Sunday, April 24, 2011

[The Netherlands] [VIDEO] The controversial engagement of Princess Beatrix and Claus van Amsberg (1965)

The announcement in July 1965 of the engagement of Princess Beatrix, heir to the throne, to a German diplomat, Claus von Amsberg stirred great controversy in the Netherlands. The future husband of the future Queen had been a member of the Nazi Wehrmacht and the Hitler Youth movement. Many angry Dutch citizens demonstrated in the streets, and held rallies and marches against the "traitorous" affair. While this time upset citizens did not call for Queen Juliana's abdication because the true object of their wrath, Princess Beatrix, would then be Queen, they did start to question the value of having a monarchy at all. After attempting to have the marriage cancelled, Queen Juliana acquiesced and the marriage took place in 1966 under a continued storm of protest and an almost certain attitude pervaded the country that Princess Beatrix might be the last member of the House of Orange to ever reign in the Netherlands.
In the video, we can see Queen Juliana speaking, in presence of her husband, Consort Prince Bernhard and the newly engaged couple. And no, young Beatrix never changed her hairstyle ever since. A photo-call followed and we get to see her three sisters, Princess Irene, Princess Margriet and Princess Christina.