.

The royal feud has riveted the public, unused to seeing criticism of their queen. Dutch television canceled its scheduled program to broadcast the debate live.

Margarita said the queen used the files to blacken her husband's name and ruin his business, a software company that van Zuydewijn has since sold after it ran into financial troubles.

Thom de Graaf, leader of a small populist party, said the investigation was unacceptable.

``Private information is being transferred from ministries to the secret service and back again, and the people concerned have no idea what's going on,'' he said.

Margarita has said wiretapping bugs were found in the couple's Amsterdam home. Balkenende denied the couple's conversations were monitored.

Article From: The Observer/The Guardian

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