Today it is Bee's 79th birthday!
Congratulations and all the best to her!
Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard was born on January 31, 1938 at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn. More than two years after her birth WWII breaks out and the whole family moves to the UK. Princess Juliana travels almost immediately again with her daughters, they leave for the Canadian capital Ottawa. Prince Bernhard stayes behind in London with his mother in law Queen Wilhelmina. On August 2, 1945 the family returns to the Netherlands.
After returning to Netherlands Beatrix passes her exams at age eighteen on a branch of the Baarns Lyceum (in 1956) On her eighteenth birthday she gets as a national gift Yacht Green Draeck. The royal family still uses the ship in 2017.
Beatrix's student time brings her to the University of Leiden (in Leiden, NL). She amongs others follows courses that prepare her for her future role as head of state. In 1959, while still studying, Beatrix buys Drakensteyn Castle in the woods of Lage Vuursche (not far from Soestdijk Palace). Later it turns out she is going to live there only until 1963.
During her studies she is a member of the Student Association of Female Students (VVSL). In 1961, Princess Beatrix received her master's degree Law. After the exam ceremony Beatrix is festive received by her yearmates (of VVSL) in the building of the student union, where it is so busy that her own sister Margriet can hardly enter.
About love relationships that Beatrix had before she met her great love Claus von Amsberg are no concrete stories known. The media have done an extensive report of the jet set life of the princess, weddings, anniversaries and hunts she visits.
Beatrix is among others photographed with Prince Richard Casimir of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. For a moment he seems to be the future husband of the then crownprincess. Later it becomes clear that Beatrix has just met her Claus at the wedding of the sister of Prince Richard in the Berleburg Castle.
Beatrix was not on speaking terms about how they interfered with her love life. The princess says: "It is abnormal if any introduction or volatile friendship immediately is bombarded as love."
On June 26, 1965 the Dagblad De Tijd mades an inventory of all potential suitors including seventeen princes, three hereditary princes, two crown princes, an earl, four Dukes of German descent and some princely figures. Beatrix says: "Sometimes people you have never seen in your life or you can not stand preferably."
On May 1, 1965 this will change as the Princess is hand in hand photographed with the German diplomat Claus von Amsberg. Photographer John de Rooy has already wandering days at Castle Drakensteyn after journalist Eelke de Jong was tipped about a young man with a sports car, who visited Beatrix each weekend.
De Rooy will see at one point movement in the bushes, but at that moment is his camera in the car. De Rooy rushes to his car, but going in the rush to sit on the horn. Eventually, the photographer is able to photograph the couple and goes with the photo to Dutch (gossip) newspaper De Telegraaf.
It turns out to be a German official gentry eleven years older than the Crown Princess. The German-born Van Amsberg encounters with many people negatively, because the WWII is still so fresh in the memory of many (Dutch). The engagement of the pair can be followed live on television on June 28, 1965.
On their wedding day, March 10, 1966 in Amsterdam, protests/riots are taken place at the same time. Protestants shout slogans as; 'Claus Raus!'. On the way to the Western Church also threw a smoke bomb to the golden coach.
Despite the resistance to the marriage, the relationship between Beatrix and Prince Claus is stable. Together they have three sons. Willem-Alexander (1967), Prince Friso (1968) and Prince Constantijn (1969). The princes grow up in and around Drakensteyn Castle. In 1981, after Beatrix accession to the Dutch throne, the couple moves to Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague.
Currently Beatrix has 8 grandchildren; 7 granddaughters and 1 grandson. Beatrix approaches the eighties, but has probably after the abdication more time for her eight grandchildren who call her "Amma". In public she speaks a little about her grandchildren, but in 2005 she says:. "I never thought it would be so nice. It is really nice! I really enjoy it immensely, and I try to make time . Fortunately, I have daughters in law who find it important that their children know their grandmother and experience her. They give me a lot of time with the kids. really fun because I get to babysit now and then. "
In interviews Beatrix still refers to her husband. In her farewell speech during the abdication in 2013 she says, "Perhaps history will show that the choice of this husband has been my best decision."
The health of Prince Claus is fragile. He has less and less in public after several admissions and surgeries. In 1987 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The prince gets prostate cancer in the late 90s and he suffered a heart attack. On October 6, 2002 the prince dies because of Parkinson's disease and pneumonia at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost.
On February 17, 2012 Beatrix 2nd son, Prince Friso, gets buried while skiing under an avalanche. After 25 minutes, he is recovered from the snow. His situation seems to be stable, but the prince is not out of danger. In autumn it appears that Prince Friso has 'minimal consciousness'. The prognosis remains uncertain and the doctors are very worried. On 9 July 2013 he was transferred to Huis ten Bosch Palace. His condition is unchanged. On August 12 Friso dies of the consequences of the ski accident. He is buried in the cemetery of the Church Stulp in Lage Vuursche, almost opposite Drakensteyn Castle. The prince had been 44 years of age.
On April 30, 1980 Queen Beatrix is inaugurated in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. With its inauguration the annual parade on Queens place changed to visit one or two Dutch sites on April 30 (in honor of her mother, Beatrix states April 30 will continu als Queensday. Also her it would be too cold on her own birthday, January 31). On January 28, 2013, shortly before her 75th birthday, Queen Beatrix announced her abdication as Queen of the Netherlands to. In total, she has been queen for 33 years. On April 30, 2013 Queen Beatrix signs the Act of Abdication in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. After her abdication in 2014 Beatrix moved back to Drakensteyn Castle. Her former house, Palace Huis ten Bosch is currently under renovation and will become the new house for her oldest son King Willem-Alexander and his family.