Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

The Netherlands has been a kingdom since 1813, when it gained independence from France after the defeat of Napoleon. How familiar are you with the Dutch monarchs?

Time to enrich your knowledge of Dutch history with the following facts about former Queen Beatrix.

The former Dutch Queen Beatrix

Beatrix was the Dutch Queen from 1980 until 2013. After abdicating the throne to her son Willem-Alexander, her official title is princess but many still refer to her as queen. Beatrix has three first names and her full name is: Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, Prinses der Nederlanden, Prinses van Oranje-Nassau, Prinses van Lippe-Biesterfeld.

Born in Baarn on January 31, 1938, Beatrix was Queen of the Netherlands from April 30, 1980 until April 30, 2013. She is the oldest child of Queen Juliana der Nederlanden and Prince Bernhard van Lippe-Biesterfeld, and, since 2002, widow of Prince Claus der Nederlanden.

Beatrix was born British and Dutch

Beatrix is a straight descendent of Sophia van de Palts. According to the Sophia Naturalisation Act from 1705, all of Princess Sophia’s direct descendants automatically become British.

Beatrix never claimed her British citizenship and never acquired a British passport, but she was still 942nd in line to the British throne.

The Dutch royal family went to great lengths to avoid that Beatrix’ sister Margriet would have double citizenship.

Refugees during World War II

Two and a half years after Beatrix was born, the Germans invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940.

Queen Wilhelmina (Beatrix’s grandmother), Queen Juliana, Prince Bernard and Princess Beatrix fled to Canada via the United Kingdom where they resided for the duration of the war.

Beatrix’s sister Margriet was born in Canada in 1943. In order to avoid Canadian citizenship, the room in which Margriet was born was officially declared to be outside of Canadian jurisdiction. This way she could return to the Netherlands with only Dutch citizenship. 

Beatrix was never a big fan of technology

In 2008 Beatrix still had never used a computer, and she didn’t like mobile phones. At one point she was given a phone with pre-programmed numbers for her three sons: one for Willem-Alexander, one for Friso and one for Constantijn.

The first time she used her mobile she interrupted Friso in the middle of a meeting, and she apparently did not like to use her phone very much after this.

The former Queen Beatrix with the new Dutch king and queen
Copyright: RVD

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
Copyright: RVD

Royal Dutch controversy

Amsterdam’s Jewish population protested against using the city as the site for the 1966 marriage ceremony of Beatrix to Claus. Claus was German and had been a member of the Hitler Youth. The ceremony was held in the Westerkerk (around the corner from the Anne Frank house).

During the celebratory tour through Amsterdam in the royal golden horse carriage, bystanders ignited smoke bombs to voice their discontent.

More facts about Queen Beatrix

In 2007, Beatrix was named one of the richest royals in the world by Forbes magazine. She once gave her friend Queen Elizabeth II a horse as a gift.

Beatrix is a distant cousin to King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and she is godmother to his daughter, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

People close to Beatrix called her "Trix".

Beatrix was a heavy smoker but did her best to hide her habit from the public eye.

The name Beatrix is Latin and means "she who makes happy".

Beatrix has many things named after her: streets, schools, ships, a park, a harbour, a canal and even a state mine.

While queen, Beatrix celebrated Queen's Day (Koninginnedag) on April 30, while her actual birthday was on January 31.

The last Queen's Day was celebrated in 2013. Since 2014, the Netherlands celebrates King's Day (Koningsdag) every year on April 27.

The Dutch Royal Family

Ever wondered about the origins of the Netherlands' royal family? Learn more about the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange, the Dutch Republic and more

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Queen Beatrix abdicates throne, NL gets first king in over 100 years

Queen Beatrix announced that she will step down on April 30. Willem Alexander, will then become King of the Netherlands.

The Dutch royal family now the most expensive in Europe

The Dutch royal family has now overtaken Britain's as the most expensive in Europe.

HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opens new Europol headquarters in The Hague

HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opens new Europol headquarters in The Hague (Europol official press release).

Armin van Buuren: Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau

17 years after his first single was released, Armin was given a Royal Dutch distinction.

Queen Beatrix to open Lucas van Leyden exhibition

On March 19, Queen Beatrix is going to open the new 'Lucas van Leyden and the Renaissance' exhibition.

Queen Beatrix to open new UvA building

Her Majesty Queen Beatrix will open the new building of the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Science (FNWI) at Science Park Amsterdam.


The Netherlands



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