Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands (1938–)

Born on 31 January 1938 in Palace Soestdijk in Baarn, the first daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard zu Lippe-Biesterfeld, Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard passed her early childhood in Canada with her mother and sister as a World War II refugee. She graduated with a degree in law from Leyden University in the Netherlands in 1961.

In March 1966 Beatrix wed Claus-George von Amsberg, a minor German prince and diplomat. Claus's German heritage and questionable activities in Nazi Germany caused considerable public unrest. Following the birth of their son, Prince Willem-Alexander, in 1967, popular distaste for the monarchy diminished, and Claus was accepted—if not embraced—as a member of the royal household.

On 30 April 1980, Beatrix was crowned queen amid violent protests by squatters angry over a shortage of housing. As queen, Beatrix has demonstrated no small amount of leftist sympathies. In 1982 she visited the United States and warned Congress not to ignore the dismay of the Dutch people over the deployment of additional nuclear missiles in the Netherlands. A year later, U.S. presidential candidate Jesse Jackson revealed that Beatrix had expressed to him her aversion to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Double Track decision.

Beatrix has exerted considerably more influence over Dutch politics than did Juliana. She has won the favor of her people through conscientious hard work and her reputation as "the smiling queen." Beatrix has also earned renown as a firm supporter of the European Integration Movement.

Beatrice de Graaf


Further Reading
Kikkert, J. G. Beatrix: Mens en majesteit [Beatrix: Human Being and Monarch.] Utrecht: Poseidon, 1998.; Kooistra, Redmar, and Stephan Koole. Beatrix: Invloed en macht van een eigenzinnige vorstin [Beatrix: Influence and Power of a Strong-Willed Monarch]. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2000.; Van Minnen, Cornelis A., ed. A Transatlantic Friendship: Addresses by Queen Wilhelmina, Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to the Joint Sessions of the United States Congress. Published on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the first presentation in Middelburg of the Four Freedoms Awards. Roosevelt Study Center Publications No. 12. Middelburg, Netherlands: Roosevelt Study Center, 1992.
 

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