It is in Drakensteyn Castle where the former Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands wishes to live happily ever after, writes Global Post. Drakensteyn is not the usual abode one would expect the status of Princess Beatrix to choose. But choose it she did anyway. After all, her unassuming and warm personality endeared her to the public.
Drakensteyn is a small castle built from 1640–1643 for a certain van Reede Läm. However, as early as 1359, a manor house of the same name is believed to have existed in the castle present location.
The castle changed owners from the 17th through the18th centuries. In 1807, the castle came into the possession of Paulus Wilhelmus Bosch, mayor of Utrecht, and it remained with his family until his descendant, Frederik Lodewijk Bosch van Drakestein sold it to Princess Beatrix in 1959.
She started living here in 1963, even after her marriage in 1966 to Prince Claus. It was in Drakensteyn where her three sons were born. In 1981, Beatrix’s mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated, and she succeeded as Queen. The family had to transfer residence to The Hague but the castle remained a weekend getaway or a temporary home for guests.
But it was in Drakensteyn where Queen Beatrix enjoyed "the happiest years of my life."
Hein van Oosterom, a fourth-generation resident and restaurant owner in Lage Vuursche, recalls the good old days in the castle.
"As a child I remember things being pretty informal. We used to go there over Christmas and sing carols and always got a cup of hot chocolate," he said in an interview with AFP.
However, everything changed when Beatrix became queen.
“She was really looking for privacy and was not that involved in the village any longer," he said.
Aside from its royal connection, the castle is classicist in style and is hailed for its unique octagonal shape and its moat that can be crossed via a bridge.
In February 2013, Queen Beatrix decided to return to her beloved Drakensteyn shortly after she abdicated. Finally, she’s home.