Historical overview

Queen Beatrix 1980 - 2013

Handbook - Overview of the Dutch coins from 1795-2001

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Beatrix (Baarn, 31 january 1938)
Queen of the Netherlands (1980
- 2013)
The magic of royalty returns

Beatrix is the eldest of the four daughters of Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard zu Lippe-Biesterfeld. While in exile in Canada, she attended primary school in Ottawa and graduated from the Incrementum School attached to the Lyceum in Baarns in 1956. In preparation for her future office, the Crown Princess then studied law, economics and political science at the prestigious University of Leiden, graduating in 1961. On her 18th birthday she joined the Dutch Council of State, a constitutional body advising the government.

On 10 March 1966, Beatrix married the German diplomat Claus von Amsberg. During the engagement period, she was widely criticised for her choice by the Dutch, who rejected a German marriage candidate for the queen in light of the traumatic occupation during the Second World War. In the course of three years, three sons were born: Willem Alexander in 1967, Johann Friso (+ 2013) in 1968 and Constantijn in 1969. Prince Claus died on 6 October 2002 following a long illness.

After her coronation on 30 April 1980, it quickly became apparent that Queen Beatrix would not become a popular "mother of the nation" like her mother Juliana, whose very informal style was thought by many to have weakened the "magic" of royalty. Instead, the Dutch experienced a self-controlled monarch who placed great value on form and tradition, who distinguished herself through expertise, and who ran the royal house in the manner of a "company". The queen emphasised several times that her grandmother Wilhelmine was her role model. Although this controlled style relieved her from being the object of social discussion, the Dutch royalty nevertheless remained bourgeois in its demeanour. Until 2012, the Dutch queen appointed a specific politician to form the government after parliamentary elections. This role is now no longer the prerogative of the incumbent monarch following a related parliamentary decree, which represented a clear curtailment of the monarch's powers.

On 30 April 2013, "Koninginnedag", when the Dutch traditionally celebrate the Queen's birthday, Queen Beatrix abdicated in favour of her eldest son Willem Alexander. Like her mother, she has since held the title of "Princess". Her private residence is Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche.