Dutch royal family announces it will house up to 30 Ukrainian refugees

Dutch royal family announces it will house up to 30 Ukrainian refugees in 15th Century castle – after Belgian royals vow to put up two families

  • The families will be housed in Het Oude Loo on the grounds of Het Loo Palace 
  • The property is a 15th Century castle located in Apeldoorn, in the Netherlands
  • Around 1,700 families in the Netherlands have volunteered to take in refugees 
  • It comes days after the Belgian royal family announced it would host refugees 

The Dutch royal family has announced it will house up to 30 Ukrainian refugees in a 15th Century castle after Belgian royals vowed to put up two families.

Eight families, or 20 to 30 people, will be housed in Het Oude Loo, which is located on the estate of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

The decision, made jointly by King Willem-Alexander, the Royal House, the city of Apeldoorn, the Noord-en Oost-Gelderland security region, the asylum seeker reception organisation COA, and Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, the national real estate management firm, was formally announced by the Dutch government on Monday afternoon.

It comes days after the Belgian royal family announced it will host three Ukrainian families fleeing their war-torn home in two of its houses in Belgium.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde decided to open up two of their homes, located in Brussels and in the southern region of Wallonia, which are owned by the Belgium’s Royal Trust.

The Dutch royal family (pictured are King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima) has announced it will house up to 30 Ukrainian refugees in a 15th Century castle after Belgian royals vowed to put up two families

Eight families, or 20 to 30 people, will be housed in Het Oude Loo, which is located on the estate of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte previously refused to speculate on reports the Dutch king and queen were planning to host refugees, saying he would not disclose the details of his private conversations.

Royal families have housed refugees in the past, according to Mr Rutte, who said Queen Wilhelmina did so during the Second World War.

Around 1,700 families in the Netherlands have volunteered to take in refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, NL Times reported. 

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have recently visited refugees who made the journey to the Netherlands, spent time with people at the Harskamp barracks near Ede and hosted others at the Noordeinde Palace.

Queen Máxima visited a school in The Hague set up to help refugee children with education and a reception point at the RAI conference centre alongside the mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema

The queen has also launched a website called RefugeeHelp – in English, Dutch, Russian and Ukrainian – to help refugees with information on things including housing and education. 

The Belgian royal family (pictured is King Philippe) previously said it will host three Ukrainian families fleeing their war-torn home in two of its houses in Belgium

In Belgium, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde opened up their homes after King Phillipe met Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children, at a registration centre at the Brussels Expo building. 

A spokesman for the Royal Palace said that the King had been moved by the experience and announced the decision to host Ukrainian families shortly afterwards.

The Belgian royal family has in the past hosted the most vulnerable people in their royal households.

Last year, they accomodated people who had lost their homes in Belgium’s worst floods in houses owned by the Royal Trust.

More than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine following Russia’s February 24 invasion of the country. More than half have gone to Poland, whilst more than 10,000 have registered in Belgium where they have been given international protection. 

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