Ceremonie 'Constable's Dues' krijgt bescheiden 'rode bies'

Ceremonie 'Constable's Dues' krijgt bescheiden 'rode bies'

Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt heeft tijdens haar bezoek in Londen de Ceremony of the Constable's Dues uitgevoerd in de Tower van Londen. 

Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt heeft tijdens haar bezoek in Londen de Ceremony of the Constable's Dues uitgevoerd in de Tower van Londen.Deze ceremonie is een oude traditie en bestaat al meer dan 700 jaar. Volgens de traditie betaalt ieder groot marineschip dat Londen bezoekt tol in de vorm van een vaatje rum of wijn aan de constable van de Tower van Londen. Na de betaling valt het schip onder de bescherming van de Tower.

350 jaar Korps Mariniers

“Het Korps Mariniers bestaat dit jaar 350 jaar en dat was een mooie gelegenheid om, door middel van deze ceremonie, de banden tussen de Nederlandse en Engelse marine en mariniers te onderstrepen en te herbevestigen,”  aldus luitenant ter zee 1 Niels van Swelm, Hoofd Logistieke Dienst Johan de Witt. “We zijn erg vereerd dat de Engelsen toestemming hebben gegeven dat wij in deze prachtige vestiging de ceremonie mogen uitvoeren.”

Privilege van Willem

De Tower van Londen is een van de meest iconische en historische gebouwen van het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Naast een delegatie van het schip was ook de Marinierskapel aanwezig om het geheel muzikaal te begeleiden. De wijn die is aangeboden, is afkomstig van Wijngoed Montferland met de historische naam ‘Privilege van Willem’. De kwaliteitswijn is afkomstig uit de wijngaarden in het oude Graafschap Bergh. De wijn is nog niet zo oud, maar heeft de kenmerken van Willem: krachtig, stevig, eigenzinnig en geliefd door kenners.


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Forces TV

SPEECH brigadegeneraal der mariniers Mr. R.G. Oppelaar – 14 SEP 2015

Your Excellency (mr Smits), Constable of the Tower (Lord Dannatt), Admirals, Generals, officers and crew of His Majesty’s Ship Johan de Witt, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I consider it a great privilege to participate in this historic ceremony, which extends back as far as the 14th century. A ceremony, that has its roots in the purely practical requirements for the protection of ships in the heart of London.

History and tradition help us to provide a sense of common purpose. When we know where our roots lie, we are better able to weather the storms that the profession of arms will inevitably bring. This has wider meaning when we can participate in, and celebrate the traditions of partner nations and cherish those international friendships.

The United Kingdom and the (Kingdom of the) Netherlands overall share common purpose, goals and outlook. This is reinforced by the inherent compatibility of our people… which is underpinned with a mutual understanding and (perhaps most importantly) by a shared sense of humor. This happily translates into how well our Armed Forces are able to operate together.

From the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 to the formation of the United Kingdom and Netherlands Amphibious Force more than 40 years ago, we have achieved many successes together. It is this latest Naval collaboration where our main combined strengths currently lie. Over the last 40 years we have built an organisation that operates to an unusual degree of interoperability, even by the accepted standards of NATO. Because, .. many equipment types are compatible or even the same - uch as landing craft, data & communication systems and tactical vehicles - as well as the commonality of important training, operational concepts and tactical procedures …. our integration remains solid. Mutual understanding at the individual level is also well founded – the result of our people learning their trade quite often in the same classroom, in the same operations room and in the field and at sea during during the same exercises or deployments.

The United Kingdom and Netherlands Amphibious Force was formed to support NATO however its utility will enhance new structures, such as the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force.

Although the weight of my words fall with our respective Naval Services (as befits the flavor of this ancient ceremony) our Armies and Air Forces also have an increasing part to play together. Particularly, as we respond to the pressures of our ever changing world in terms of the reduction in natural resources, climate change, migration, crime, terrorist acts, international economic competition and military aggression.

International partnerships and collaboration have a greater part to play than ever before, in order to maintain our (military) credibility and capacity. We should not underestimate however, the will, effort and investment required to make these effective at the sharp end. Likemindedness and natural compatibility of course make the process much easier and we in the Netherlands choose to reinforce success; particularly with the United Kingdom being one of our strongest partners.

Two days ago over about 120 Veterans of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps completed their rowing challenge across the North Sea, from Rotterdam to Tower Bridge! This was a great challenge indeed.

Our values of Unity, Strength and Dedication are also being reinforced as the Corps’ Mountain Leaders, along with UK Royal Marine colleagues, last week completed their challenge in climbing all 48 mountains in the Swiss Alps above 4000 metres, … before tackling the Himalayan 8000m meter peak of Manaslu next year.

London was no mere random selection as the destination for the Dutch Marines Rowing Challenge. The struggle between our two nations was the furnace which forged the birth of my Corps in 1665 (and also your Royal Marines Corps the previous year), but just a few decades later we were brothers in arms and have been so almost ever since.

Today, His Netherlands Majesty's Ship Johan de Witt is moored in the River Thames. If it was the man who was here 350 years ago, instead of the ship that bears his name, he would be trying to destroy the City of London (as an economic competitor to the Netherlands) and you would be trying to lock him up somewhere in this vicinity …...

The ceremony of the Constable's Dues exists more 700 years, and today we continue this fine tradition. In the past ..... we used to pay our Dues with a barrel of Rum. But …. today we brought along a barrel of Dutch wine. Not merely due to the high quality of this wine, but this wine is also deeply connected to Dutch history.

This red wine comes from the vineyard of “Montferland” with the historical name 'The Privilege of William'. Which has it's roots from the vineyards of the former estate of Count William van den Bergh, were he - as brother in law of William of Orange – during the 16th century fought against the Spanish King for Dutch independence. Apart from this red wine, we have brought along a white wine “Cuvee Maria Elisabeth”, named after Countess van den Bergh!

After 350 years, ... many things have changed and we voluntarily come here with appropriate payment of our dues to the Constable of the Tower. It is handed over in a spirit of true friendship, and a recognition of not only our shared history, but also our shared future.

Thank you!