Juliana of the Netherlands
Birthday: April 30, 1909
Empresses & Queens
Died At Age: 94
Sun Sign: Taurus
Also Known As: Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina
Born Country: Netherlands
Born in: Noordeinde Palace, South Holland, Netherlands
Famous as: Queen of the Netherlands
Spouse/Ex-: Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
father: Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
mother: Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
siblings: Pim Lier
children: Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess Christina of the Netherlands, Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
Died on: March 20, 2004
place of death: Soestdijk Palace, Baarn, Netherlands
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
education: Leiden University
awards: Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown
Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit
Order of the White Eagle
Four Freedoms Award - Freedom Medal
Grand Cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Order of Orange-Nassau
Order of the Netherlands Lion
List of Knights and Ladies of the Garter
Collar of the Order of Charles III
Nansen Refugee Award
Honorary Order of the Yellow Star
Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum
Order of the Southern Cross
Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina, popularly known as Queen Juliana, was the Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 till her abdication in 1980. Born in Noordeinde Palace, The Hague, the Netherlands, Juliana was the only child of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She initially got a private education and later went to University of Leiden to study international law. During the Second World War, Juliana took refuge in Ottawa due to the German invasion of the Netherlands. Later, after her return to the Netherlands in 1945, Juliana acted as the regent during her mother Wilhelmina’s illness. She was inaugurated as the queen on 6th September 1948, after the abdication of her mother two days earlier. She remained the queen till 1980, when she abdicated in favor of her eldest daughter, Beatrix. Throughout her reign, she kindled controversy over several issues such as employing a faith healer to tend to her daughter Christina who had been almost fully blind. The marriage of her daughter Princess Irene to the Catholic Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, earned her the ire of her Protestant citizens. The queen passed away in 2004, at the age of 94. She was the longest-lived former reigning monarch, not just in the Netherlands, but across the world.
Childhood & Early Life
Juliana was born on 30th April 1909, at Noordeinde Palace, The Hague. She was the only daughter of the reigning Dutch monarch, Queen Wilhelmina, and her husband, Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Juliana spent her early childhood at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. She also stayed at Noordeinde Palace and Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague.
A small school class was formed at Noordeinde Palace so that Juliana could receive a private education. A few other children, such as Baroness Elise Bentinck and Baroness Elisabeth van Hardenbroek, also attended classes with her.
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Juliana attained the age of eighteen on 30th April 1927, officially coming of age. She also became entitled to assume the royal prerogative, if required. Two days later, her mother installed her as the Council of State.
The young princess enrolled at the University of Leiden, where she attended lectures in international law, sociology, jurisprudence, economics, and history of religion. She also studied about the cultures of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. She graduated in 1930 with a bachelor’s degree in international law.
In the early 1930s, Juliana’s mother Wilhelmina began searching for a suitable husband for her daughter. Eventually, at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Bavaria, she met Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, from Germany. Since his rank and religion were found to be suitable, their engagement was arranged by Wilhelmina. Juliana found herself falling deeply in love with the prince.
The wedding took place in The Hague on 7 January 1937. Prince Bernhard eventually changed the spelling of his name from German to Dutch, and also acquired Dutch citizenship. The couple’s first child was born on 31st January 1938; she was named Princess Beatrix. They had three more children.
When Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, the royal family had to flee to Canada. They remained in Ottawa, the national capital of Canada, till the war ended. They eventually returned to their homeland in 1945.
Accession & Reign
As Wilhelmina’s health became worse, it became difficult for her to perform her royal duties. Therefore, Juliana eventually took over as a regent in late 1947. Though Juliana advised her mother to stay on the throne and complete her diamond jubilee in 1950, Wilhelmina was forced to relinquish her duties to Juliana once and for all on 4th May 1948.
Juliana was officially sworn-in and inaugurated as the queen on 6th September 1948. As the queen, she was greatly interested in the problems of developing countries, which also led to the issue of refugees seeking asylum.
In 1953, a destructive storm hit the Netherlands, in which over 1,800 people drowned and tens of thousands of people were trapped by the flood water. Juliana visited all the affected areas and comforted the people, giving them hope.
When she completed her silver jubilee in 1973, she donated all the money that was raised by the National Silver Jubilee Committee to organizations that supported needy children across the world.
Unlike her mother, she was a very relaxed monarch, which helped lessen the distance between the royal family and the common people. She was known to make public appearances as a common Dutch woman.
Later Years & Death
Queen Juliana was eventually succeeded by her daughter on 30th April 1980, her 71st birthday. However, she remained active in various charitable causes.
After 1995, she made fewer public appearances as her health became worse. She also started suffering from Alzheimer’s, according to Prince Bernhard.
On 20th March 2004, she passed away due to pneumonia at the age of 94. She was interred beside her mother in the royal vaults under the Nieuwe Kerkin (Delft). Her husband, Prince Bernhard, also passed away after a few months.