Private correspondence between Juliana and her friends sheds a different light on the life of the former monarch. A lonely life especially.
What do you write a good friend who just lost her 1-year-old daughter? Crown Princess Juliana, who was 27, directed in 1936 these words to her friend Nelke Clay, whose daughter Elisabethje drowned in a pond:
Very sweet of you 't write myself - I was talking not read - and did not know what I read (...) That such a thing should come into your life - the dance of the twin brothers, life and death, it overrides Tagore somewhere. And what is a short and happy life is a privilege for her, she's above us. As you and I have also additionally found much happiness in our lives, they never quite knew no suffering.
, This note I found really shocking, '' explains Jolande Withuis (67), the sociologist from Zutphen who did research into the life of Juliana (1909-2004). The impact of its study is the biography Juliana, princess in a man's world.
Two attempts Withuis undertook to be able to browse through the Royal Archives: when she started the research in 2010, when Willem-Alexander three years later to the throne and thus took over the formal leadership of the archives of his mother, Juliana's daughter Beatrix. The answer was 'no' twice.
That refusal was in the news and so the setback was her happiness. Withuis got to see children from several friends of Juliana private correspondence between their mother and the princess / queen. And that sheds a different light on the woman who reigned from 1948 to 1980 reigned over the Netherlands.
Withuis: ,, The idea that I Juliana was her death that those ordinary woman is tilted substantially to me. She was just extreme and eccentric. Did not adapt and searched several times the limits of what they could in constitutional terms. And she was erratic and eager, could be snappish and kwaaiig. If something is not its brand cigarettes, Chesterfield, on the table was then she let it know. I'm going to find it a lot more interesting. ''
And pathetic. If the investigation of Withuis evokes one image, it is that of the lonely woman.As an only child to a court that still knew very stiff manners early twentieth century. As a princess who fled to Canada with her children during the Second World War. If the queen who cheated on her wedding from all sides and was humbled by husband, Prince Bernhard - in their marriage crisis the support of their four daughters and a large part of politics knows itself. And as demented princess in her last years at Soestdijk Palace.
There's also news in the letters of Juliana, who had not been previously printed in large part.In its Canadian years she answered an invitation from the US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to come and stay in October 1941: Travel is easier to me now why it was very difficult in August, has disappeared. While carrying along a very pleasant illusion ...
Withuis concludes that a pregnancy Crown Princess ended in a miscarriage.
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By Editors AD: Photo: ANP / RVD