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Here’s Why The Dutch Royal Family’s Golden Coach Draws So Much Criticism

The<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>Golden<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>CoachPhoto credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The Golden Coach, which transports the Dutch monarchs to the start of the parliamentary year, was last seen in 2015. This is because the coach is perceived as an endorsement of the country’s slave history.

According to the BBC, the Tribute from the Colonies is a featured image on the coach featuring Black and Asian people, one kneeling and offering gifts such as cocoa and sugarcane to a seated young white woman representing the soul of the Netherlands.

Following the Black Lives Matter campaign, the Golden Coach has not recently performed its ceremonial role of opening the Dutch parliament. Normally, the Dutch monarch and queen would have ridden in it to Ridderzaal in Binnenhof to read the throne’s opening statement.

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According to the Amsterdam Museum, the occasion generally drew a big crowd who waved at the vehicle, which is drawn by eight horses and accompanied by a procession of footmen and coaches. The king and queen utilize the coach to grace significant occasions such as royal weddings and inaugurations.

The Golden Coach was a gift from the people of Amsterdam to Queen Wilhelmina, the city’s first female ruler. On August 31, 1898, she was formally crowned queen following her 18th birthday. The coach was paid for by taxes collected from Amsterdam’s poorest neighborhoods.

Nicolaas Van Der Waay’s Tribute of Colonies is tied to the Netherlands’ involvement in slavery. The image of the white woman seated and accepting gifts from Black and Asian people is regarded as a symbol of the Dutch influence on its colonial domains in Indonesia, Suriname, and the former Dutch Antilles, which include the islands of Curacao and Aruba.

The image by a Curacaoan artist, Ruben La Cruz, sparked a controversy at the Summer Carnival in Rotterdam in 1990. The movement was relaunched by activist Jeffry Pondaag, who demanded that the monarch stop using the Golden Coach and that reparations be paid to descendants of slavery and colonialism.

In 2011, two members of the House, Mariko Peters and Harry Van Bommel, filed a motion in parliament asking the queen to stop using the coach. In 2020, global Black Lives Matter protests targeted the royal family for their involvement with the historical artifact.

The monarch was forced to listen to these protests when a youthful generation of activists led by de Helden Van Nooit, literally “the Heroes of Never,” said that they would begin defacing public statues until the king and queen stopped using the coach.

An online petition started by social geographer Nugah Schrestha gathered 8,000 signatures urging the queen to discontinue use of the Golden Coach. The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander announced in January that the golden carriage would no longer be used by Dutch royals.

 

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Written by How Africa News

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