The Prince of Orange
On June 15 1815, during the famous Duchess of Richmond’s ball, a note was handed to the Prince of Orange: Napoleon was close by. News circulated quickly and soldiers hastily prepared for the battle of Quatre-Bras, which turned out to be a preliminary engagement to the decisive Battle of Waterloo that occurred two days later. This famous historic event? Re-enacted countless of times due to its significance, this time in the pilot episode of Julian Fellowes’ new show Belgravia that aired its 6 episodes on ITV last year. That prince? Yeah, I’d be playing him.
Quite frankly it was a bit surreal to have been honored to play a part in this series. I was surrounded by the crème de la crème of the British acting industry (and it was really fun to have hung out again with fellow rada graduate Jack Bardoe!) the location shoots, the set design, the costumes, the trailers, everyone in the crew being so incredibly generous and kind… the type of experience I had dreamt about as a young boy. It didn’t hurt to make my mom proud upon imparting the news to her that I would be playing the prince of orange himself, and that’s what we do it all for, don’t we?
Back in contemporary Netherlands a virus was still dominating spirits and facial fashion but the need was there to hold a fourth Stone Soup after two canceled editions in California and Berlin earlier in the year. We’d be clung to the televisions, watching the bi-weekly press conferences of the Dutch government announcing that they would tighten regulations even further. After many months of initiation and organization it was a close call whether we would still be able to hold the event… Thankfully we persevered as a team and didn’t just make this Soup happen in the first place but also made it so very memorable despite the circumstances and safety regulations. It’s astounding, really, to have still played so freely together. I could paint a hundred paintings of all the incredible dinner experiences, enlightening workshops, facilitated conversations and adventurous impromptu experiences that have left a visual imprint in my mind. For now I’ll just do with the pictures… and I’ll be sure to return to the estate in the woods.