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Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, who died on this day in 2004. The only child of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, she was born the only Heir to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and after primary educated with Aristocratic children at Noordeinde Palace, she was rapidly educated by private tutors as the Dutch constitution specified she should be ready to succeed to the throne by the age of eighteen, eventually studying International Law from Leiden University. In 1937, she married Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, and the couple had four daughters, Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet, Princess Irene, and Princess Christina. During Occupation of the Netehrlands in the Second World War, Crown Princess Juliana went with her children to Canada, while her mother headed the government in exile in London. In 1948, Queen Wilhelmina abdicated the Dutch Throne, and her only daughter succeeded as Queen Juliana. Her Reign saw the Decolonization of much of the Dutch Empire in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and the Caribbean (Suriname). Queen Juliana preferred to be addressed at ‘Mevrouw’ (Mrs.) rather than ‘Majesteit’ (Majesty), and was often seen riding a bicycle, creating the image of a ‘bicycle monarchy’. After a reign of 32 years, in 1980, she abdicated in favour of her eldest daughter, becoming Princess Juliana, but remained active for quite a few years afterwards, but suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease from the 1990s. She passed away at her home at Soestdijk Palace on this day in 2004, at the age of 94.
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Abdication seems to work fine for a lot of monarchies. They seem to have such a pragmatic view of things to where it seems quite natural! Queen Juliana seemed to have infinite patience with her consort as he seemed to get into more trouble than she would have liked. In fact, I think patience was a virtue that she had in spades as she coped with all the issues brought on my her daughters’ marriages. Probably the only one with the least controversy was Princess Margriet’s!