The picture postcards in this collection first appeared in the Netherlands around 1880. Originally, postcards allowed for a hand-written text on the front; the back of the card was reserved for address information only.
Picture postcards played an important part in the large-scale distribution and popularization of photographs. Television did not yet exist, and newspapers and magazines only printed very few photographs. The quality of these prints was often rather poor.
From the very start, publishing firms produced postcards bearing pictures of the Dutch royal family. These photographs addressed the Dutch population's boundless curiosity, which still fuels the publication of articles in today's glossy royalty magazines (such as Vorsten (Monarchs) and Royalty) and best-selling gossip magazines.
Vintage cards clearly demonstrate the demand for images of for instance Queen Wilhelmina with her baby: in the absence of current photographs, the old ones were cut up and artfully rearranged to create new tableaux.