Princess Beatrix’s 18th Birthday

Juliana also considers the upbringing. She says that her parents (Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik, ed.) have prepared her in their great sense of duty and were able to equip her with the necessary knowledge. Juliana attended a private school and was allowed to sniff student life, but not finish her studies. “But” she adds, my husband and I are going to do things differently. We want a “normal” school for our daughters “so that they can choose and follow a study in a normal way. We want to give them the right to prove their gifts to themselves and the world and to renew their efforts if they fail honestly. I don’t know whether our choice was right.”

One of those present is Joseph Luns. Minister of Foreign Affairs. Luns has – as biographer Albert Kersten writes – pulled out all the stops when it comes to awards. There are no fewer than nineteen. He sits at this table only two places away from Princess Wilhelmina. After dinner Luns gets to talk to her. For the last time, Luns thinks. As a young diplomat, Joseph Luns was still present at the state visit that Wilhelmina paid to Belgium in 1939. He conveyed greetings from a certain Mrs. Maskens. A Belgian who had been added to Wilhelmina’s retinue during the state visit. The princess responded in her “spicy and sharp manner” that she could not remember anything about the state visit. “After a ‘now I’m going to bed’ she turned and withdrew.”

Queen Juliana had previously called Beatrix the “Benjamin at the table”. “But that doesn’t matter, because it reminds the elderly … that a generation is coming that will be confronted with things of which we perhaps hardly dream now … We cannot yet imagine the technical possibilities that are available at the service of the generations to come.”

“Finally, I raise my glass to wish, certainly with your consent, the just 18-year-old and her generation a lot of happiness, health and blessings.” According to the newspaper ‘Amigoe di Curaçao’, the queen concluded her speech with the exclamation “Long live Trix.”


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