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Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands | www.rnw.nl

Beatrix of The Netherlands

The 20th century became a century reigned by women in The Netherlands. However this might change in the future. At least, this is the wish of 60 percent of the Dutch public.

Her Majesty Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard will turn 75 in 2013 and half of those in favour of her resigning think this would be the perfect moment to hand over the ruling role to her son, Prince Willem-Alexander. Support for the Dutch monarchy is very strong in The Netherlands. Two thirds of those questioned feel the level of political power exercised by the monarch is just right. Three out of ten would prefer the monarchy to wield no political influence whatsoever. The survey - conducted by market researcher TNS NIPO – is based on the opinions of 829 Dutch people older than 18 years. Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, reigning Queen of the nation as well as being Princess of Orange-Nassau and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld, is daughter of the late Queen Juliana. The Royal Family of Orange reign takes its roots from the 13th century. Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard was born on 31 Jan, 1938 at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn as Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau and Princess of Lippe- Biesterfeld.

Queen Beatrix has turned 73 this year, making her one of the oldest heads of state the Netherlands has ever known. (Only King Willem III reached the same age while on the throne: he died in 1890 at the age of 73. ) "Many thanks for all the heartwarming birthday wishes, " tweeted the Dutch Government Information Service (RVD) on behalf of the Queen on Jan 31. The Dutch Royal Family has over 32,000 followers on Twitter.

Queen Beatrix is the nominal head of state in The Netherlands. She represents the nation
both at home and abroad and has a special bond with the Dutch Antilles, Aruba and
Suriname, former Dutch colonies where there is still great interest in the House of Orange.
Beatrix wields more power than most of Europe's monarchs. In domestic matters she
has little political say, but in international relations she has much more latitude. While
the Dutch monarchy remains extremely popular, in recent times the nation's media
has openly criticized the Royal Family. It has published many 'tabloid' stories similar to the
ones that have plagued the House of Windsor for years. Some Dutch subjects view the
monarchy as an ongoing ‘soap opera’ rather than an institution that plays an important
role in society. As a result, Beatrix’s challenge is to keep the monarchy modern, efficient
and, most of all, in tune with the people. The queen is one of just a few Dutch women in
her age group still holding a paid job.

British nationality

The queen could also claim British nationality because of her descent from Sophia. The Queen celebrated the 25th anniversary of her reign on Apr 19 and Apr 30, 2005. She was interviewed on Dutch television and was given a concert on Dam Square by the city of Amsterdam. A separate celebration took place in The Hague, the country's seat of government. During World War II the Dutch Royal Family moved to Britain and then to Ottawa, Canada. In 1956, Princess Beatrix celebrated her 18th birthday. Under the Constitution of The Netherlands, she was entitled to assume the royal prerogative from that day. Beatrix married a German aristocrat, Claus von Amsberg. There were massive protests on their wedding day because Prince Claus had served in the Hitler Youth and the Wehrmacht and was associated by the Dutch people with Nazism. Protests included the memorable slogan “I want my bicycle back,” a reference to the memory of occupying German soldiers confiscating Dutch bicycles. As time went on, however, Prince Claus became one of the most popular members of the Dutch monarchy and his death in 2002 was widely mourned. The royal couple raised three sons. The oldest, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, is the heir to the throne. His brothers are Johan Friso and Constantijn. Willem-Alexander married Argentine-born Máxima and they are raising three daughters: Princess Amalia, the oldest, Alexia and Ariane, the youngest who turned four this year and is already attending primary school.

Special Day

The Dutch people have many good sentiments about their royals. Queen’s Day is celebrated every year on April 30 (or 29 if 30 is a Sunday), which originally started as a celebration of the Dutch monarchy. When Queen Beatrix succeeded Juliana in 1980, she decided to keep the holiday on the same day as a mark of respect for her mother and because the weather on her own birthday, Jan 31, tends to prohibit the traditional outdoor festivals. The orange color is a common sight on Queen's Day as well as being the beloved color of the whole country, because it represents the current dynasty. There are orange banners and flags, orange-colored foods and drinks. Even the water in some fountains is dyed orange on this day. In recent years, the Queen’s Day has become more and more of an open air party, particularly in Amsterdam, which attracts anywhere from 500,000 to 2 million visitors. Because Queen's Day is a bank holiday and and a time for recreation, people also go out and party on the evening before. This is Queen's Night, or Koninginnenach in Dutch. This event draws tens of thousands of visitors every year.

DUTCH QUEEN'S CHILDHOOD DRAWINGS SELL FOR 16,750 EUROS SIX DRAWINGS BY DUTCH QUEEN BEATRIX sold in auction in Amsterdam in last Dec for EUR 16,750 euros.
"The drawings are not dated," Christie's spokesman Maarten van Gijn said. “Their quality suggested they were made when she was 10 or 12 years old, he said. Drawings depict ballerinas, models, a horse and elves. They were all bought by Dutch beauty products and
electrical appliances company the Ouberg Group, which has a range called Princess,” van Gijn added. "On the drawing representing a horse we can see on the bottom left signed the letters T, V and O, for 'Trix van Oranje' (Beatrix of Orange)." The young Beatrix gave
the drawings to someone who worked in the court, whose inheritors decided to put them up for auction.

Réka Alíz Francisck

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