Queen Beatrix

Royalty

Born: 31 January 1938
Birthplace: Baarn, The Netherlands
Best known as:

Queen of The Netherlands, 1980-2013

Name at birth: Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard

Queen Beatrix was the ruler of The Netherlands from 1980 until 2013, when she abdicated in favor of her son Willem-Alexander. Beatrix was born to Crown Princess Juliana in 1938; two years later she fled with her mother to England and then to Canada after the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The war ended in 1945, Juliana became queen in 1948, and Beatrix graduated from Leiden University with a degree in politics in 1961. Her marriage to the German diplomat Claus von Amsburg on 10 March 1966 stirred up significant controversy; he had been schooled in Nazi Germany and a member of both the Hitler Youth and the German army. But the controversy faded over time and the couple had three sons: Willem-Alexander (born 1967), Friso (b. 1968), and Constantjin (b. 1969).  Beatrix's mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated on her 70th birthday and Beatrix was crowned queen on that day: 30 April 1980. The role of queen in The Netherlands is mostly ceremonial, but Beatrix still played a high-profile role in foreign relations and made 54 state visits during her term in office. She proved to be a popular monarch, and in later years was seen as seen as the nation's "surrogate grandmother," in the words of the BBC. The Queen announced on 28 January 2013 that she would abdicate the throne later that year, on April 30th. She said in a televised address that she had been thinking of the change for several years, and that this was "the moment to lay down my crown." Her son Willem-Alexander succeeded her on the throne as the first Dutch king since Willem III, who died in 1890. After her abdication, Beatrix became officially known as Princess Beatrix.

Extra credit:

Beatrix is nicknamed "Trix"... Prince Claus died in 2002; he suffered from depression for many years... Her second son, Prince Friso, was caught in an avalanche in Austria in 2012 and has been in a coma since... Beatrix was born at Soestdijk Palace in the town of Baarn... She is the oldest of four sisters; the others are Irene (b. 1939), Margriet (b. 1943) and Christina (b. 1947)... Forbes magazine called her the world's 14th richest royal in 2007; the magazine estimated her wealth then at $300 million... Both her mother and grandmother also abdicated the throne voluntarily: Queen Juliana in 1980, and Queen Wilhelmina in 1948.

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