Once Upon A Time #6

beatrixIn a country that is not that far, far away… It looks like the world has shrunk, but  this story still includes castles, palaces, princes, princesses, a new king…

Beatrix succeeded in 1980 at the age of 42 her mother Juliana. Beatrix direct approach is another course than Juliana did. She modernizes the court, sharpens the protocol [Ma’am becomes Majesty] and develops a style of government that is experienced, business, stylish and modern.

She takes her role as Queen very seriously and is demanding to the people who work with and for her. Her business style fits the no-nonsense era of the 80s, in which she closely works with Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers. But there is also criticism of her aloof attitude.

But who gets to do with her personal, experiences a different woman. In times of disaster, such as the Bijlmer disaster in 1992, the fireworks disaster in 2000 and the fire in Volendam in 2001, she offers victims a comforting arm.

The people have appreciated the way Beatrix is covering her office and how she represents the Netherlands abroad. For her commitment to the unity of Europe she gets in 1996 the prestigious International Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen in Germany.

Under fire
There are many matters of Beatrix office to pass intact to the next generation. She protects her private life as much as possible of its civil service and avoids getting involved in political discussions.

Especially in the last years of her reign the queen is often under fire. Topics such as tolerance, sustainability, respect and solidarity which annually return in Beatrix’ Christmas speeches, appear with the rise of Geert Wilders PVV. Because of these [unwanted] political overtones she has to watch her words as a immune head of state.

In 2012 her political role in the coalition of new cabinets is lost. The government decides that the head of state now doesn’t designates an [in]former anymore. For the first time the House of Representatives takes on this task. Also there’s increasingly call in society for a cut in the costs of the royal family in times of economic crisis. [The people forget that the royals bring in a hundredfold trade to the country].

Privately she gets an appropriate setback during her reign. Her husband, Prince Claus, after she took office as queen struggles shortly with severe depression, for which he is traveling abroad to have treatment. Later, he gets Parkinson’s disease and cancer. Although Claus stands as one of her key advisors, his poor health until his death in 2002 is a source of concern.

Beatrix and Claus get together three sons: Willem-Alexander [1967], Friso [1968] and Constantine [1969]. Prince Friso claim to the throne was lost in 2004, because he had not talked about the past of his future wife Mabel Wisse Smit, and didn’t ask parlaiment to get married. Eight years later, in 2012, Friso is in a coma following a serious skiing accident. His chances of recovery, according to the doctors is ‘minor’.

Heir Willem-Alexander is, partly by Beatrix, intensively prepared for the kingship. They can not prevent that the Crown Prince was discredited in 2009 when he buys a luxury holiday villa in Mozambique. Under pressure from the negative publicity the prince sells the villa.

In announcing her resignation on January 28, 2013 there is much praise for Beatrix. Politicians show themselves grateful for her dedication, expertise and commitment.

3 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time #6

  1. I met her! She was in Detroit for some reason, and a few of us went down to see her – along with a group of Dutch people. First/only time I have ever met a monarch.

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