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Queen Beatrix

Dutch royalty, Queen of the Netherlands (1980 - present).

Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard

Date, time and place of birth: January 31, 1938, at 9:47 a.m., Soestdijk Palace, Baarn, Utrecht, the Netherlands *

Date, place and cause of death: (Alive as of 2012)

Husband: Claus von Amsberg (m. March 10, 1966 - October 6, 2002) (his death)
Wedding (civil ceremony) took place at the town hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The civil marriage was then blessed at a service in the Westerkerk (West Church).

Sons: Prince Willem-Alexander (b. April 27, 1967, University Hospital, Utrecht, the Netherlands)
Prince Johan-Friso (b. September 25, 1968, University Hospital, Utrecht, the Netherlands)
Prince Constantijn (b. October 11, 1969, University Hospital, Utrecht, the Netherlands)

Father: Prince Bernhard (b. June 29, 1911, Jena, Germany - d. December 1, 2004, at 6:50 p.m., Utrecht University Medical Hospital, Utrecht, Netherlands, of cancer)
Mother: Queen Juliana (b. April 30, 1909, at 6:50 a.m., Palace Noordeinde, The Hague, the Netherlands - d. March 20, 2004, at 5:50 a.m., Soestdijk Palace, Baarn, Utrecht, the Netherlands, of pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease)

Time of birth source

* Source: Birth records


Princess Beatrix was just two years of age when the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940. The Dutch royal family fled to England where her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, set up a government-in-exile. Since Canada was deemed safer, Juliana and her young daughters moved on to Canada where they spent the war years near Ottawa. The royal children attended public school and were treated like any other family during those difficult times. Juliana tried to ensure that Princess Beatrix and her sisters had as much interaction with average citizens as possible. Even after the war, she worked to ensure her daughters had as normal an upbringing as possible.

The 1966 marriage of Princess Beatrix to German-born Prince Claus, sparked a wave of protests. The discovery that he had been a member of Nazi youth organizations and served in the German army during World War II, only intensified the animosity many Dutch felt toward Claus. It had been 21 years since the end of the Second World War, but the Dutch people still had deep scars from the Nazi German occupation of their country. The very thought of their future Queen marrying a man who served in Hitler's army was impossible for many to accept. From the start, Prince Claus worked hard to win over the Dutch people. Unlike his father-in-law, Prince Bernhard, Prince Claus learned to speak Dutch without a trace of a German accent. A modest man, he refused all honorary degrees, employed wit, charm and patience to overcome Dutch hostility and win the affection of his adopted nation. Matters were substantially improved when he and the future Queen produced the first male heir in the Dutch Royal House in over a century. Two additional sons were born in 1968 and 1969.

Trix, as she was affectionately known, was fond of sculpting, tennis, skiing, riding and enjoyed sailing for decades. Queen Beatrix was considered far more formal than her down-to-earth, no-nonsense, informal mother. Her reign was not without the occasional tabloid scandals, but the Dutch Monarchy remains extremely popular. It often seemed as though the majority of criticism leveled at the Dutch royal family originated with the Dutch media, not the general public.

Her mother, Queen Juliana, was Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 until her 71st birthday, April 30th, 1980, when she abdicated in favor of her daughter Beatrix. In April of 2005, Queen Beatrix celebrated the 25th anniversary of her reign.

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