Paleis Het Loo | Knights of Orange

Knights of Orange

From 10 March to 31 May 2015 Paleis Het Loo is mounting an exhibition devoted to Knights of Orange, an overview of four centuries of orders of knights that have been conferred on princes and people in the Netherlands. The exhibition tells the story of modern heroes like Marco Kroon and Gijs Tuinman both of whom received the Military Order of Willem for bravery during the war in Afghanistan. Decorations awarded in the past to members of the royal House of Orange and to brave people of the Netherlands are also part of the exhibition.

The Audience Room

The exhibition is in two parts: honours conferred on the monarch and honours conferred on individual people. The Audience Room displays the insignia of orders conferred on sovereigns who were knighted. Examples are the orders of knighthood of King Willem II, the hero of Waterloo, and the precious collar of the Order of the Garter worn by Queen Wilhelmina.

The East Wing

The East Wing displays the insignia of the honours conferred on ordinary citizens who were decorated by the monarch for exceptional services. In 1815 King Willem I founded the first two orders of knighthood, the Military Order of Willem, as the highest award for bravery, and the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, as the highest honour for exceptional civilians. Insignia, portraits and other striking attributes ilustrate the history of both the orders over two centuries.

The East Wing is open from 1 pm onwards.

  • Award ceremony MWO to Gijs Tuinman
    Breaststar queen Wilhelmina, edged with diamonds, belonging to Leopoldsorde van Belgium.
    Juliana pins the Military Order of Willem on her mother (1948)
    Opening Ridders van Oranje
Award ceremony MWO to Gijs Tuinman
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Breaststar queen Wilhelmina, edged with diamonds, belonging to Leopoldsorde van Belgium.
Photo: Paleis Het Loo
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Juliana pins the Military Order of Willem on her mother (1948)
Collection: Archives Royal Family
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Opening Ridders van Oranje
with Marco Kroon and Gijs Tuinman. Photo: De Stentor / Cees Baars
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