Netherlands: Commission to study royal family's role in colonial history

Netherlands: Commission to study royal family's role in colonial history
Credit: Belga

King Willem-Alexander has commissioned an independent investigation into the role played by the Dutch royal family in the Netherlands’ colonial history.

The study will last three years, the government press service said on Tuesday. It will cover the period from the end of the 16th century to the post-colonial present and will be carried out by a University of Leiden commission headed by Professor Emeritus Gert Oostindie.

Professor Oostindie, a specialist in the field, published in 2006 ‘De parels en de kroon’ [The Pearls and the Crown], a book dedicated to “the special relationship between the House of Orange-Nassau and the colonies.”

Last month, the Dutch government announced that it would apologise in the near future for the Netherlands’ slave-owning past.

Former Dutch colonies reacted positively to the announcement, according to public broadcaster NOS. However, some had felt that it was up to the King as head of state to apologise.


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