In 2014, The Netherlands issued stamps featuring its newly-crowned king, Willem-Alexander. But something didn’t quite fit on the stamps – and I’m not talking about the size of the new king’s head.
Those responsible for the design had placed a crown on the stamp that rather resembled the British monarchy’s St. Edward’s Crown. Could it be that the Dutch monarchy had fallen on hard times and had ‘borrowed’ that of the British royal House of Windsor!
Perhaps that would have made the story more interesting, but the fact is the company responsible for the stamps’design, Studio Job, had simply made a mistake. After many representations were made to the Dutch postal authority, PostNL during 2014, it was decided that from January 2015 a new issue would be released – with a more realistic depiction of the official Dutch crown.
Being British, not a fan of monarchy per se, and currently residing in The Netherlands, I was a little surprised by the findings of a study by Herman Matthijs, professor of administrative science and public finances at Ghent University. He stated that the Dutch royal House of Oranje-Nassau costs Netherlands’ taxpayers 31 million pounds last year. That compares unfavourably with the costs to the British taxpayer of around 29.7 million pounds last year and makes the Dutch royal family the most expensive for the taxpayer in Western Europe. Quite a surprising fact for a supposedly low-key, bicycling monarchy.