Queen Bea

PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS/Jerry Lampen

Today marks the 73rd birthday of Queen Beatrix, making her one of the oldest Dutch heads of state. Only King Willem III reached the same age while on the throne: he died in 1890 at the age of 73. She took the throne when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated at the age of 70. Beatrix was 42 at the time. She may be one of the oldest monarchs in Dutch history, but she’s a spring chicken compared to some other European monarchs. Those in Belgium, Spain, Norway and the United Kingdom are all older than her. And she wears a hat like nobody’s business!

Still, I find myself wondering if she’ll be sitting in a birthday circle at some point today.

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8 thoughts on “Queen Bea

  1. I’d be more happy about Royalty if I weren’t paying for it.
    (I’m no Royalist, by any chance can you tell?)
    Actually I suppose the disadvantage of her position is that she can’t say ” to hell with it, no celebrations this year please, I’d rather just stay in bed all day with a book”
    Ok, I’ll give you that she dresses far better than the Queen of England but as a Kiwi my tax dollars have paid for QE2’s Royal visits too, so I’m doomed to be paying for two sets of the filthy rich landed Gentry no matter what.
    Her Birthday Circle must be scarily big.

    • I’m fairly ambivalent about royalty in general. I do think it’s generally pointless these days, and the money could be better spent, but I do enjoy Queen’s Day. 😉

      • Alison, did you know that Queen’s Day is the actual birthday of Juliana (Beatrix’s Mother) and that it’s also the day that Wilhelmina abdicated the throne to her daughter (Juliana). So we don’t celebrate on the date of the present Queen’s Birthday… but of course it’s still a “Queen’s Day” (a.k.a. “Koninginnedag”).

        • Oh, I do know the history of Queen’s Day. I gather part of the reason for not changing the celebration to Beatrix’s birthday was in part because the weather is usually so awful at the end of January. It made more sense to keep it at the end of April, while also honoring the two previous queens.

          It will be interesting to see if they keep the tradition once W-A takes the throne. King’s Day? His birthday is close to the current celebration date. Might as well keep it!

    • She may have invented them as a way to celebrate her birthday as a stop-gap before the big Queen’s Day celebration. I’d think a circle party is about all you can count on weather-wise at the end of January. 😉

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