Adventures in History · King of Holland retires carriage with slave illustration

The controversial golden vehicle has been in the Dutch royal family since 1901 and is the subject of discussion in the country.

Last Thursday, the 13th, the King of Holland, Willem-Alexander, made an announcement to inform that it will no longer use a golden chariot, illustrated with images of enslaved blacks, kneeling in front of white masters.

The horse-drawn vehicle carries the images on the side of a panel. The carriage called the ‘Gouden Koets’ has been owned by Dutch royalty since 1901 and was widely used to transport Willem for special events.

According to information published by the newspaper O Globo, the Dutch monarch stopped using the carriage in 2015, when the vehicle underwent a renovation, amid increased discussion about racism in the Netherlands.

As revealed in the report, in June last year ‘Gouden Koets’ was the subject of an online petition. At the time, more than 9,000 Dutch Internet users asked for the vehicle to be retired.

In a note published on social media, the king justified his decision:

“We cannot rewrite the past. We can try to accept it together. This also applies to the colonial past. Gouden Koets can only be used when the Netherlands is ready for it. And that is not the case at the moment. As long as there are people living in the Netherlands who feel the pain of discrimination on a daily basis, the past will still cast its shadow over our time,” he wrote.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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