Today it’s the birthday of the King of the Netherlands. His familyname is “From Orange”.
Orange is a small principality in the south of France and the first Dutch Prince of Orange started procedures to free our country from foreign rule which is why we see him as the Father of the Fatherland. (He led a complicated political life and school children all over the country still struggle to make sense of it. Adults don’t understand it either but they’ve stopped trying.)
“From Orange” makes for easy fandom. The whole country is orange today. People, banners, clothes, pastry.
Our royals are the same royals used to name Orange County, NY, USA. In 1683 the province of New York was divided into 12 counties which were named after British royalty. The third Prince William of Orange was one of them.
I presume orange trees grew easily in the principality in France?
The weird thing is: an orange is called a “sinaasappel” in Dutch which translates as “China’s apple”. It’s pronounced the same way too. Lot’s of countries call it that. Or “Appelsin” which is “Apple de China”
Was this reference to China an early marketing ploy, to suggest oranges are wild and exotic? Or did they indeed come from the far East??
I’m too lazy to do more internetlearning on this, my day off. You do it. And can I then borrow your notes on the political value of William I of Orange please?
The current king is also named William: Willem-Alexander. He’s no longer Prince of Orange though, now that’s he’s king.
He married a smart girl from Argentinia and they have three daughters: Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. Amalia is now the Princess of Orange.
pic by Remko de Waal
On King’s Day tradition is that they, as a family, visit a city or two in the country and observe folk games and songs and the local children doing crafts.
It’s a holiday. The whole country is going nuts with festivities everywhere. Lots of music. Everything and everyone’s orange.
Even for us, home staying people, orange creeps in: