Bicentenary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Prince William of Orange's 1813 return key to design

The Hague – This years marks the 200th anniversary of Prince William of Orange’s return to the Netherlands, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. PostNL will be launching two special stamp sets to commemorate this event, the first of which was issued on 30 November. Two stamps were designed for this sheetlet which captures the essence of the Dutch Kingdom.

While creating the two stamps, designer Vanessa van Dam focused on the essence of the Kingdom’s Bicentenary. "When designing the first stamp, I got to thinking about the names of all the kings and queens who have reigned over our country, who have shaped our Kingdom over the past two centuries. It was as though they formed the elements of an addition, and I ended up using an actual addition in my design", Van Dam said.

The other stamp consists of three images positioned on top of each other, with the return of William of Orange being the central focus. The images depict a red-white detail of an engraving of the Prince of Orange landing in Scheveningen; a blue-white detail of a King Willem I portrait; and a waving Dutch flag. The stamp also features an addition line and a plus sign. The two details add up to an image of the Dutch flag, which Vanessa feels also symbolises the Kingdom"s bicentenary.

Stamp set

As the foundations for the Kingdom's current structure were laid between 1813 and 1815, the bicentenary celebrations will take place over a 3-year period. The 'Bicentenary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands 2013' stamp sheetlet is therefore the first in a series of three. The stamp sheet to be issued in 2014 highlights the 1814 Constitution, while the 2015 stamps will commemorate the inauguration of King Willem I in 1815.

Vanessa van Dam previously designed a special stamp for PostNL in 1999 to commemorate the UN's International Year of Older Persons, while her portfolio also includes the visual identity of the Royal Palace of Amsterdam on Dam Square.


The new stamps will be available – while stocks last – from outlets of the Bruna book and stationery chain from 30 November. They are also available from The stamps are valid until further notice and are marked 'Nederland 2', the denomination for items up to 20g in weight destined for mail within the Netherlands.

A commemorative stamp booklet and first-day cover envelope* will be launched along with the stamp sheetlets.

*An NVPH product

2013-12-03 Postzegelvel 200 jaar koninkrijk Nederland