Juliana Princess in a man’s world


Juliana (1909-2004) was a widely beloved queen; Nevertheless, we know little of her personal life. After a protected childhood in the distress of the court and after its revival during her stay in Canada during the Second World War, in which she campaigned much more active for the Allied cause than is often thought, Juliana began in 1948 with full of ambition to her “tough but nice ‘job. The competent princess, however, soon faced great personal and political disappointments and her reign was marked by a series of crises. Juliana’s enduring love for Prince Bernhard, who in 1936 as its liberator had fallen from the sky, its Achilles heel was. He brought her almost to fall…

Juliana was erratic and eager; faithful and gullible. They just were not in every case. She had to function in a world of often feeling superior men. And as they resisted many other conventions, Juliana opposed from an early age against the subordination of women.

Not previously appeared as a comprehensive, research-based biography of the monarch that many consider ‘our’ queen. Withuis could base its work on letters and other private material never before published. Thus they not only wrote an intimate and poignant life story, but also a portrait of an eventful century.

The author  Withuis stated it was fortunate that she was not allowed access to the royal archives (both Queen Beatrix as a few years later King Willem-Alexander refused it). But due to the media attention lots of  friends or children of the friends etc approached her with old letters and stories.

What do you write a good friend who just lost her 1-year-old daughter? Crown Princess Juliana, who was 27, directed in 1936 these words to her friend Nelke Clay, whose daughter Elisabethje drowned in a pond:

Dear Nelke,
Very sweet of you ’t write myself – I was talking not read – and did not know what I read (…) That such a thing should come into your life – the dance of the twin brothers, life and death, it overrides Tagore somewhere. And what is a short and happy life is a privilege for her, she’s above us. As you and I have also additionally found much happiness in our lives, she never quite knew no suffering.

This note I found really shocking, ” explains Jolande Withuis (67), the sociologist from Zutphen who studied the life of Juliana (1909-2004)

Is the study of Withuis shows one thing, it is that of the lonely woman. As an only child to a court that still knew very stiff manners early twentieth century. As a princess who fled to Canada with her children during the Second World War. If the queen who cheated on her wedding from all sides and was humbled by husband, Prince Bernhard – in their marriage crisis the support of their four daughters and a large part of politics knows itself. And as demented princess in her last years at Soestdijk Palace.

After her death, on March 20, 2004 at Soestdijk were found the last note from Juliana, her funeral:

As a speaker, I have no one appointed. I would like to have a like-minded female pastor, because I like to show the world a female pastor . They should not praise and worship me.
Well talk about my thoughts and inclinations, and my strict party negligence. Tendencies social work, human rights and the like about my joy when I was a relatively lonely child still close friendships [ditch], and especially that I got a husband, children and grandchildren.
That many of my sorrows in my life has remained unknown and that may continue, but I was often misunderstood by many. I was always inclined to assume the good in people, but was not so stupid that I often do not see through.
But no eulogies.
No further speakers.

The New Royalty World is very much looking forward to read it

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