Since the death of William of Orange, most members of the House of Orange-Nassau have been laid to rest in the family vault in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. The interments of Prince Claus, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard were the first to be designated state funerals. This meant that the Grand Master of the Royal Household was in charge of coordinating the day’s events, under the responsibility of the prime minister.

The funerals of adult members of the House of Orange-Nassau have always been surrounded by pomp and ceremony. However, a funeral is also a family matter, so the wishes of the deceased and the immediate family are taken into account alongside official protocol.

The Burial and Cremation Act does not apply to funerals of members of the Royal House. For example, the body of a royal personage may be embalmed to preserve it, and the interment does not have to take place within the statutory time limit. Princess Juliana and Prince Claus opted for a simple form of embalming, while Princess Wilhelmina and Prince Bernhard gave instructions that their bodies were not to be embalmed.