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Netherlands: King Willem-Alexander orders investigation into royal family's colonial past

2022-12-06T18:45:44.178Z

His ancestors probably owned slaves themselves and were involved in transatlantic human trafficking. Now the king announces that the role of the House of Orange-Nassau in colonialism will be examined.



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Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander: "A thorough knowledge of the past is essential"

Photo:

SEM VAN DER WAL / EPA

The Dutch King Willem-Alexander has the role of the Royal House of Orange-Nassau in colonial history independently investigated.

"A thorough knowledge of the past is essential in order to understand historical facts and developments and to deal as clearly and honestly as possible with their impact on people and communities", declared the king : "I think it is important that this knowledge is also used in reference to the role of the House of Orange-Nassau in colonial history becomes available."

The announcement of the inquiry into the role of royalty comes just before the cabinet is set to formally apologize for slavery.

That should happen on December 19th.

The king's ancestors probably owned slaves themselves and were also involved in the transatlantic slave trade through the Dutch West India Company, as reported by the public broadcaster NOS.

The royal house is also said to have benefited from the flow of money from its former colonial possessions, the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

The investigation should last three years and range from the late 16th century to the post-colonial present, the royal family said.

Leiden University is to carry out the investigation together with an independent commission.

sak/dpa

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-12-06

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