Photo Credit – Wikipedia
Queen Beatrix was Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 until her abdication in favor of her eldest son in 2013. Her official title since her abdication is Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld. Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard was born at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn, Netherlands on January 31, 1938. Beatrix was the first child of the four daughters of Princess Juliana of the Netherlands (became Queen in 1948) and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. At the time of her birth, Beatrix’s grandmother Queen Wilhelmina reigned. In 1948, Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in favor of Beatrix’s mother Juliana.
The infant Beatrix with her parents; Photo Credit – Wikipedia
Beatrix has three younger sisters: Princess Irene (born 1939), Princess Margriet (born 1943), and Princess Christina (born 1947).
Beatrix, on the right, with her family in 1948; Photo Credit – Corbis
During World War II, three days after Germany began its invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, the Dutch Royal Family left for London, England. One month later, Beatrix along with her mother and her sister Irene went to Ottawa, Canada, where they would be safer. Prince Bernhard, Beatrix’s father, stayed with Queen Wilhelmina in London during the war, although both did make occasional visits to the rest of the family in Canada. Beatrix’s sister Margriet was born while the family was in Canada. While in Canada, Beatrix started her primary education at Rockcliffe Park Public School in Ottawa, Canada. On August 2, 1945, the whole family returned to the Netherlands and Beatrix spent the rest of her childhood at her birthplace, Soestdijk Palace.
Beatrix, on the left, arrives back in the Netherlands, with her parents and sisters, on August 2, 1945; Photo Credit – www.tweedewereldoorlog.nl
Upon returning to the Netherlands, Beatrix resumed her education at De Werkplaats (link translated from Dutch), a progressive school in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. In April 1950, Beatrix began her secondary education at the Incrementum, a separate classroom for Beatrix and small groups of selected peers at the Baarns Lyceum (link translated from Dutch)
She passed her graduation exams in the arts and classics in 1956 and later that same year, Beatrix enrolled at Leiden University where she first studied sociology, jurisprudence, economics, parliamentary history and constitutional law. Later she studied cultures of the Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles (both constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at that time) , the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, international affairs, international law, history and European law. In 1959, Beatrix passed her preliminary examination in law and in 1961 she received a combined degree in law, sociology and economics.
On March 10, 1966, Princess Beatrix married Claus von Amsberg, a member of the German diplomatic corps, in a civil ceremony at the Amsterdam City Hall. Afterwards, a religious ceremony was held at the Westerkerk. The Westerkerk is a block away from the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years and the church’s chiming bells are mentioned in Anne’s diary. On the same day, Claus von Amsberg received the style and title His Royal Highness Prince Claus of the Netherlands. For more information on the couple and their wedding, see Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus von Amsberg.
Photo Credit – orderofsplendor.blogspot.com
Beatrix and Claus were married until Claus’ death in 2002, four months after the birth of his first grandchild. The couple had three sons:
Beatrix and Claus with their three sons; Photo Credit – www.hellomagazine.com
Like her mother Queen Wilhelmina had done, Queen Juliana also abdicated in favor of her daughter and Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands on April 30, 1980. On April 30, 2013, Queen Beatrix abdicated in favor of her eldest son Willem-Alexander.
Queen Beatrix swearing her oath on April 30, 1980; Photo Credit – http://www.hellomagazine.com
On February 17, 2012, Beatrix’s second son Prince Friso was severely injured in an avalanche while on a skiing holiday in Lech, Austria with the royal family. He had been buried for about 25 minutes, and the lack of oxygen had caused significant brain damage. He remained in a coma, and in March 2012, he was taken to the Wellington Hospital in London where his wife and children lived. In July 2013, Prince Friso was brought to Huis Ten Bosch, his mother’s residence, in the Hague, the Netherlands as he was no longer deemed to require hospital care and on August 12, 2013, Prince Friso passed away.
The Dutch Royal Family at Prince Friso’s funeral; Beatrix, front right, with Friso’s daughters and his wife; Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com
After her abdication, Beatrix decided to live at Drakensteyn, a small castle in Baarn, the Netherlands. The castle was bought in 1959 and is the private property of Beatrix.
Beatrix and her eight grandchildren in 2013; Photo Credit – queensconsortofengland.blogspot.com
Visit the official website of the Dutch Royal Family here.
Read more about your favorite royal families here.