Saturday, April 27, 2013

Netherlands To Have Its First King Since 1890

I first became acquainted with the monarchy of the Netherlands during my first visit there in 1975.  I've since developed a deep respect for Queen Wilhelmina, queen during World War II, for her leadership in exile.  I had no idea she had been queen for about 50 years by the time WWII broke out!  Queen Juliana was queen when I was there, and I received a nice note from the royal palace when, in 1980, I wrote to congratulate Queen Beatrix on her accession.

Queen Beatrix will abdicate in a couple days and her son will become the country's first king since his great-great-grandfather.  A coronation is a nice little birthday present, too:
With just three days to go before he officially becomes king, crown prince Willem-Alexander celebrates his 46th birthday on April 27.

Willem-Alexander, the Netherland’s first king since 1890, will be less focused on affairs of state and more on fulfilling his role as a binding force in the community at large, royal watchers say...

Although many expected the prince would take the title Willem IV, the prince will be known as king Willem-Alexander and his wife Máxima will have the title queen.

Asked in the pre-investiture interview why he did not want to be named king Willem IV, the prince laughed and said he did not want to be a number. ‘Willem 4 is in a field, next to Bertha 38,’ he said, referring to the way cows are named and registered.

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