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Beatrix of the Netherlands

Updated on June 17, 2015
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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 line

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Wilhelmina was only ten years old when her father died and she became queenWilhelmina with her daughter. Juliana was born in 1909.Queen Juliana.Juliana with baby Beatrix who was born in 1938Beatrix and Juliana.
Wilhelmina was only ten years old when her father died and she became queen
Wilhelmina was only ten years old when her father died and she became queen | Source
Wilhelmina with her daughter. Juliana was born in 1909.
Wilhelmina with her daughter. Juliana was born in 1909. | Source
Queen Juliana.
Queen Juliana. | Source
Juliana with baby Beatrix who was born in 1938
Juliana with baby Beatrix who was born in 1938 | Source
Beatrix and Juliana.
Beatrix and Juliana. | Source

  • 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!

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Further reading

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 ...

Photograph credits

All photographs from Wikipedia Commons.

Thanks for reading - say hi!

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TanoCalvenoa: She's certainly got her own style.

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      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I love her hat collection.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @JohnTannahill: One day, hopefully. My mum went many years ago with my brother and sister. I can't remember why I wasn't invited :)

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      @BritFlorida: Yeah. I think Amsterdam has that reputation but it's only a small part of the city's charm. (It is part though.) It's a beautiful city with lots of art, excellent food and friendly people. I would recommend you go.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @JohnTannahill: I had to Google jonge jenever! I'm glad you said a 'nice' Amsterdam bar. I've never been but I have heard about things there... :)

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I was walking into a bar in Amsterdam (a nice one) just as she was leaving. Everyone was waving and saying "Bye, see you soon" (in Dutch though) like she was a favourite aunt. I had no idea who she was but my Dutch friends obviously recognised her. I just stood there and politely smiled, like you would. She'd gone before I found out she was the Queen. Apparently, she and Claus had popped in for a drink after some do. I'm told she had a jonge jenever but don't quote me.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: What a lovely comment :)Thank you so much.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I had never heard of the Queen of the Netherlands before. This has been an education for me. May she live long and enjoy the remaining years in grace. :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @JanaLee LM: Thank you so much!

    • JanaLee LM profile image

      JanaLee LM 4 years ago

      I really like her hats! Lovely lens.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TreasuresBrenda: Thank you for visiting!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for sharing about Beatrix of the Netherlands.