The fake Dutch moon rock and the Queen
Was Drees' fake moon rock the same one presented to the Queen?
In 2009 the news broke in the Netherlands about a "moon rock" in a Dutch museum that was found to be a fake. The rock belonged to former Prime Minister Willem Drees, and was given to the museum after his death in 1988. Drees was given the rock by then-U.S. ambassador J. William Middendorf in 1969, during a goodwill tour by the three Apollo 11 astronauts.
When asked about the fake moon rock Mr Middendorf was quoted as saying: "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," (Link to article 1).
Did Apollo 11 astronauts hand a fake moon rock to the Dutch Queen?
During the same goodwill tour the astronauts met with Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernard. The news article below shows the Queen being presented with gifts by the three Apollo 11 astronauts. The last line of the article reads:
"The Queen received a replica of the message the Apollo astronauts left behind on the moon and a piece of MOON ROCK." [*2]
From Left to right: Dutch Queen, Prince Bernard, Collins, Aldrin, Armstrong and Prince Claus.
Royals and Protocols
It seems highly unlikely that both the Queen and Willem Drees would have been given a moon rock on the same visit. If a moon rock was gifted it would have been presented to the Queen, who as the head of state should have received the most important gifts. To have given Willem Drees, at the time a former PM, a valuable moon rock makes no sense at all. It would have been against protocol.
And where is the moon rock that was reportedly given to the Dutch Queen? AwE130 thinks that the fake moon rock that got exposed in 2009 was first presented to the Queen of the Netherlands. We suspect that the Dutch royals rejected the gift, knowing that it was a fake. The US ambassador to the Netherlands was too afraid to report back to Washington that the gift had been refused and, later that day, gave the moon rock to Drees. Can you imagine the international newspaper headlines 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 was removed after we published this information. The article was written by Christian de Bruijn and published on 11th December, 2014.