The Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

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HER Majesty, Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, is the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, having acceded to the throne in 1980. Her Majesty is the daughter of the late Queen Juliana and the late Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld. When she was a young girl, the Dutch royal family fled the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War II, moving to Britain in May, 1940, and then to Ottawa, Canada. They returned home in 1945.

In Canada, then Princess Beatrix attended nursery and primary school. On her return to the Netherlands, she continued her primary education at the Workshop (De Werkplaats), Kees Boekes progressive school in Bilthoven. In April, 1950, Princess Beatrix entered the Incrementum, part of Baarns Lyceum, where she passed her school-leaving examinations in arts subjects and classics in 1956.

On January 31, 1956, Princess Beatrix celebrated her 18th birthday. From that date, under the Constitution of the Netherlands, she was entitled to assume the royal prerogative and her mother installed her in the Council of State. She began her university studies the same year, at Leiden University. In her first years at university, she attended lectures in sociology, jurisprudence, economics, parliamentary history, and constitutional law. She also attended lectures on the cultures of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, international affairs, international law, history, and European law. …