Happy Birthday to Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, who turns 80 today! The second son of Pieter van Vollenhoven Sr. and Jacoba Gijsbertha Stuylingh de Lange, he was born in Schiedam, and attended secondary school in Rotterdam, before studying law at the University of Leiden, working as a legal officer for the Netherlands Council of State, and becoming a military pilot with the Royal Netherlands Air Force. In 1967, he married Princess Margriet of The Netherlands, the third daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, becoming the first member of the Dutch Royal Family who was a commoner not of royal or noble origin. The couple have four sons; Prince Maurits, Prince Bernhard, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, and Prince Floris, and eleven grandchildren. Professor van Vollenhoven often accompanies Princess Margriet on official engagements, like the annual Peter Stuyvesant Ball, and was the first chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, being made a Professor by the University of Twente in 2005. He is an avid pianist, and was part of the ‘De Gevleugelde Vrienden’ trio, giving concerts in aid of the Victim Support Fund. The Professor has twice been diagnosed with Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, which has been successfully removed. I wish him a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!
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