Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Royals and the Grumbling People

Anti-Orangist feelings are traditional in Dutch society, as well as the royal house and the Orangists themselves.

When William I became “sovereign” in 1813, part of the Amsterdam “riffraff mutteringly marched along the streets and quays,” singing an anti-monarchist song.
When William II was inaugurated in 1840, five people strangled to death in the mob in Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat, which cast a dark cloud over the day.
The remarkable deeds of King William II (nicknamed “Kaaskop,” cheesehead) generated many venomous pamphlets.
King William III was saddled with the nickname “King Gorilla.” The king’s followers were furious about this and battered the socialists who had invented this phrase during the Orange Fury in 1887.

In 1885 “For Rent” was chalked on the Royal Palace at Dam Square. These graffiti  were an early predecessor of the “No home, no crown” slogan from the squatters movement in 1980, when Beatrix was about to be inaugurated. 
When a sort of crowd-funding was set up to finance a golden carriage as an inauguration present to Queen Wilhelmina in 1898, socialists fulminated against this project. During her inauguration there was a false bomb scare.
Only in 1948, when Queen Juliana succeeded Wilhelmina, was there hardly any antimonarchist protest to be heard. Agitation was restricted to minuscule Trotskyist and anarchist circles.

Explore the playful happenings and expressions of anti-orangists from 1813-1980 from the collections of IISH and the Persmuseum (all documents presented are in Dutch)

Text and compilation Margreet Schrevel

15 April 2013