Bright, dark or dull? Only one type of orange is officially mine

As much as we have the idea that orange is the color of the royal family, this has not traditionally been the case. “There is no connection between the royal family and color,” royal correspondent Philip Droege told Editie NL.

The name “Van Oranje” comes from the Principality of Orange, a town in southern France. Willem I inherited the Principality of Orange in 1544, which is why he received the nickname “Van Orange”.

When the beggars fought the Spanish, they were looking for a symbol. “This color became orange, because William of Orange was their great champion. They made the ensign on the crest of their ships that color. Thus the association with orange was created.”


Color is not prescribed by law, but it is in the protocols. “There’s a color code, just as companies record it, for example. One shade of orange is not the other. So there’s only one true royal orange. That’s the orange for the Prince’s flag,” Droege explains. “In 1958 it was created by Royal Decree: this is what color looks like, not the other way around.”

In the same way, in 1937, the colors belonging to the red, white and blue of the Dutch flag were determined: pure scarlet, pure white and cobalt blue.

Party store

However, these formal protocols make little difference to party-goers on King’s Day, believes Lindy Pullens, owner of a party shop in Den Bosch. “People are just looking for something fun. Whether it’s neon or some other shade. The customer doesn’t really care if it’s a royal orange or not.”

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