Juliana of the Netherlands
|Queen of the Netherlands|
|Queen Juliana of the Netherlands|
|Reign||September 4, 1948 – April 30, 1980|
|Full name||Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina|
|Titles||Queen of the Netherlands|
Princess of Orange-Nassau
Duchess of Mecklenburg
|Born||April 4, 1909|
|The Hague, Netherlands|
|Died||March 3, 2004|
|Soestdijk Palace, Baarn, Netherlands|
|Buried||Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands|
|Royal House||House of Orange-Nassau|
|Royal anthem||Het Wilhelmus|
Juliana (Juliana Emma Louise Marie Wilhelmina van Oranje-Nassau) (April 30, 1909 – March 20, 2004) was Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from her mother's abdication in 1948 to her own abdication in 1980. Her mother, Wilhelmina reigned from 1890 and saw the start of the twentieth century before she handed over responsibility to Juliana. Juliana's own daughter, Beatrix, was Queen as the twenty-first century dawned. Thus, Holland's heads of state were all women during the whole of the twentieth century, which is unique in world history. After her abdication she reverted to the style she used before coming to the throne as Princess Juliana, as had her mother although she was popularly perceived as Mother of the nation. Becoming Queen as her nation emerged from the trauma of World War II when it was occupied by Germany, just over a year later, on December 27, 1949, she signed the Act of Sovereignty by which Indonesia gained its independence, ending an era in the history of the Netherlands.
As Holland readjusted itself to a new status in the world without its empire, Juliana's interests in international development, peace and humanitarian work helped to nurture a different national orientation, as Holland evolved as a major participant in the work of global peace-keeping and as a defender of human rights. (Blom describes Dutch foreign policy as informed by a "moral impulse" that has led Holland to take part "a number of peace missions under United Nations auspices" and to concern itself with "human rights" while engaging in "a certain measure of activism in global efforts to end conflict.") She was prepared, when necessary, to engage in direct humanitarian work, for example, during the North Sea Flood of 1953. Although a crisis threatened her reign in 1956 when a faith-healer exerted undue influence on her, she survived this as later she survived her husband's disgrace in 1976, retaining her personal popularity. She has been credited with an ability to embody her nation's sense of unity and moral impulse. Her reign may suggest that women can bring some particular qualities to leadership which are not always associated with men, such as compassion, a concern for social justice and human unity.
Born in The Hague, the daughter of Prince Hendrik, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Juliana spent her childhood at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, and at Noordeinde Palace and Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague. A small school class was formed at Noordeinde Palace on the advice of the educator Jan Ligthart so that, from the age of six, the Princess could receive her primary education with children of her own age. These children were Baroness Elise Bentinck, Baroness Elisabeth van Hardenbroek and Jonkvrouw Miek de Jonge.
As the Dutch constitution specified that she should be ready to succeed to the throne by the age of eighteen, Princess Juliana's education proceeded at a faster pace than that of most children. After five years of primary education, the Princess received her secondary education (to pre-university level) from private tutors.
On April 30, 1927, Princess Juliana celebrated her eighteenth birthday. Under the constitution, she had officially come of age and was entitled to assume the royal prerogative, if necessary. Two days later her mother installed her in the "Raad van State" ("Council of State"). A young, shy and introverted woman of plain features whose religious mother would not allow her to wear makeup, Juliana did not fit the image of a Royal Princess. She would, nonetheless, become much loved and respected by most of the Dutch people.
In the same year, the Princess enrolled as a student at the University of Leiden. In her first years at university, she attended lectures in sociology, jurisprudence, economics, history of religion, parliamentary history, and constitutional law. In the course of her studies she also attended lectures on the cultures of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, international affairs, international law, history, and European law. She was also tutored privately by Professor C. Snouck Hurgronje on the Islamic religion, practiced by most of the people in the Dutch East Indies. Immediately after graduating, she began the humanitarian work that would become a characteristic concern, "she plunged into voluntary social work. She chaired a quango helping the unemployed in the great depression of the 1930s."
In line with the views of the times, Queen Wilhelmina began a search for a suitable husband for her daughter. It was difficult to find a Protestant Prince from a ruling family who suited the standards of the strictly religious Dutch Court. Princes from the United Kingdom and Sweden were "vetted" but either declined or were rejected by the Princess. After meeting His Serene Highness Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Bavaria, Princess Juliana's Royal engagement was arranged by her mother. Prince Bernhard was a suave young businessman and, although not a playboy, certainly a "man about town" with a dashing lifestyle. Princess Juliana fell deeply in love with her fiancé, a love that was to last a lifetime and that withstood separation during the war and the many publicly known extramarital affairs and children by the Prince. In a legal document that spelled out exactly what the German Prince could and could not do, and the amount of money he could expect from the sole heir to the large fortune of the Dutch Royal Family, the astute Queen Wilhelmina left nothing to chance. The document was signed, and the couple's engagement was announced on September 8, 1936.
The wedding announcement divided a country that mistrusted Germany under Adolf Hitler. Prior to the wedding, on November 24, 1936, Prince Bernhard was granted Dutch citizenship and changed the spelling of his names from German to Dutch. They married in The Hague on January 7, 1937, the date on which Princess Juliana's grandparents, King William III and Queen Emma, had married fifty-eight years earlier. The civil ceremony was held in The Hague Town Hall and the marriage was blessed in the Great Church (St. Jacobskerk), likewise in The Hague. The young couple made their home at Soestdijk Palace, Baarn.
Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard had four children;
- Princess Beatrix (born January 31, 1938)
- Princess Irene (born August 5, 1939)
- Princess Margriet (born January 19, 1943)
- Princess Maria Christina (born February 18, 1947)
The tense European political climate in the shadow of the growing threat of Nazi Germany was stoked further in the Netherlands when Adolf Hitler hinted that the Royal marriage was a sign of an alliance between the Netherlands and Germany. An angry Queen Wilhelmina quickly made a public denunciation of Hitler's remark, but the incident had by then caused further resentment over Juliana's choice for a husband. Further revelations of Prince Bernhard's past conduct added to the growing resentment amongst many of the Dutch people but after the German invasion on May 10, 1940, his actions would do a great deal to change public opinion to his favor.
During the war and German occupation of the Netherlands the Prince and Princess decided to leave the Netherlands with their two daughters for the United Kingdom, to represent the State of the Netherlands in exile. The Princess remained there for a month before taking the children to Ottawa, the capital of Canada, where she lived in Stornoway House in the suburb of Rockcliffe Park.
Juliana quickly endeared herself to the Canadian people, displaying simple warmth, asking that she and her children be treated as just another family during difficult times. In the city of Ottawa, where few people recognized her, Princess Juliana sent her two daughters to public school, did her own grocery buying and shopped at Woolworth's Department Store. She enjoyed going to the movies and often would stand innocuously in the line to purchase her ticket. When her next door neighbor was about to give birth, the Princess of the Netherlands offered to baby-sit the woman's other children.
When her third child Margriet was born, the Governor General of Canada, Alexander Cambridge, Earl of Athlone, granted Royal Assent to a special law declaring Princess Juliana's rooms at the Ottawa Civic Hospital as extraterritorial so that the infant would have exclusively Dutch, not dual nationality. Had these arrangements not occurred, Princess Margriet would not be in the line of succession. The Canadian government flew the Dutch tricolor flag on parliament's Peace Tower while its carillon rang out with Dutch music at the news of Princess Margriet's birth. Prince Bernhard, who had remained in London with Queen Wilhelmina and members of the exiled Dutch government, was able to visit his family in Canada and be there for Margriet's birth.
Princess Juliana's genuine warmth and the gestures of her Canadian hosts created a lasting bond which was reinforced when Canadian soldiers fought and died by the thousands in 1944 and 1945, to liberate the Netherlands from the Nazis. On May 2, 1945, she returned by a military transport plane with Queen Wilhelmina to the liberated part of the Netherlands, rushing to Breda to set up a temporary Dutch government. Once home she expressed her gratitude to Canada by sending the city of Ottawa 100,000 tulip bulbs. On June 24, 1945, she sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth from Gourock, Scotland, to the United States, listing her last permanent residence as London, England. The following year (1946), Juliana donated another 20,500 bulbs, with the request that a portion of these be planted at the grounds of the Ottawa Civic Hospital where she had given birth to Margriet. At the same time, she promised Ottawa an annual gift of tulips during her lifetime to show her lasting appreciation for Canada's war-time hospitality. Each year Ottawa hosts a Tulip Festival, in recognition of this gift.
Return to the Netherlands
On August 2, 1945, Princess Juliana was reunited with her family on Dutch soil. Soon though, Prince Bernhard would become convinced that his children's manners had been thoroughly corrupted from their time in Canada. At their first family dinner at Soestdijk Palace, two-year-old Margriet beat a spoon on her plate, Irene sat with a comfortable leg curled under herself, and the seven-year-old future Queen Beatrix, who had already expressed the desire to return to Canada, talked incessantly with food in her mouth, complaining that she did not like her Dutch meal and wanted Canadian steak and ice cream like her mother had given them in Ottawa. The manner in which the children would be raised was a matter of disagreement between Princess Juliana and her husband. She believed that the days of an aloof, near-isolated monarchy were over, and that the royal children should interact as much as possible with average citizens.
Juliana immediately took part in a post-war relief operation for the people in the northern part of the country, where the Nazi-caused famine (the famine winter of 1944–1945) and their continued torturing and murdering of the previous winter had claimed many victims. She was very active as the president of the Dutch Red Cross and worked closely with the National Reconstruction organization. Her down to earth manner endeared her to her people so much that a majority of the Dutch people would soon want Queen Wilhelmina to abdicate in favor of her daughter. In the spring of 1946 Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard visited the countries that had helped the Netherlands during the occupation.
During her pregnancy with her last child, Marijke Christina, Princess Juliana contracted German measles. The girl was born in 1947, with cataracts in both eyes and was soon diagnosed as almost totally blind in one eye and severely limited in the other. Despite her blindness, Christina, as she was called, was a happy and gifted child with a talent for languages and, something long missing in the Dutch Royal Family, an ear for music. Over time, and with advances in medical technology, her eyesight did improve such that with thick glasses, she could attend school and even ride a bicycle. However, before that happened, her mother, the Princess, clinging to any thread that offered some hope for a cure, came under the spell of Greet Hofmans, a faith healer with heterodox beliefs considered by many to be a sham. In 1956, the influence of Ms. Hofmans on Juliana's political views would almost bring down the House of Orange in a constitutional crisis that caused the court and the royal family to split in a Bernhard faction set on removing a Queen considered religiously fanatic and a threat to NATO, and the Queen's pious and pacifist courtiers. The Prime Minister resolved the crisis. However, Juliana lost out to her powerful husband and his friends. Hofmans was banished from the court and Juliana's supporters were sacked or pensioned.
Prince Bernhard planned to divorce his wife but decided against it when he, as he told an American journalist, "found out that the woman still loved him." For several weeks in the autumn of 1947 and again in 1948, the Princess acted as Regent when, for health reasons, Queen Wilhelmina was unable to perform her duties. The Independence in Indonesia, which saw more than 150,000 Dutch troops stationed there as recolonization force, was regarded as an economic disaster for the Netherlands. With the certain loss of the prized colony, the Queen announced her intention to abdicate. On September 6, 1948, with the eyes of the world upon her, Princess Juliana, the twelfth member of the House of Orange to rule the Netherlands, was inaugurated Queen in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. On December 27, 1949, at Dam Palace in Amsterdam, Queen Juliana signed the papers that recognized Indonesian sovereignty over the former Dutch colony. This ended "346 years of colonial rule."
Queen Juliana I of The Netherlands
Her daughter's blindness and the increasing influence of Hofmans, who had moved into a royal palace, severely affected the Queen's marital relationship. Over the next few years, the controversy surrounding the faith healer, at first kept out of the Dutch media, erupted into a national debate over the competency of the Queen. The people of the Netherlands watched as their Queen often appeared in public dressed like any ordinary Dutch woman. Queen Juliana began riding a bicycle for exercise and fresh air. The Queen wanted to be addressed as "Mevrouw" (Dutch for "Madam") by her subjects.
Although the bicycle and the down-to-earth manners suggest a simple life style, the Dutch Royal court of the 1950s and 1960s, was at the same time a splendid affair with chamberlains in magnificent uniforms, gilded state coaches, visits to towns in open carriages and lavish entertaining in the huge palaces. At the same time the Queen began visiting the citizens of the nearby towns and, unannounced, would drop in on social institutions and schools. Her refreshingly straightforward manner and talk made her a powerful public speaker. On the international stage, Queen Juliana was particularly interested in the problems of developing countries, the refugee problem, and had a very special interest in child welfare, particularly in the developing countries. In 1971, she gave financial support to the World Council of Churches Program to Combat Racism, a contribution which Nelson Mandela has acknowledged, commenting that Juliana's "unqualified commitment to freedom and justice … moved so many ordinary citizens of the Netherlands to make an extraordinary contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle…"
On the night of January 31, 1953, the Netherlands was hit by the most destructive storm in more than five hundred years. Thirty breaches of dunes and dikes occurred and many towns were swept away by twelve-foot tidal waves. More than two thousand people drowned and tens of thousands were trapped by the floodwaters. Dressed in boots and an old coat, Queen Juliana waded through water and slopped through deep mud all over the devastated areas to bring desperate people food and clothing. Showing compassion and concern, reassuring the people, her tireless efforts would permanently endear her to the citizens of the Netherlands. She "visited every community affected by this disaster, even when the only access was by rowing boat and rubber boots."
In 1963, Queen Juliana faced another crisis among the Protestant part of her people when her daughter Irene secretly converted to Catholicism and, without government approval, on April 29, 1964, married Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, a claimant to the Spanish throne and also a leader in Spain's Carlist party. With memories of the Dutch struggle for independence from Catholic Spain and fascist German oppression still fresh in the minds of the Dutch people, the events leading to the marriage were played out in all the newspapers and a storm of hostility erupted against the monarchy for allowing it to happen—a matter so serious, the Queen's abdication became a real possibility. She survived, however, thanks to the underlying devotion she had earned over the years.
But crisis, as a result of marriage, would come again with the announcement in July 1965, of the engagement of Princess Beatrix, heir to the throne, to a German diplomat, Claus von Amsberg. The future husband of the future Queen had been a member of the Nazi Wehrmacht and the Hitler Youth movement. Many angry Dutch citizens demonstrated in the streets, and held rallies and marches against the "traitorous" affair. While this time upset citizens did not call for the Queen's abdication because the true object of their wrath, Princess Beatrix, would then be Queen, they did start to question the value of having a monarchy at all. After attempting to have the marriage canceled, Queen Juliana acquiesced and the marriage took place under a continued storm of protest and an almost certain attitude pervaded the country that Princess Beatrix might be the last member of the House of Orange to ever reign in the Netherlands. Despite all these difficult matters, Queen Juliana's personal popularity suffered only temporarily.
The Queen was noted for her courtesy and kindness. In May 1959, for example, American ufologist George Adamski received a letter from the lady head of the Dutch Unidentified Flying Objects Society informing him that she had been contacted by Queen Juliana's palace and "that the Queen would like to receive you." Adamski informed a London newspaper about the invitation, which prompted the court and cabinet to request that the Queen cancel her meeting with Adamski, but the Queen went ahead with the meeting saying that, "A hostess cannot slam the door in the face of her guests." After the meeting, Dutch Aeronautical Association president Cornelis Kolff said, "The Queen showed an extraordinary interest in the whole subject."
An event in April 1967 brought an overnight revitalization of the Royal family, when the first male heir to the Dutch throne in 116 years, Willem-Alexander, was born to Princess Beatrix. This time the demonstrations in the street were ones of love and enthusiasm. This joyful occasion was helped along by an ever-improving Dutch economy.
Scandal rocked the Royal family again in 1976, when it was revealed that Prince Bernhard had accepted a $1.1 million bribe from U.S. aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Corporation to influence the Dutch government's purchase of fighter aircraft. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands ordered an inquiry into the affair while Prince Bernhard refused to answer reporters' questions, stating: "I am above such things." This time, the Dutch people rather than calling on the Queen to abdicate, were fearful their beloved Juliana might abdicate out of shame or because of a criminal prosecution conducted in her name against her consort.
On August 26, 1976, a censored and toned-down, but devastating report on Prince Bernhard's activities was released to a shocked Dutch public. The Prince resigned his various high profile positions as a Lieutenant Admiral, a General, and an Inspector General of the Armed Forces. The Prince resigned from his positions in the board of many businesses, charities, the World Wildlife Fund, and other institutions. The Prince also accepted that he would have to give up wearing his beloved uniforms. In return, the States-General accepted that there was to be no criminal prosecution. Her husband's disgrace was a "sad blow" for Juliana but while he resigned from "most of his official business" her "personal popularity" remained high.
On her Silver Jubilee in 1973, Queen Juliana donated all of the money that had been raised by the National Silver Jubilee Committee to organizations for children in need throughout the world. She donated the gift from the nation which she received on her seventieth birthday to the "International Year of the Child."
On April 30, 1980, the day of her 71st birthday, Queen Juliana signed the Act of Abdication and her eldest daughter succeeded her as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Juliana remained active in numerous charitable causes until well into her eighties. Although she declined the title "Queen Mother," many people in Holland looked upon her as "mother of her country." In abdicating in favor of her daughter as her mother had in her favor, she perpetuated a tradition in which Dutch monarch's chose to "retire" so that their children could succeed while still relatively young. Unlike in some contexts, such as Great Britain, abdication, which in Holland is more like retirement, does not have a negative association in that nation.
Illness and death
From the mid-1990s, Juliana's health declined. Some have attributed this to Alzheimer's disease, although this was denied by the Royal Family. Juliana did not appear in public after that time. At the order of the Royal Family's doctors, Juliana was placed under 24-hour care. Prince Bernhard publicly admitted in a television interview in 2001, that she could no longer recognize her family.
Juliana died in her sleep on March 20, 2004, aged 94, at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn from complications of pneumonia, exactly 70 years after her grandmother Emma.
She was embalmed (unlike her mother, who chose not to be) and on March 30, 2004, interred beside her mother, Wilhelmina, in the royal vaults under the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. The memorial service made her ecumenical and often highly personal views on matters of religion public. The late Princess, a vicar told in her sermon, was interested in all religions and in reincarnation.
Her husband, Prince Bernhard, died barely eight months after her, on December 1, 2004, aged 93 and his remains were placed next to hers.
Juliana reigned through immediately after her nation suffered the trauma of Nazi occupation, oversaw loss of its largest colonial possession and during Holland's post-World War II readjustment within the European Union. Holland emerged as a champion of European unity; a Dutch politician, Paul-Henri Spaak, who steered the country's foreign policy during much of Juliana's reign, became the first Chair of the Council of Europe. With neighboring Belgium, Holland supported enlargement of the EU and the integration of European institutions. Despite her personal wealth (exaggerated in the media, which often called her the richest woman in the world) (Juliana placed many of the cultural artifacts and possessions of the monarchy in non-personal trusts and left a relatively modest sum to heir heirs.) and the lavish life-style of the royal court, she managed to develop an authentic rapport with her nation, so much so that she was known as the commoner's Queen and as the people's princess. Her exile in Canada, where few people recognized who she was, may have contributed to her ability to move at ease in the streets of her nation. To some degree, the media image of the Dutch royal family has been carefully cultivated, with "strict control of information about the royal family going to the press." This careful control, though, could not prevent public revelations of her husband's financial dealings. Like her mother, she never "attempted to exercise direct political influence" but made her opinions known "behind the scenes." She always respected the constitutional limitations of her position. Her main skill, like her mother's, was knowing how to "embody the unity of the Dutch nation." Blom comments that during the Juliana era, the Dutch "expressed a deep satisfaction in their unique and exemplary qualities, particularly its love of peace and high moral sense.". The role of the twentieth century Queens of the House of Orange contributed to this self-image. Blom says that while nineteenth century kings had "generated tension in Dutch political life," their twentieth century successors, all women, "enjoyed great popularity." Hooker cites a 1998 poll in which 66 percent of the population say they think Holland will still be a monarchy in fifty years time. known for her interest in social welfare, it was during her reign that Holland developed a sophisticated welfare system for its citizens. Juliana's reputation for social compassion, her concern for the plight of refugees and interest in issues of development and her ability to embody the moral sense of her nation suggests that women can bring some distinctive, feminine qualities to leadership that men do not always exhibit or possess, or dare to express. She was awarded the Nansen Refugee Award for her work in 1955, the second Laureate following Eleanor Roosevelt in 1954. Arguably, Juliana played a key role in nurturing what has been described as a "moral impulse" underlying Dutch foreign-policy and international relations. Appreciation of Juliana's humanitarian spirit was expressed by, among others, President Pervez Musharraff of Pakistan, who in a message to her daughter said:
Her contribution towards humanitarian causes both during her long and distinguished reign and after wards will always be remembered. In this hour of grief and mourning, our thoughts are with the Royal family and the people of the Netherlands. 
Prime Minister "Jan Peter Balkenende praised her sense of duty and personal warmth," saying, "In her own words, she had wanted to be a social worker if she had not been queen."
|Ancestors of Juliana of the Netherlands|
|House of Orange-Nassau|
Born: 30 April 1909; Died: 20 March 2004
|Queen of the Netherlands
1948 - 1980
|Succeeded by: Queen Beatrix|
|Heir to the Dutch throne
as heiress presumptive
|Succeeded by: Princess Beatrix|
later became Queen Beatrix
- Blom (1998), 464.
- Dan van der Vat, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, The Guardian. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- Blom (1998), 448.
- Nelson Mandela, Toast at the Banquet hosted by Queen Beatrix, African National Congress. Retrieved August 16, 2008.
- Time, The Queen & the Saucers. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- Hindley (2000), 266.
- Hooker (1999), 176.
- Marlise Simons, Juliana - ex-queen of Netherlands, New York Times/San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- Hindley (2000), 203.
- Blom (1998), 371.
- Hooker (1999), 177.
- Blom (1998), 438-9.
- Blom (1998), 438
- Hooker (1999), 177.
- United Nations Refugee Agency, The Nansen Refugee Award. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- Pervez Musharaff, President Musharraf condoles demise of Queen mother of Netherlands, President of Pakistan official site.
ReferencesISBN links support NWE through referral fees
- Blom, J.C.H. and Emiel Lamberts. 1998. History of the Low Countries. New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781571810847.
- Hindley, Geoffrey. 2000. The Royal Families of Europe. New York: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 9780786708284.
- Hoffman, William. 1979. Queen Juliana: The Story of the Richest Woman in the World. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 9780151465316.
- Hooker, Mark T. 1999. The History of Holland. The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313306587.
- Princess Juliana of the Netherlands A commoners' queen. Economist, London. Economist Newspaper Limited. 8370:82-91.
- Wilhelmina, Juliana, and Beatrix. 1992. A Transatlantic Friendship: Addresses. Roosevelt Study Center publications, no. 12. Middelburg, Netherlands: Roosevelt Study Center. ISBN 9789071654107.
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