DELFT, Netherlands – Prince Bernhard’s remains were interred in the royal crypt of the House of Orange on Saturday, after a caisson carrying his coffin rolled past 6,000 marines and cavalry lining the ancient Dutch streets as jet fighters streaked overhead.
Bernhard, the charismatic, German-born husband of former Queen Juliana and father of Queen Beatrix, died of cancer Dec. 1 at age 93.
Bernhard was the most colorful figure in the Dutch royal house, respected for his service to his adopted country in World War II and later for his charity work to protect nature.
A wreath of white flowers accompanying his flag-draped coffin bore a tiny Panda bear, emblem of the World Wildlife Fund Bernhard helped found in 1961, becoming its first president.
Bernhard headed the Netherlands’ armed forces for the government-in-exile in London and was present at the signing of the German capitulation in Wageningen in 1945.
His was the third royal funeral in two years. Beatrix buried her husband, Prince Claus, in October 2002, and her mother, Juliana, Bernhard’s wife, in March.