Home » today » Entertainment » From serving coffee for Rutte to calabash artist: Kamerbode turns things around

From serving coffee for Rutte to calabash artist: Kamerbode turns things around

It is one of the funniest pictures of the House of Representatives. Chambermaid Sara Baronete who addresses PvdA member Lodewijk Asscher about his trampled sneakers under his neat suit.

Sarah remembers it well. “Those sneakers didn’t look good. I couldn’t resist telling Asscher that. He was having trouble with his toe or something,” Sara laughs. The next day the PvdA member walked into the Chamber in neatly painted shoes, Sara recalls. “Look, he said proudly. I’ve listened to you.”

moody classic costume

Sara Baronete (51) was over 14 years old chambermaid. These are the people who walk through the image in moody classical costumes during debates. A special job, there are only a handful of them.

Sara was not just any House messenger, she was known by every Member of Parliament and was also known as the ‘pop star of the House.’ Or: ‘the mother of all MPs’. “But then a young mother with a few different haircuts every year,” she laughs.

Life story

The way Sara made it to Kamerbode is special. Just like her life story. She was born in Mozambique. As a young girl she fled the war. She went to Portugal with her mother. Her father stayed behind in Africa.

After that she went traveling and met her current husband. She eventually ended up in The Hague with him. “I got my first job in the House of Representatives through an employment agency.”


One day she was asked for Kamerbode. She attended internal training courses, learned the tricks of the trade. “As a messenger, you are a permanent presence during meetings. You support MPs in all kinds of ways, you are a hostess, as it were. You deliver documents, serve coffee during debates and supervise ceremonial receptions.”

The function is described on the website of the House of Representatives: the courier takes out the garbage and brings in the king.

Coffee with milk for Rutte

Good empathy. That is perhaps the most important feature. “You have to know your place. With some MPs you know you can have fun. If you do the profession for so long, you get to know them all and you know what they need. Rutte likes to drink tea with milk when he is in England has been for example.”

She always had her purse with her. “If I saw that MPs were tired, I gave them water or a paracetamol. Everyone could always come to me.”

Father found

She witnessed debates well into the night and saw ministers fall. “As a House messenger you are not politically colored. You run just as fast for everyone. You are loyal to all members. You do not see politicians as a party, but each and every one of them as people.”

She had a special bond with some MPs. As with Kathleen Ferrier (CDA). Thanks to her, Sara found her father again. “My father had stayed behind in Mozambique. I had lost track of him. Mrs Ferrier was able to find my father through a working visit. Thanks to her, I visited him one more time in Mozambique, just before his death.”

dirty suit

Another memory comes to mind. About D66 MP Jan Paternotte. “Just before an important debate, he slipped and his entire suit was dirty. He could cry. I then took his suit home and washed and ironed it again. He was so grateful.”


Sara was also present at receptions of foreign guests. “The whole world comes to the House of Representatives.” The inauguration of the king was one of her highlights.

“I had to make sure that all the invitees were seated in the right places. My eyes widened when I saw who all came in. It went smoothly. You do that together.”


Sometimes something went wrong. “I once accidentally pressed the voting bell. Then a loud bell goes off throughout the House to remind MPs that they have to vote. They came running from every nook and cranny to the plenary hall. I went completely red. by.”

The then Speaker of the House Gerdi Verbeet took it well, Sara knows. “Don’t worry, she said. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. I thought she was such a great chairman. You could laugh and cry with her.”


At some point, her work got into a rut. And her husband wanted to go back to Portugal, the country where Sara grew up. “It was not an easy decision, but before the outbreak of corona we decided to emigrate to Portugal. We bought a small farm and I started a business in gourds: Gourds of Love.

These are a kind of pumpkins that are used for decoration. It started with her neighbor who had two gourds. “It was during the lockdown. You couldn’t do anything and I started to get bored. I started painting the gourds and made nice things out of them, such as bird houses and lamps.”

And that caught on. “I now have my own gourd business. They go all over the world.”

Last Message

Last week she was in the Netherlands. “I visited my children. They didn’t come. I miss them terribly.”

She also visited the House of Representatives one last time. For a final goodbye. “It was emotional and special at the same time to see everyone again. Of course I miss political life. Reunion with MPs was great and a few bought my gourds. So nice.”

Her life now lies in Portugal, together with her husband and donkeys Elisabeth and Charlotte. She does have a message to all the politicians she cared about: “Keep doing your best for this beautiful country. And thank you for the golden time I had.”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.