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Beatrix of the Netherlands
Her Majesty, Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of Orange-Nassau (born January 31, 1938) is the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, having acceded to the throne in 1980. Beatrix is the daughter of the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and the late Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld. When Beatrix was a young girl, the Dutch royal family fled the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War II, moving to Britain in May 1940 and then to Ottawa, Canada. They returned home in 1945.
In Canada, Princess Beatrix had attended nursery and primary school. On her return to the Netherlands, she continued her primary education at The Workshop (De Werkplaats), Kees Boeke 's progressive school in Bilthoven. In April 1950, Princess Beatrix entered the Incrementum, part of Baarns Lyceum, where she passed her school-leaving examinations in arts subjects and classics in 1956.
On January 31, 1956, Princess Beatrix celebrated her 18th birthday. From that date, under the Constitution of the Netherlands, she was entitled to assume the royal prerogative. At that time, her mother installed her in the Council of State.
Beatrix began her university studies the same year, at Leiden University. In her first years at university, she attended lectures in sociology, jurisprudence, economics, parliamentary history and constitutional law. In the course of her studies she also attended lectures on the cultures of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , international affairs, international law, history and European law.
While at university, the Princess visited various European and international organisations in Geneva, Strasbourg, Paris, and Brussels. She was also an active member of the Leiden Women Students' Association. In the summer of 1959, she passed her preliminary examination in law, and she obtained her law degree in July 1961.
On March 10, 1966, she married the diplomat Claus von Amsberg. Initially, there was quite some opposition to the marriage. With fresh memories of the Second World War, a part of the Dutch people didn't appreciate a German prince, particularly one who had served in the Hitlerjugend and the Wehrmacht. Their wedding was marred by protests, which included the memorable slogan "I want my bicycle back," a reference to the memory of occupying German soldiers confiscating Dutch bicycles. As time went on, however Claus became one of the most popular members of the Dutch monarchy and his 2002 death was widely mourned.
On April 30, 1980, Beatrix became Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands when her mother abdicated. She approaches her role as Queen with more formality than Queen Juliana, and many admire her professionalism. While the Dutch Monarchy remains extremely popular, in recent times the Dutch media have openly criticized the royal family. The Dutch media has also published many "tabloid" stories, similar to the stories that have plagued the House of Windsor for decades. This change in attitude have some Dutch subjects viewing the monarchy as an ongoing "soap opera," rather than an institution that plays an important role in Dutch society. As a result, Beatrix's current challenge is to keep the Dutch monarchy modern, efficient, and most of all in tune with the wishes of the Dutch people.
As Queen, Beatrix wields more power than most of Europe’s reigning monarchs. In domestic matters, she has little political say, however, in international relations the Queen has much more latitude. It was once reported that she threatened to dismiss a cabinet minister if he turned down her request to open a Dutch embassy in Jordan.
On October 6, 2002, Queen Beatrix's husband died after a long illness. A year and a half later, her mother passed away after a long battle with senile dementia while her father succumbed to cancer in December 2004. These deaths all garnered a massive outpouring of national grief.
Beatrix is rarely quoted directly in the press, since the government information service (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst) makes it a condition of interviews that she not be quoted. This rule was introduced shortly after her inauguration, reportedly to protect her from political complications that may arise from "off-the-cuff" remarks. It does not apply to her son Willem-Alexander.
On February 8, 2005, Beatrix received a rare honorary doctorate from Leiden University. In her acceptance speech she reflected on the monarchy and her own 25 years as Queen.  The speech was broadcast live.
It is not known if Beatrix will follow the example of her mother and grandmother and abdicate. Those closest to her have stated that she has never seriously talked about abdication.
She has been a long-time member of the Club of Rome.
The Queen has three children, all sons:
- Prince Willem-Alexander the Prince of Orange (born 1967)
- Prince Johan-Friso (born 1968)
- Prince Constantijn (born 1969)
Hereditary titles of Queen Beatrix
- Her Majesty Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard by the Grace of God Queen of the Netherlands
- Princess of Orange-Nassau
- Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld
- Duchess of Luxembourg
- Marchioness of Veere and Flushing
- Countess of Katzenelnbogen, Vianden, Diez, Spiegelberg, Buren, Leerdam, and Culemborg
- Viscountess of Antwerp
- Baroness of Breda, Diest, Beilstein, the city Grave and the land of Cuyk, IJsselstein, Cranendonk, Eindhoven, Liesveld, Herstal, Warneton, Arlay and Nozeroy
- Hereditary and Suzerain Dame of Ameland
- Dame of Borculo, Breedevoort, Lichtenvoorde, Het Loo, Geertruidenberg, Clundert, Zevenbergen, Hooge en Lage Zwaluwe, Naaldwijk, Polanen, Sint-Maartensdijk, Soest and Baarn
Prime Ministers of the Netherlands during The Queen's reign
- Dries van Agt (1977-1982)
- Ruud Lubbers (1982-1994)
- Wim Kok (1994-2002)
- Jan Peter Balkenende (2002- )
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|Queen of the Netherlands|| Heir-Apparent:|
The Prince of Orange
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