- Education and Science
Beatrix of the Netherlands
Dutch Queen Beatrix
I enjoy the history of all royal families and on 28th January 2013, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced that she was abdicating the throne in the favor of her son.
She had been on the throne since 1980, when she became queen when her own mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated after thirty one years on the throne. Beatrix was the monarch for thirty three years and she abdicated officially on April 30th 2013.
This day is known as Koninginnedag - Queen's Day - which is a national holiday on which the Queen is celebrated.On Koninginnedag 2013 the seventy five year old Queen - the oldest reigning monarch in the Netherlands history - made way for her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.
He became the first male monarch of the Netherlands for 123 years. Before Beatrix's mother Juliana was on the throne, the monarch was also female, Queen Wilhelmina.She was born in 1938 and has seen many changes during her life. Here we look at some of the events of her long reign.
Growing up with female rulers and monarchs
When I was born, Queen Elizabeth ll had been on the throne for a couple of years in the UK.
Over the years, she has shown that she is so much more than a figurehead - she is also a fantastic ambassador and a superb diplomat.
As a child, I was taught at school about other rulers and remarkable women in history - monarchs, writers, suffragettes, scientists, doctors, politicians and more.
At that age I paid no attention at all to politics but if the news was on TV, I was used to seeing women politicians. By the time I did become vaguely interested (I still can't say that it fascinates me even to this day) the prime minister was Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi was her Indian counterpart.
Women all over the world were in positions of power in politics, industry and every walk of life.
At school, I was taught by a remarkable group of women and never questioned that there were any differences (apart from biological ones!) between men and women and their abilities in the world.
Over the years, something has changed. I don't know how or why. It seems that today, women are complaining about inequality. What went wrong?I don't know, but I think it's important for girls today to know about the remarkable women who have shaped the world.
A female lineClick thumbnail to view full-size
- During World War Two, when Beatrix was just a small child, the family decamped to London. Her father and grandmother remained but Beatrix, her mother and her sister went to Canada.
- The family returned home at the end of the war and just a few years later, Juliana became queen, making Beatrix the heir to the throne. She was ten at the time, just as her grandmother had been when she ascended to the throne.
- In 1966 she was married amid a great deal of controversy. Her husband Claus had been part of the Hitler Youth during the war and this caused riots during the wedding ceremony itself. It is a tribute to Claus that he went on to be a most respected member of the royal family.
- When she was crowned in 1980 there were further riots as some members of the population saw the investiture as being an opportunity to highlight conditions in the country and to demonstrate against the institution of monarchy.
- In 2009, Queen Beatrix was the target of a terrorist attack. Eight people died during the attack and the Royal Family were in extreme danger.
In pictures - With some women, it's shoes, Beatrix loves hats!Click thumbnail to view full-size
We can learn a great deal about the world from history. Girls today seem to have regressed and sometimes are unaware of the thousands off women who have played their part on the world's stage. I encourage my granddaughters to read about them. Royalty is just a start ...
More royalty articles
- Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh was the queen's handsome prince. And after all these years, he is still be her side supporting her role in the British monarchy. Read more about his amazing life.
- Queen Elizabeth 2 - horsewoman
The Queen of England is an amazing woman for many reasons - one of which is her horsemanship. See what happened when shots were fired at her when she was riding (sidesaddle) during a public ceremony.
- Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
The Queen Mother had a long and eventful life and was largely loved by the British - and people all around the world. See photographs and learn more about this iconic British Royal.
All photographs from Wikipedia Commons.