The fake Dutch moon rock and the Queen
The moon rock given to the Netherlands by the Apollo crew was fake.
In 2009 the news broke in the Netherlands that a fake moon rock was given to the former Prime Minister Willem Drees. During the goodwill tour in 1969 Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin visited the Netherlands. J. William Middendorf, the American ambassador to the Netherlands, handed a rock to former Prime Minister Drees.
"I do remember that Drees was very interested in the little piece of stone. But that it's not real, I don't know anything about that," [*1] according to Mr Middendorf, when he was asked about the fake moon rock. Did Apollo 11 astronauts handed a fake moon rock to the Dutch queen? In the news article below Queen Juliana and Prince Bernard are looking at one of the presents, a replica of the message the Apollo astronauts left behind on the moon. The newspaper also mentions that the Queen of the Netherlands got a moon rock from the Apollo 11 astronauts. The last line in the caption states:
"The Queen of the Netherlands "got a replica of the message the Apollo astronauts left behind on the moon and a MOON ROCK." [*2]
Left to right, Dutch Queen, Prince Bernard, Collins, Aldrin, Armstrong and Prince Claus.
Protocols and royals,
The Queen is the head of state and should get the most important gift. That means that the Queen should have got the moon rock as reported in the newspaper above. To give Willem Drees at that moment a former PM, the most importaned giftmakes no sence at all. It is against protocol to give the Queen a smaller moon rock or even no moon rock at all. The guests of honour (Apollo11 crew) would present to biggest gift (moon rock) to the head of state (The Queen) and the Ambassador to other people like former PM Drees in this case. It all fits together when you follow the protocol. Where is the moon rock that is reported as given to the Dutch Queen? AwE130 thinks that the fake moon rock that got exposed in 2009 was first given to the Queen of the Netherlands. We expect that the Dutch royals rejected the gift as they knew it was fake. The US ambassador to the Netherlands didn't want to report this incident back to Washington. Later that day he gave the moon rock to Drees, that way there was no international Apollo 11 scandal and everyone was happy. Can you imagine the international headline in 1969, Dutch Queen refuses moon rock gift from Apollo 11 astronauts.
Also read part two: The fake Dutch moon rock and the Prince.
The Dutch National Geographic reported the following: "Most moon rocks are in possession of museums, royalties and former heads of states. President Nixon gave away moon rocks between 1969 and 1973 as gifts." The National Geographic article is removed after we did publish this information. The article was written by: Christian de Bruijn and published on 11 December 2014.