Beatrix (Netherlands)

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Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (2015)
Signature of Beatrix

Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard , Princess of the Netherlands , Princess of Oranien-Nassau , Princess zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (born January 31, 1938 in Baarn ) was from April 30, 1980 to April 30, 2013, when she took office to her son Willem-Alexander handed over to Queen of the Netherlands . Since her abdication, her official title has been Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands .


Dutch royal family
Coat of arms of the Netherlands

SM King Willem-Alexander
IM Queen Máxima

HRH Princess Beatrix

HRH Princess Margriet
Pieter van Vollenhoven

childhood and education

Beatrix in 1959

Princess Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard von Orange-Nassau is the eldest of four daughters of Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld . The offspring in the royal family were cheered and welcomed by the public with numerous street parties. After the Wehrmacht occupied the Netherlands in May 1940, the royal family fled to Great Britain in the strictest of secrecy . From London , Queen Wilhelmina coordinated the Dutch resistance with her son-in-law Prince Bernhard, while her daughter Princess Juliana and the children there emigrated to Ottawa (Canada), where Beatrix attended elementary school. After her return to the Netherlands on August 2, 1945, she continued her education at De Werkplaats , a progressive school run by Kees Boeke in Bilthoven . In April 1950 she switched to the Incrementum school affiliated with Baarns Lyceum, where she passed the matriculation examination (language branch) in 1956.

On January 31, 1956, Princess Beatrix celebrated her 18th birthday and from that day she entered the State Council as the official heir to the throne . In the same year she began studying at Leiden University . In her first year at the university, she attended lectures in sociology , law , economics , parliamentary history and constitutional law . In the course of her studies there were lectures on the culture of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles , she also studied the statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , intergovernmental affairs, international law , history and European law .

During her studies she visited various European and international organizations in Geneva , Strasbourg , Paris and Brussels . She was also an active member of the Leiden Student Union. In the summer of 1959, she passed her pre-examination in law and received her law degree in July 1961.

marriage and family

Princess Beatrix and Claus von Amsberg in the garden of Palais Soestdijk on June 28, 1965, the day of their engagement

On June 28, 1965, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard announced the engagement of Princess Beatrix to the German diplomat Claus von Amsberg . At first there was opposition to their wedding, as many rejected the Germans in the face of a hostile atmosphere against the former occupation country . Before the wedding could take place, government and parliament approval had to be obtained. In the autumn of 1965, first the House of Representatives and then the Senate passed the corresponding approval law.

On March 10, 1966, the mayor of Amsterdam, Gijs van Hall , celebrated the civil wedding in the city hall. The church wedding took place on the same day in the Westerkerk by Pastor Hendrik Jan Kater . The marriage produced three sons:

Before her accession to the throne, Beatrix lived with her family from 1963 to 1981 in the Drakensteyn Castle in Baarn , near her parents' residence, the Palais Soestdijk . Then she moved into the Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. Princess Beatrix has been living at Drakensteyn Castle again since 2014.

Prince Claus died on October 6, 2002 after a long illness. Eleven years later, on the eve of her abdication, Beatrix said on television: "Perhaps history will show that choosing this husband was my best decision ever."


On April 30, 2009, Beatrix and the royal family were assassinated in Apeldoorn , killing seven people and injuring another nine, but leaving the royal family unharmed.

The Dutch royal family is said to be one of the major shareholders of the Shell group. Princess Beatrix is ​​occasionally counted in the media as one of the richest women in the world. Her unspecified total assets are estimated at between 250 million and 2.5 billion euros. However, this was denied as a legend by Beatrix's father Prince Bernhard in 2003. According to this, the fortune of the Orange family amounts to just 250 million dollars. The King Wilhelm III. The stake established in 1890 is now to be held through various foundations and is now estimated at around 3.5%.

In addition to the Beatrixpark in Amsterdam, numerous public buildings, ships, streets and squares were named after her.

Because of her German father Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld and her German ancestors as well as her German husband Claus von Amsberg , she speaks fluent German .

Official duties

After her mother abdicated, Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands on April 30, 1980 and carried out her function with more formality than her predecessor Juliana . Beatrix is ​​a long-term member of the Club of Rome and a regular participant in Bilderberg conferences .

Government style

The Dutch monarch does not hold a purely representative office like the head of state in other European states, and Beatrix in particular made full use of her room for maneuver. In this context, people in the Netherlands speak of the “black box” of Dutch politics, because nobody knows exactly how far the Queen's influence really went. Former ministers have stated on several occasions that Beatrix did not regard their suggestions as non-binding advice. The greatest possible influence was offered to her after a parliamentary election: Since usually no party clearly dominates in the Netherlands, but several are roughly the same size, it was up to Beatrix to appoint a certain politician to form a government . In 2012 the Dutch parliament decided to remove this role from the head of state. "Parliament does not need a royal arbitrator," said a member of the left-liberal party D66 . As a result, the powers of Beatrix and all of her successors were significantly reduced.

Beatrix, after she had just abdicated, between the new royal couple Willem-Alexander and Máxima , on the balcony in Amsterdam


On the evening of January 28, 2013, three days before her 75th birthday, the then Queen Beatrix announced in a short speech broadcast simultaneously by all radio stations in the country that on April 30, 2013, the Koninginnedag , she was in favor of her son Willem- Alexander - literally "Prins van Oranje" - will abdicate. According to the Dutch constitution, the handover took place in the “capital city of Amsterdam” with the signing of the deed of abdication in the Palais auf dem Dam and the subsequent “Inhuldiging” (enthronement) in the Nieuwe Kerk . With the signing of the deed of abdication by the Queen and Crown Prince, the constitutional change of the throne was carried out. Since then, Beatrix has held the title of princess again . Princess Beatrix has been living in Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche again since February 2014 , where she lived with her family before she became queen. She also has a house in The Hague.

Awards (selection)


Pedigree of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
Old parents

Count Julius zur Lippe-Biesterfeld
⚭ 1839
Countess Adelheid zu Castell-Castell

Count Leopold Otto von Wartensleben
⚭ 1841
Mathilde Halbach (1823–1848)

Wolff Friedrich von Cramm
⚭ 1839
Freiin Hedwig von Cramm

Ernst Eberhard von Sierstorpff-Driburg
⚭ 1844
Karoline von Vincke

Grand Duke
Paul Friedrich (Mecklenburg)
⚭ 1822
Alexandrine of Prussia

Prince Adolf von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Princess Mathilda von Schönburg-Waldenburg

Royal Crown of the Netherlands (Heraldic) .svg
King Wilhelm II.
⚭ 1816
Grand Duchess
Anna Pavlovna (1795–1865)

Georg Viktor (Waldeck-Pyrmont) (1831–1893)
⚭ 1853
Helene of Nassau (1831–1888)

Great grandparents

Ernst zur Lippe-Biesterfeld
⚭ 1869
Caroline von Wartensleben

Aschwin von Sierstorpff-Cramm
⚭ 1872
Hedwig von Sierstorpff

Grand Duke
Friedrich Franz II (Mecklenburg)
⚭ 1868
Marie von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Royal Crown of the Netherlands (Heraldic) .svg
King Wilhelm III.
⚭ 1879
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont


Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (1872–1934)
⚭ 1909
Baroness Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm (1883–1971)

Duke Heinrich zu Mecklenburg (1876–1934)
⚭ 1901 Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1880–1962) Queen 1898–1948
Royal Crown of the Netherlands (Heraldic) .svg


Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (1911–2004)
⚭ 1937 Princess Juliana of the Netherlands (1909–2004) Queen 1948–1980
Royal Crown of the Netherlands (Heraldic) .svg

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (* 1938) Queen 1980–2013
Royal Crown of the Netherlands (Heraldic) .svg


  • Beatrix , in: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 19/2013 from May 7, 2013, in the Munzinger archive ( beginning of the article freely available)
  • Christoph Driessen : Continuity and change in the monarchy . In: ders .: History of the Netherlands. From sea power to trend land . Regensburg 2016, pp. 256–261.

Web links

Commons : Beatrix (Netherlands)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Princess Beatrix . The Dutch royal family. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  2. Quoted from: Christoph Driessen: History of the Netherlands. From sea power to trend land . Regensburg 2016, p. 255.
  3. Christoph Driessen, dpa / DPA: Energy: "Royal" Shell is getting deeper and deeper into the crisis. In: March 23, 2004, accessed April 24, 2019 .
  4. Cordula Schmitz: The Dutch royal family should save. In: Die Welt , September 12, 2009, accessed June 4, 2010.
  5. The Orangeans are poorer than the Queen In: Manager Magazin , June 23, 2003, accessed June 14, 2010
  6. Martin Bewerunge: Queen Beatrix and the magic of the monarchy. In: April 30, 2010, accessed April 24, 2019 .
  7. Prince Bernhard lets Orange people slip down on the rich list. In: Schwäbische Zeitung , June 24, 2003.
  8. ^ The Guardian, June 30, 1999
  9. n-tv: Queen on a state visit: Beatrix will stop by April 12, 2011
  10. Christoph Driessen: History of the Netherlands, from sea power to trend country . Regensburg 2009, p. 259.
  11. Christoph Driessen : History of the Netherlands. From sea power to trend land . Regensburg 2016, p. 260.
  12. Original wording of the abdication ( Memento of May 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (translated)
  13. Grondwet (Basic Law) Constitution of the Netherlands (Dutch)
  14. Article 32 Constitution (enthronement) (Dutch)
  15. Dutch ex-queen: Beatrix moves into retirement home , February 4, 2014
  16. List of all decorations awarded by the Federal President for services to the Republic of Austria from 1952 (PDF; 6.9 MB)


  1. Her two younger sisters Irene and Christina lost their membership in the royal family and were excluded from the line of succession because they entered into marriages without the consent of the Dutch parliament and converted to Catholicism . Beatrix 'sister Margriet currently (May 2013) occupies eighth place in the line of succession.
predecessor Office successor
Juliana Queen of the Netherlands