Talk:Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld

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"Bernhard joined the NSDAP, the SA and a special branch of the SS called the " Reiter SS" ( SS on horseback). The Prince was not a nazi, these memberships made life easier for an ambitious young man." Can one say someone joined the Nazi party and then say that they weren't a nazi? Maybe better to say not a commited nazi?

Hello all, I agree with Robert. Some of the contributors clearly have a 'hate on' for the prince. Save the editorials for your blog.

Also, this entry should not be titled Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld rather Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Individuals with title are being categorized according to their most recent honorific, and that should be the case here. The man died a Prince of the Netherlands and that is how he should be categorized.

Adriaan // Canada

WP standards for naming deceased consorts is to use their birthnames. Bernhard fits under that category. Charles 16:36, 13 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Charles, that doesn't seem to be the case. If so, why is Queen Victoria referenced as Victoria of the United Kingdom rather than her birthname of Princess Victoria of Kent?
Victoria was a queen-regnant, rather than a queen-consort. Queens-regnant (aka, queens in their own right) are named on Wikipedia the same as kings are. Queen Victoria's husband, however, was HSH Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha right before their marriage. Since he was the consort to a reigning queen (as Bernhard was), Albert is titled Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on Wikipedia. Charles 16:53, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My fellow Wikepedians, there is a lot of nonsense to be found both on this page and in the article! Prince Bernhard was a larger than life figure and some aspects of his life were enigmatic but Wikipedia is not meant to slander people! I will try and correct a few mistakes one of these days. Robert Prummel// The Netherlands

And yes i am a republican, but i met the prince and i liked the man a lot!

Note for PMelvilleAustin[edit]

Hello PMelvilleAustin, Whatever you replaced a series of apostrophes with displayed as '?'s, so I changed them back. What were you were trying to do? -- Viajero 13:18, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Bernhard was a member of the NSDAP, SA and the SS. Anyone knowledgeable willing to make mention of that in the text? -- Dissident (Talk) 21:35, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The membership of the "Reiter SS" ( not the propper regular SS of Auschwitz fame) should be mentioned. Berhard was not a liberal, cristian-democrat or social-Democrat,he was an aristocrat. it seems fair to conclude that he swam with the flow. This did not make him a Nazi. He was above these things.He was ambitious and did what everybody else did to have a flourishing career in a nasty dictatorship. I will include them in the article.

Robert Prummel 19:59, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SO WHAT MAKES A PERSON A NAZI? (shemyaza) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:25, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Berhard was not a liberal, cristian-democrat or social-Democrat,he was an aristocrat. it seems fair to conclude that he swam with the flow. This did not make him a Nazi. He was above these things.He was ambitious and did what everybody else did to have a flourishing career in a nasty dictatorship."

So by your definition an aristocrat is above the rules that apply to other people? The man was NOT a shameless gold digger and opportunist, but somebody who "did what everybody else did to have a flourishing career in a nasty dictatorship"? Not EVERYBODY did that, mind you. At least not in Germany. Too many did that, but some did NOT, so not EVERYBODY did it.

Kerr-ist!!! I have never seen anything quite THAT despicable anywhere at Wikipedia. And that means a lot.

-- (talk) 20:22, 12 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Page appears to be hijacked as of 9:52pm Wednesday (GMT-5)

What a complicated man -- amoral and selfish. It appears that Prince Bernhard, except for his WWII service and the World Wildlife Fund, was on the wrong side of some of the biggest action in the 20th Century. Thanks for the article. 2 Dec 2004 1:07am CST (US)

Why do you say that? He did truely great things founding the WWF, organizing Bilderberg, serving as commander of the Dutch armed forces and coordinator of the Dutch resistance in World War II. Helping the Dutch economy greatly with all his business missions. Of course there were also a lot of wrongs, his affairs with other women, maybe have had nazi sympathies way before WW2 (although this is seriously doubted by most critics, they usually think he did it just because that was the 'expected' thing to do at that time in his position / still a wrong though), taking bribes from lockheed (although not for personal gains, the dutch royal family is one of the richest families in the netherlands) and saying some stupid and insensitive things. But they are all 'scandals', errors of misjudgement and human mistakes, it caused hardly any serious wrong for his people or the world, while he did bring a lot of serious and lasting good. -- 23:44, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)
he only played the part of leader of the resistance, in reality he played both sides of the fence until he would see who was going to win. After the war with his charm he managed to fool an entire nation. His role in the failure of 'Market Garden' is still not explained (enabling of double-spy Chris Lindemans). And as for him only doing 'Nazi stuff' because he would have been 'expected to do so', explain why he joined several Nazi organizations, some of which he would not have been required to join. And what was discussed between him and Hitler when they met to discuss his marriage? Too many people seem to think that socalled royalty (both hereditary titles and married into titles are all worthless, but that aside) cannot do anything wrong, which is a crazy idea, of course they can. --Marcel1975 00:03:14, 2005-08-31 (UTC)

And what was discussed between him and Hitler when they met to discuss his marriage?

Klinkenberg gives the exact words in "Bernhard,een politieke biografie" Haarlem 1986. The source is above suspicion: It is "Hitlers Tischgespraeche" ( hitlers conversations at the dinnertable)' an exact account of his rambling.Hitler called Bernhard " A complete idiot,shivering before me like a lapdog". Robert Prummel 20:08, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In this artikle someone says: However, he outraged the Dutch when he declared that he felt sorry for the German General Blaskowitz, later charged with war crimes, who was responsible for the Nazi surrender in the Netherlands. Such matters, plus a much more regal attitude than the unpretentious Princess Juliana, prevented the Prince from becoming genuinely liked by the Dutch, but he won some respect for his hard work in helping to reinvigorate the economy of the Netherlands in post-war years.

I never heard about this incident. Can any one give a source.. thanks.-- 07:44, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I dont think he was trained in Germany as a fighter the second half of the thirties he was living in The Netherlands. Bernhard didnt get his 'wings' until in England

Dear User:,

Without a citation the remarks about Blaskowitz should be deleted.

Robert Prummel 19:48, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Letter to Hitler rumor[edit]

I think the rumor that Bernhard sent a letter to Hitler is just a not notable rumor. Such a rumor does not even deserve to be treated and debunked. Are there any sources for this rumor? Andries 01:07, 5 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dear Andries, The rumor exists and as false rumors go we will never get rid of it! It can not be proven that the Prince wrote this letter. It is highly unlikely that he did. It is out of character. But the rumor will allways persevere... The source? Igor Cornelissen in " Vrij Nederland" 19/4 1980. Tomass Ross wrote a novel about this non-existing letter called " Om Wille van de troon" (For the sake of the Throne) Amsterdam 2002. On 7/2 2004 Prince Bernhard refuted the allegations in a letter to the editor in the newspaper " De Volkskrant". J.G. Kikkert ( Bernhard: "That joke of an historian") wrote about the stadholderletter in his book " De prins in Londen". Soesterberg 2004. Kikkert calls the rumor " bizarre" and concludes that there has never been a letter by Bernhard.

People will never agree about Bernhard, maybe in the future the archives will tell us more, for the moment it is our duty to be fair and concise.

Faithfully yours,

Robert Prummel 19:45, 26 June 2006 (UTC)19:45, 26 June 2006 (UTC) GroningenReply[reply]

Graf von Biesterfeld[edit]

I am making a small edit. When born, Bernhard bore the title of Count of Biesterfeld, rather than Lippe-Biesterfeld. The Biesterfeld branch of the House of Lippe, formerly known as the Counts of Lippe-Biesterfeld, succeeded to the Princely throne on the extinction of the main, Detmold, line on 25 October 1905. They became Princes and discarded the suffix of Biesterfeld at that point. Bernhard, as a morganatic scion of this House -His mother being a mere Baroness and a divorcee at that- was not entitled to the Princely title or the succession. Bernhard's uncle, the reigning Prince Leopold IV made Bernhard and his brother full Princes with the right of succession on 24th of February 1916. His mother, known as Countess of Biesterfeld up to that point, also became a Princess. Bernhard's father had died by then. They however kept the suffix Biesterfeld, discarded by the other members of the family. Perhaps a slight snub to mark their distinction from the non-morganatic members of the House. Also note the distinction in German between "Prinz / Graf zur Lippe-Biesterfeld and "Graf von Biesterfeld. In German it is also "Fürst / Prinz zur Lippe, rather than von Lippe. Both are usually translated into English as "of" and in Dutch as "van". "Zur" means "of the".--Gerard von Hebel 19:44, 3 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bernhard was born Bernhard Graf zur Lippe-Biesterfeld. The suffix was kept and at the point that dynasts of any other lines became extinct, the remaining head of a line would drop the differencing name, along with the descendents of his line. With no suffix, the title can be said as "of the Lippe". It is absurd (but technically correct) to say "of the Lippe-Biesterfeld" in English. Charles 01:50, 18 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Now Bernhard is known to the world as Prince Bernhard, Prince Bernhard of Lipe -Biesterfeld an Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. The period as a count is of little importance. Lets stick to " Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld". This is in compliance with Wiki policy.

Robert Prummel 19:17, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

a clear sign of his allegiance..,[edit]

I wrote:"The Dutch armed forces wear their medals in a manner that is copied from the Prussian Army. The Prince's deliberate disobedience of the regulations was not widely noticed but it is a clear sign of his allegiance" [citation needed].

Source: H.G.Meijer, author of " Het Vliegerskruis" Amsterdam 1997. Henny Meijer, a fellow member of the "Dutch Society for the study of Orders of Knighthood" met Prince Bernhard to interview him and photograph his medals. In the conversation Bernhard made the remark about his dislike of the regular Prussian style that medals are worn. Mr. Meijer in turn told me. Indeed , the exentric manner in wich H.R.H. wore his medals has been photographed and published thousands of times.

Enough proof?

Robert Prummel 20:44, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

reigning king of the Netherlands ?[edit]

THE ARTICLE STATES::Outside the Netherlands a great deal was written over the Hofmans affair. On 13 June 1956 an article appeared in the German magazine Der Spiegel with the title Zwischen Königin und Rasputin, literally meaning Between queen and Rasputin, which, as the title already indicates painted a less than flattering picture of Hofmans. Later on, Bernhard admitted that he personally provided the information for the article. It is thought that by doing this he hoped to have Hofmans removed from the court. In addition, various sources have reported that Prince Bernhard tried to get Queen Juliana admitted to a mental institution during this period, in which case he would have ascended to become reigning king of the Netherlands [citation needed]."

MY COMMENT: On 31/1 1956 crown-princess Beatrix had celebrated her 18th. birthday. No regent was necessary. Rumours about this crises abound but it is not documented. It does however show us that the monarchy was in deep crises. I PROPOSE TO DELETE THE LAST SENTENCE.

Robert Prummel 20:57, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A cleanup?[edit]

There are a few entries that still need a citation. I propose to skip these unproven entries today. There has been ample time to prove that these entries are facts. We will have to face the fact that some people hate the Prince and the rumours about him will allways persist. The Princes' life was a bit " shady", who knows what we will find out next? Robert Prummel 13:39, 25 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

complete idiot?[edit]

I'm trying to find out more about the source for Hitler's "complete idiot" comment but don't come up with anything when I search for "Hitlers Tischgespraeche." Is this a book Klinkenberg is quoting within his own book?

G.G Kikkert also quites this comment, citing Klinkenberg and an "American publication after the war". Not Wiki-standard.

The book certainly exists: see

Allas! I don't have it. Robert Prummel (talk) 04:37, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There should be a cite on the claim that the erasure of "honourary" was unconsitutional. --Daniel C. Boyer 16:42, 26 February 2007 (UTC) Why? Any errasure in a royal decree is unconstitutional. But a respectable cite is "Harry van Wijnen, "De Prins Gemaal, Amsterdam 1992, page 66. Robert Prummel (talk) 04:17, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

veto power[edit]

is it true he was descended from the last roman empire and that he had veto power of any pope? He is a descendant of the merovingian dynasty? This pos was made by User: on 15:57, 18 November 2007

No, persons can be descendants of other persons only, not states or empires. I am not aware of any Bernhard's veto power regarding the popes, why do you think he could have one? He may or may not be a descendant of the Merovignian dynasty, but no proven descent from Merovignians currently exists for him nor for anyone other. Regards, Pavel -- (talk) 13:55, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Sounds like a plot from a "book" by Dan Brown... to ridiculous for words.... There are no known merovignians alive, they dissapeared or became extinct more than a 1000 years ago. And no-one has a right to veto the outcome of a conclave. Exept, maybe, God, but he can't be bothered. Robert Prummel (talk) 04:30, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Actualy, catholic monarchs did have right to veto a candidate and they exercised it through their cardinals. The right was abolished by Pius X. [1] (talk) 21:01, 27 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]



I have taken out the following:

Prince Bernhard got from his father a slaveboy - toyboy nigger pet called Toto Hamisi around 1917.
“Toto was taken as a child from Tanganyika ( Tanzania) by the father of the Prince, Leopold Vorst Zur Lippe, to his castle in Reckenwalde / Woynowo. This was around 1917.
Toto was given as a present to Prince Bernard and his brother Aswin as a servant and child play. Toto stayed seven years at the castle and was for many years a remarkable appearance who was very successful by the village girls. But when he became sexually mature he became annoying and they sent him to London, where he started to teach Swahili”.
This intriguing sentences are literally translations of the authorized biography by Prince Bernhard, written in 1934 by Prof. Dr Georg Freiherr Von Eppstein. No one heared about Toto ever since. Dutch documentary maker rob muntz has started the search for Toto. Have you got info? Contact:

as it seems to be better left here at the discussion page. Pavel -- (talk) 13:55, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have changed a line[edit]

"... proof of Prince Bernhard's German SS participation" now reads "providing proof of Prince Bernhard's Reiter SS membership". The prince was not active in the SS and it was not the "real" SS. The SS had lots of organisations, some organised drivers for the Nazi-party. As a student Bernhard had to participate in the NSDAP or quit University. He chose the Kraftfhrer (or was it the Reiter?) SS. He was a member but, in his own words, not an active member, he did not therefore "participate".


Some sources give "Reiter SS", some "Motor SS"..... difficult.

Robert Prummel (talk) 04:12, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reiter SS was only formally SS and in other ways very independent. Source: Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head (New York: Penguin Books, 1971). This is a respected standard work about the SS. I read it somewhere in the German version of the book and I will edit as soon as I have found the exact wording and location. (talk) 07:18, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed Some Junk[edit]

This article has some examples of Wikipedia Policy:RidingDick that I removed or changed. The early section that said he was a member of NSDAP and SA seem to be trying to cover for him, a bit. For the lazy researcher, you see some alphabet soup and you'll miss entirely that he was associated with the Nazi Party. Note that wikipedia has an article on NAZI PARTY, not merely "NSDAP." That's euphemistic and needed to be clarified. The SA link now goes directly to the proper article, rather than the disambiguation page for "SA."

I also cut some pole-riding comments near the Post WWII area. "The popular and regal, well-connected Prince..." I'm not making that up. I left it as "the popular Prince."--Shink X (talk) 19:53, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If Bernhard was a member of the Nazi Party, that is interesting. We must bear in mind that some countries (e.g. Austria) were not "invaded" so much as they were merely annexed into the German Reich, oftentimes with the overwhelming support of the local population. John Paul Parks (talk) 13:40, 5 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dutch Royal Family Website[edit]

The claim is made that the Dutch Royal Family Website is wrong without giving a source. How on earth can anyone claim an official website is wrong without giving a source? I propose this sentence is deleted or the a source is given. (talk) 16:26, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Relationship Between Abdication and Lockheed Scandal[edit]

The statement indicating that Queen Juliana's "abdication was tacitly understood to be directly related to her husband's conduct" seems tenuous. The scandal was known in 1976 or earlier, but Juliana did not abdicate until 1980. At that point, she was about 71-years old, and her decision to renounce the throne was widely reported as merely being imitative of her mother's abdication in 1948. I note that Queen Beatrix is about 71-years old now, so it will be interesting to see if she abdicates anytime soon. John Paul Parks (talk) 13:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal of uncited material and a question about Peron[edit]

I removed the following paragraph A contribution like this, if included at all, should be relably cited.

Though generally not reported in the Dutch press, growing strain arose between Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard during this time. The jet-setting Bernard used his many absences from the country to carry on affairs, while throwing lavish parties at the various Dutch embassies.

Also - the "close friendship" with the Perons is cited by [2], which merely states (in a single line) that he visited them. Should the contribution go? Wikipeterproject (talk) 18:21, 13 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In fact, I decided to remove the whole contribution about the perons. The claim of friendship is not supported and the claim of unclear business negotiations on behalf of peron was completely wrong. The cited article from Time talks about Bernhard working for a Dutch government agency to win a contract in Argentina. The contribution I removed is:
Prince Bernard was a very close friend of president Juan Perón and his wife Eva from Argentina, even making a visit to them in Buenos Aires on 4 April 1951 [3]. He is believed to have helped them in some business negotiations which were not very clear [4]. Wikipeterproject (talk) 18:31, 13 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interview AFTER death?[edit]

I am confused by this passage: "In an interview published after his death, on 14 December 2004, Prince Bernhard admitted that..." After whose death? I think this must have been trucated from something else along the way. (talk) 02:07, 24 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

well it does say published, so that sounds logical. --KARL RAN (talk) 12:48, 8 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How many children?[edit]

The second paragraph of the lede says "numerous illegitimate children," the previous paragraph having said he had six children (four of them legitimate). Which is correct? Biblioteqa (talk) 18:07, 5 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Took this out chaps![edit]

Just cut this little lot out - "(he was a member of the NSDAP and the SS, a convicted bribe-taker and fathered numerous illegitimate children, only one of which he supported or recognized)" - no sources at all chaps? Bad show. Quintessential British Gentleman (talk) 18:48, 13 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed a bit[edit]

"For assisting specific individuals" in the lede section. It's a very strange claim - we all assist specific individuals unless we are curmudgeonly hermits - but it's also been unsourced for three years. (It's not even good English; after all, what the heck is a non-specific individual?) The rest of the sentence seems to be supported by the sources later in the article, but that? Has no relation to anything. --NellieBly (talk) 22:34, 16 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What was Prince Bernhard's birth name?[edit]

As of Aug. 11 2016 the article's first paragraph lists his name as:

Prince Bernhard Leopold Frederik Everhard Julius Coert Karel Godfried Pieter of Lippe-Biesterfeld

and his birth name as:

Bernhard Friedrich Eberhard Leopold Julius Kurt Carl Gottfried Peter Graf von Biesterfeld

but the Early Life section of the article has:

"Bernhard was born Bernhard Leopold Friedrich Eberhard Julius Kurt Karl Gottfried Peter Graf von Biesterfeld"

What's the correct spelling and ordering of his names? Xelkman (talk) 03:45, 12 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Xelkman, as far as I know, the sequence of the first names on his birth certificate were changed (perhaps not quite legally) in the very first days of his life, to, retrospectively, honour his Uncle Leopold. Which made the whole thing a big mess. His title was changed from "Graf von Biesterfeld" or Count of Biesterfeld, to "Prinz zur Lippe-Biesterfeld" or Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld, when he was five years old. His first names were again changed when they were translated from German into Dutch, when he became a Dutch citizen in 1937. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 15:13, 12 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wilson[1] links him to Boy Scouting, in passing; was he involved?--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 04:09, 31 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ John S. Wilson (1959), Scouting Round the World. First edition, Blandford Press. p. 34, 99, 111, 124, 276

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A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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The War Admiralty,[edit]

in paragraph Second World War: The wording "War Admirality" is totally strange to me! The "Admirality" is the correct wording for the higher staff of the Royal Navy and not "War Admirality"! (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:27, 7 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]