In 2014, I was commissioned by the Honorary Cavalry Escort to create a unique piece of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands together with a horse from the Royal Stables in 2013.
The Honorary Cavalry Escorte honors an unique military tradition and is an official unit of the Royal Army. They have a very good relationship with the Dutch royal family. They accompany the Golden Coach on Little Prince's Day annually. In addition, they can be used for weddings, funerals and other ceremonies around the royal house.
It is tradition at the Honorary Cavalry Escorte to have a portrait of the current Dutch monarch. On this portrait, the king or queen is always portrayed with a horse from the royal stables. This portrait resides at the stables but also accompanies some official events.
After years having a painting of Princess Beatrix (formerly Queen), it was time to create a new painting of our present monarch, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander.
For a city council royal portrait competition, I had already created an artwork of His Majesty the King as an entry. As a result, the Honorary Calvary Escort commissioned me to paint a portrait of the King. A true "equine artist" was chosen because not only the King, but also the horse had to be good.
To be able to do this, we (Equine Photographer Nikki the Kerf and I) visited the Royal Stables under the guidance of Ritmeester Colonel Haike Blaauw, also the PR Manager of the Foundation. His Majesty was prepared tor pose together with Oscar (a horse from the Royal Stables). The pictures served as reference for creating the painting in my studio.
Before the painting was officially presented to the Honorary Cavalry Escort, the King saw it and approved it.
The official disclosure of this work took place on the eve of Little Prince's Day 2015. This was an impressive and traditional event at which Niki and I were present. For us this was a unique and unforgettable experience.
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