British Queen marks 400th anniversary of English-language church in Amsterdam

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II visited the Netherlands Monday to mark the 400th anniversary of a British Protestant chapel tucked away in a tranquil square in Amsterdam. The Queen was also visiting the U.N.’s International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh flew into Rotterdam Airport at 12:25 p.m. (1125 GMT) and were to attend a private lunch with Dutch Queen Beatrix at her Huis ten Bosch Palace in woods outside The Hague.

After lunch, Queen Elizabeth was scheduled to visit the Peace Palace, seat of the U.N. court also known as the World Court, whose president is currently a British judge, Rosalyn Higgins.

Later in Amsterdam, Beatrix, Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were attending a service at the English Reformed Church which, despite its name, is officially part of the Church of Scotland.

The small chapel, one of Amsterdam’s oldest buildings, was built in the 15th century for local Catholics but stood empty for years after Protestants took control of Amsterdam in 1578.

The building was handed to Amsterdam’s English-speaking Protestants, many of whom lived in the busy trading city, in 1607 and they held their first service there on Feb. 5 of that year.

After the service, the two Queens will walk to the nearby Amsterdam Historical Museum for a reception hosted by Britain’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Lyn Parker.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday February 5, 2007.
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