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Marengo 10-14-2008 08:18 AM

Greet Hofmans Crisis - A Faith Healer at the Dutch Court
 
In this thread we can iscuss the crisis over faith healer Greet Hofmans that shook the Dutch monarchy in the 50-ties and that severely damaged the marriage of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard.

From this wikipedia page some info about her and the crisis:

Quote:

Greet Hofmans (23 June 1894, Amsterdam – 16 November 1968, Amsterdam) was a faith healer and hand layer. For nine years she was a friend and advisor of Queen Juliana, often residing at Palace Soestdijk.
Hofmans was introduced on the initiative of Prince Bernhard in 1948 to treat the eye sickness of Princess Marijke Christina. This illness arose after Juliana was infected with rubella during the pregnancy. Hofmans developed a great influence on the queen, encouraging pacifist ideas. In the period of the Cold War this caused a crisis in the royal household. Reputedly it reached the point where it threatened the marriage of Juliana and Bernhard.
Outside the Netherlands a great deal was written over the Hofmans affair. On 13 June 1956 an article appeared in the German magazine Der Spiegel with the title Zwischen Königin und Rasputin, literally meaning Between queen and Rasputin. Reportedly it was Bernhard who provided the information for the article, by which means he hoped to have Hofmans removed from the court.
The cabinet of Willem Drees banned the import of that edition of the magazine and on 28 June 1956 appointed a commission of enquiry of former ministers Louis Beel and Gerbrandy and former governor-general of the Dutch East Indies A. W. L. Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer, the Beel Commission. The outcome was the termination of Hofmans' contacts with the court and the reorganisation of the royal household.
Through the secrecy imposed on the official side and the self-censorship of the Netherlands press, the Hofmans affair took on a life of its own. Some have speculated that the affair was simply a mask for a looming divorce of the royal couple.
Hofmans retained until her death followers of the higher circles, who saw in her the personification of the ideal life: sober, peaceful, free of self-interest, and directed at the fellow man. Others viewed her however as a charlatan, an intrigante and a dangerous witch, or at best a naive figure.
As of 2004 the report of the Beel Commission is still secret. On 7 February Bernhard in an open letter to the Volkskrant newspaper wrote "with respect to the so-named Hofmans affair, I recall that the Beel Commission in 1956 conducted an exhaustive investigation. The report of this commission is for formal reasons still not public, therefore I express here my confidence that the eventual publication will place all those involved in this complex affair in the correct light".
The Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (association against charlatans, or quackery) has ranked Hofmans in the 14th place of the top twenty charlatans of the 20th century.

Marengo 10-14-2008 08:22 AM

On November 11th the book by Prof. Cees Fasseur about the Greet Hofmans crisis will be available at stores. Prof. Fasseur is known for his extensive 2-volume biography of Queen Wilhelmina and now has written about the crisis that lasted from 1949 to 1956, until the comission Beel removed Greet Hofmans from court. Fasseur got access to personal documents of Juliana and Bernhard and to the Royal Archives in Te Hague.

Article in Dutch + book cover here.

--
I must say I am surprised HM allowed this to be written so quickly after the death of her parents.

marmi 10-14-2008 06:36 PM

Yes it is quite soon isnt it?

I just want to check that I am understanding this correctly: They say that it nearly destroyed the marriage because Greet Hofmans & Prince Bernhard disagreed/advised the Queen differently?

Its an interesting topic, thanks for bringing it to attention Marengo.

Marengo 10-14-2008 06:45 PM

It was more than giving opposite advice, Juliana became very pascifist, religious/spiritual etc. The relationship with her husband became very bad, some claim that at one point he wanted to put her in the Ursula clinic in Wassenaar, a clinic for insane people. Of course the reason why Bernhard would do such a thing can be debated: was his wife really under the spell of Miss Hofmans or was he over ambitious and wanted to become a regent? Or is the story of the clinic completely false (the most likely option IMO)?

During this crisis the couple lived in seperate wings of Soestdijk palace, with their own courtiers etc. Some say they kept their seperate wings even after the crisis was over. What is true is that they had seperate bedrooms ever since and prince Bernhard had several other women. He had a female companion, Miss Cocky Gilles, who was basically his wife since the 70-ties.

Odette 10-15-2008 12:27 AM

Marengo was that lady (his wife) the mother of the two girls he acknowledge as his own before his death?

Marengo 10-15-2008 03:36 AM

No, mrs. Cocky Gilles was his private secretary. The youngest extramarital daughter is Alexia, by Helene Grinda. The eldest one is Alicia de Bielefeld, by an former German-American pilot. Note that Alicia was born in 1952, in the middle of the Greet Hofmans crisis.

lucien 10-15-2008 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marmi (Post 837490)
Yes it is quite soon isnt it?

I just want to check that I am understanding this correctly: They say that it nearly destroyed the marriage because Greet Hofmans & Prince Bernhard disagreed/advised the Queen differently?

Its an interesting topic, thanks for bringing it to attention Marengo.

It was Bernhard who introduced Greet Hofmans at Court in the first place.

She was introduced to him by some dutch aristocrat who had way too much time on his hands
and was a little gaga in the spiritual/esoterial field.

It has always been assumed,never proven,assumed,that it was Greet who had such influence over Juliana,
she was even called the dutch Rasputin....

I wonder,it was Juliana herself who had the ideas she had,and she found sort of a soulmate in Greet Hofmans,that is the clue in this relationship I believe.But as matters got out of hand,ie,Bernhard and Juliana both had their camps in the Palace,pro Juliana or pro Bernhard,and,especially the latter,came up with the most farsought nonsens in regards to The Queen possible.
The spoilt rotten german boy and his wife,The Queen of The Netherlands.It was the spoilt rotten german boy who got away with the conniving in the end.

But not before he leaked the marriage difficulties,and blaming Greet Hofmans in the process,to the british press which in turn triggered some
action both in Juliana´s camp as well as with the government.At the hight of the crisis,in the mid fifties (1955-1956),a commission was
installed on behalve of the Government to clean this mess up.They did,Greet was banned from Court,and as Juliana felt betrayed by her husband,she demanded a divorce.The Commission `of wise man` as it was called,prevented that from happening,and the government
simply didn´t allow it.

The rift was huge,and it would take decades to heal.As Bernhard told himself....at the end of his life....when he obviously missed
dear Juliana more then he had ever thought himself possible.She never stopped loving him,and he never stopped loving himself.

It must have been enormously difficult for dear Juliana,must have been very very lonely for her.Allthough,Greet Hofmans was banned from Court,yes,but the two always remained in contact,mostly so in the spiritual gatherings at Het Oude Loo Castle near Het Loo Palace,that also saw the Lady of Het Loo,then Princess Wilhelmina,amongst them.

But,as there is always one that catches the cat,Greet became the scapegoat in the "Bernhard Field".The latter being a reference to the two "powers" at Soestdijk Palace,Juliana's,housed in one wing,Bernhard in the other and he did a lot to have his wife,The Queen,regarded as gaga.His eldest daughter,our present Queen,as always,took the side of her father.....Girls often do that don´t they,take their dads side in matters...

Bernhard has strongly denied,later in life,he wished the Queen to be labelled a lunatic and subsequent abdication in favour of his eldest daughter,as was signalled by the Juliana camp at Soestdijk Palace....but then he was of the denying kind........It,the facts,must be somewhere deep deep down in the Royal Archives.

Wonder if the new book on Greet Hofmans will reveal more then we already know.

Marengo 10-15-2008 07:30 AM

Considering how sensitive and very personal all this is I really wonder how much Prof. Fasseur was alowed to see/publish. I can't imagine he will have anything/much about Beatrix taking her fathers side for example.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lucien
She never stopped loving him,and he never stopped loving himself.

That was their marriage in a nutshell IMHO.

---

I believe that in the 90-ties the press showed pictures of the grave of Greet Hofmans, and that fresh flowers were put there each week or so. They said they came from princess Juliana...

lucien 10-15-2008 09:33 AM

Greet Hofmans grave at "Zorgvliet" cemetary,Amsterdam..

Dood in Nederland

marmi 10-15-2008 05:23 PM

Thanks for taking the time to explain all of that Lucien (& Marengo). Now I have something to ponder.

Odette 10-15-2008 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 837646)
No, mrs. Cocky Gilles was his private secretary. The youngest extramarital daughter is Alexia, by Helene Grinda. The eldest one is Alicia de Bielefeld, by an former German-American pilot. Note that Alicia was born in 1952, in the middle of the Greet Hofmans crisis.

Thanks Marengo. BTW I had seen pictures of P Bernhard and Q Juliana when they were young and always wondered what kind of a love affaire that one was.
However P Bernhard seemed to have had a lot of interests outside the marriage to keep him busy enough.:whistling:

Wow Lucien.........What a story. I hope that book is printed in English as well. It must be fascinating to read. Poor Juliana!

Marengo 11-07-2008 06:21 PM

Royal Blog has a special page with a lot of information about the new publication and former ones about the Hofmand crisis.

Look here (in Dutch only).

lucien 11-08-2008 07:04 AM

A good find for the Press Museum indeed.Although a dumb man,said journalist Lunshof,that van Walraven van Heeckeren van Molecaten,
a blabbermouth at Court,unfit for his position,who saw his "Kingdom" crumble into smitherines as Hofmans was kicked out of the Palace.
He was private secretary to HM Queen Juliana (-and the one aristo that introduced Greet Hofmans to Bernhard in the first place...),
his wife a Lady in Waiting and his mother the grandmastress of the Court.All that was vamos after the affair,
so the little nobody couldn't shut up.Petty nobleman.So much for loyalty and discretion.Take his words with the odd salt really.In fact,it was van Heeckeren who requested Lunshof never to publish his interview as he knew full well,I suppose,that he was totally besides the mark,ie,should be deeply ashamed for his indiscretions

Small wonder that,even more since then,our House of Orange-Nassau doesn't employ all that many nobles but prefer brains instead.
They cluster and think THEY are/run the Royal Family after a while,which they never will be ofcourse.Our days are gone in that respect.Todays nobles might find some among them who long for the days of "their positions" at Court and complain,but then they cluster once at Court and believe it is actually them that rule/claim a prominence they never posess.

Our present Queen was very very adamant about one thing,something like the Greet Hofmans affair,or simular,would not ever happen again,hence her strict management rules and good sense for putting brains at positions instead of empty titles and frumpiness.What she experienced in those 50's almost traumatised all the girls,except Christina,she was the "baby" and at the time,a spoilt rotten one at that.But,enfin,that has all changed,she's a truly wonderfull Lady.Remember,it was because of wee Christina's eyesight,or lack of that,that Hofmans was introduced at Court in the first place.Juliana as a mother,never forgave herself for the eye troubles of her baby,and did everything to cure/help her child.Which is totally understandeble I would say.It's just with Hofmans around,she threw herself into that believe her new found friend could really help,but she was a fraud.

To understand some of our history,our present Queens actions/Court,this nightmare of an affair,impregnated her at the young age between 12 and 18.

Marengo 11-08-2008 06:38 PM

Well, he can be dumb, a blabbermouth and much more but that does not mean that parts of the story can't be true. The difficult relation of Queen Juliana with her eldest daughter is basically common knowledge, even discussed by princess Margarita in her infamous interviews with HP/De Tijd.

Considering the count belonged to Juliana's side of the court his story might be biased indeed, and esp. if you consider that it was him (or his wife) who introduced Greet Hofmans to the Queen. He obviously wants to present Bernhard as the evil character here, but dispite that even has a few positive remarks about the prince. That princess Armgard was a rather shrewd woman isn't surprising either, we heard that before too.

It is just a very sad family history, the eye sight, the faith healer, an insecure Queen and an unreliable, unfaithful and unloving husband. A very sad combination of factors.

Regina 11-08-2008 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 849572)

It is just a very sad family history, the eye sight, the faith healer, an insecure Queen and an unreliable, unfaithful and unloving husband. A very sad combination of factors.

Yes, it may be a sad story but it IS indeed a very interesting one.

Thank you, Lucien and Marengo for your posts. :smile:

You say Greet Hofmans was a faith healer.
I have a question for you: What was her religion at the time? Was she a protestant, a roman catholic, etc...?

Marengo 11-08-2008 07:48 PM

She was an 'alternative healer' and 'laid hands'. According to wikipedia she was an admirer of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a spiritual and philosophical teacher from India. I don't know mrs. Hofmans religious background but since she was from Amsterdam it could be both protestant as catholic as these were the largest religions of the city at that time, followed by the Jewish faith.

Lakshmi 11-08-2008 08:41 PM

Marengo and lucien thanks abput telling the details of "Hofmans affair". What the painful story. Poor Julianna, her life with Bernhard was so miserable.

Mandrake 11-09-2008 06:45 PM

Hofmans was a protestant. I believe Fasseur mentioned this in his book on Wilhelmina. Van Molecaten also states so in the interview.
Van Molecaten disliked catholics (and communists and socialists).

I do hope Fasseur will mention the letter Queen Wilhelmina wrote about the Hofmans affair. The letter is mentioned in the book about the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst (goverment information service) by Marja Wagenaar (1997). One BIG effect of the Hofmans crisis was that the competing palace press secretaries (Berhard and Juliana had seperate ones) were sacked and the Goverment Information Service took over.
If I recall correctly Wilhelmina aknowledges in her letter that her daughter made some mistakes but also states that Juliana never abused her powers. (interesting phrasing if you look at the constitutional rules in the Netherlands)
I was surprised that this letter wasn't mentioned in Fasseurs biography of Wilhelmina.
Fasseur stated that Wilhelmina completely supported Juliana in the Hofmans-affair.

lucien 11-10-2008 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mandrake (Post 850017)
Hofmans was a protestant. I believe Fasseur mentioned this in his book on Wilhelmina. Van Molecaten also states so in the interview.
Van Molecaten disliked catholics (and communists and socialists).

I do hope Fasseur will mention the letter Queen Wilhelmina wrote about the Hofmans affair. The letter is mentioned in the book about the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst (goverment information service) by Marja Wagenaar (1997). One BIG effect of the Hofmans crisis was that the competing palace press secretaries (Berhard and Juliana had seperate ones) were sacked and the Goverment Information Service took over.
If I recall correctly Wilhelmina aknowledges in her letter that her daughter made some mistakes but also states that Juliana never abused her powers. (interesting phrasing if you look at the constitutional rules in the Netherlands)
I was surprised that this letter wasn't mentioned in Fasseurs biography of Wilhelmina.
Fasseur stated that Wilhelmina completely supported Juliana in the Hofmans-affair.

I do hope too that Fasseur now finally has all the skeletons out of the closet so this case will be closed and stored where it belongs.
In history.

Looking forward to the letter you mention,ofcourse Wilhelmina supported Juliana,as a mother would,and as a person that shared some
of her daughters interests in the spiritual life.And the love for the children ofcourse,there always was that,and the girls loved to stay with their grandmother at Het Loo,especially during that time,out of a tense environment into the bliss of Het Loo and its grounds.You don't find that mentioned too often,almost never,that HM and her sisters have,to this day,dear memories of their time at Het Loo with our Willemien.

Other then that,I'm afraid our dear beloved Queen Juliana didn't always go by the rules & guidelines we thought she always has either.All I hope is it will be a fair piece of work,fair to all parties involved,thruthfull,leaving little to the imagination.I could imagine our RF will be relieved when all the hullabaloo subsides,as news always does the next day.

Must have been a traumatic time for all the girls,who would blame them to see the subject come to rest again and they can really close that episode forever.Allthough I believe some documents are not to be released till after 50 or 100 years after the death of the persons involved,as often is the case,more something for Amalia's grandaughter/son by that time.

Pier Gerlofs Donia 11-10-2008 03:43 AM

Ah, the greet hofmans affair! Reminds me a bit of Rasputin in Russia in the old Tsarist family; he also seemingly drove apart the tsar and the tsarina and got a lot of influence. The seem happened with Greet Hofmans, only that she did not get quite as much influence (dutch mentality, probably). Luckily the Dutch are a down-to-earth people. :)

Also: often, 100 years after someones death they re-open a file publically: I am anxious for 2017: Mata Hari's file (was she really a spy)?

Mandrake 11-10-2008 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lucien (Post 850302)
I'm afraid our dear beloved Queen Juliana didn't always go by the rules & guidelines we thought she always has either.All I hope is it will be a fair piece of work,fair to all parties involved,thruthfull,leaving little to the imagination.

I do hope so!
The only thing I fear is that the report of the commission of enquiry will be a complete disappointment. It now has a mythical status. One interview with van Molecaten (like lunshof's) could have been enough for the commission to determine that the Baron was unfit for his job and ought to leave court. Besides the sacking of the van Molecaten-clan and the removal of Hofmans the only political consequence of the affair seems to have been the remodeling of the information service. Unofficialy the marriage was 'saved' but it took (according to bernhard) many years before pappie and mammie were at ease with each other again.

lucien 11-10-2008 11:52 AM

TV news program Één Vandaag will show footage tonight of Prince Bernhard while saying he hoped the report would never be released and he rather saw it burned then anything else.The Prince told his biographer Alden Hatch in the early 1960's.Hmm,we'll see.

Marengo 11-11-2008 11:45 AM

I saw half of that programme actually, the prince is telling things to Alden Hatch that we already read before, just to hear him say it is new (to me).

---
An article from the Algemeen Dagblad, with the title:

'Bernhard begged Juliana to stay'. In a letter of 18 September 1956 Prince Bernhard begged her not to divorce: 'otherwise we will give our family the name of a 3rd rate balkan monarchy'.

Some other things:
- Bernhard introduced Greet Hofmans to the Queen, in the hope that she could heal princess Christina (still Marijke at the time).
- During the war he had an affair with Lady Ann Orr (which was known) and with Lady Penelope Aitken (which is new). Lady Penelope later became a good friend of Juliana.


Article in Dutch here.

--
The Volkskrant has another article, where Fasseur talks about the myths around the Hofmans affair. The queen never threatened to abdicate while Bernhard never had the idea to remove her to the Ursula Clinic in Wassenaar. The infamous stadholdersletter was not found either.

Prime Minister Drees already in 1951 called Greet Hofmans 'Rasputin' but he did not do anything until in 1956, when a commision of 3 wise man was formed (Beel, Gerbrandy and Jhr. Tjarda van Starckenborch Stachouwer, who removed Juliana's side of the courtiers.

Fasseur praises the Queen for being so open about the matter so shortly after the death of her parents (only 4 years ago).

Article in Dutch here.

--
The NRC starts with a more sensational headline: 'The Resistance Threatened to Murder Hofmans'. Greet Hofmans and COunt Walgraven van Heeckeren van Molecaten received threatening letters by mail in 1956. They letters said that they had to leave court voluntairily otherwise they would be shot by former members of the resistance. The use of force was also mentioned by resistance fighters Tromp and Schutte, they even discussed the matter with princess Wilhelmina (!).

More in Dutch here.

Marengo 11-11-2008 12:34 PM

Some information from royalblog:

Queen Juliana was well aware about the ways of her husband. In 1940 she already writes him a letter, saying: 'I do not know in whose company you are sleeping, I know nothing, nothing, nothing!'.

More in Dutch here.

--
And the birthday of prince Bernhard was always celebrated on the wrong day, he was born on June 28th and not on June 29th. Fasseur found a document in the royal archives about the matter.

More in Dutch here.

--
Due to the publication of the book on the Greet Hofmans affair, Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende released a statement this afternoon, em[hasizing the important role that both Queen Juliana as Prince Bernhard played in society. He points out that we should not forget the positive stories about their lives and that the two later in life had a better relationship.

More in Dutch here.

lucien 11-11-2008 02:34 PM

PPE Agency

Courtesy PPE/

Pier Gerlofs Donia 11-11-2008 02:37 PM

Ah, Greet Hofmans the pacifist faith healer - I can lively imagine a country in the Cold War can't use such influence on its queen. ;)

lucien 11-11-2008 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pier Gerlofs Donia (Post 851461)
Ah, Greet Hofmans the pacifist faith healer - I can lively imagine a country in the Cold War can't use such influence on its queen. ;)

The Cold War had nothing to do with it,in essence that is,it's that Hofmans constantly issued orders/demands/strong requests to Juliana,and the latter honoured each.Not a healthy attitude by a Constitutional Monarch,and she wasn't mentally healthy.

I can't understand that Drees called Hofmans Rasputin in as early as 1951 and then didn't react untill 1956.It is incomprehenseble.

Pier Gerlofs Donia 11-11-2008 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lucien (Post 851474)
The Cold War had nothing to do with it,in essence that is,it's that Hofmans constantly issued orders/demands/strong requests to Juliana,and the latter honoured each.Not a healthy attitude by a Constitutional Monarch,and she wasn't mentally healthy.

I can't understand that Drees called Hofmans Rasputin in as early as 1951 and then didn't react untill 1956.It is incomprehenseble.

It is. Drees was an old man, that goes to show. I can understand Juliana was a bit emotionally unstable (she became very demented later in life). It was most likely due to the eye problems of her youngest daughter, that is why Hofmans was called for in the first place.

lucien 11-11-2008 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pier Gerlofs Donia (Post 851476)
It is. Drees was an old man, that goes to show. I can understand Juliana was a bit emotionally unstable (she became very demented later in life). It was most likely due to the eye problems of her youngest daughter, that is why Hofmans was called for in the first place.

Yes,we all know that,on Marijke's eyesight ( read my posts on it),but she (God have her soul) was just a bit more then just mentally unstable at the time,if you read the excerpts of the book.I'm out and about first thing tomorrow to purchase the book

Reaction by the PM on the publication of the book.
Het Koninklijk Huis

Pier Gerlofs Donia 11-11-2008 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lucien (Post 851482)
Yes,we all know that,on Marijke's eyesight ( read my posts on it),but she (God have her soul) was just a bit more then just mentally unstable at the time,if you read the excerpts of the book.I'm out and about first thing tomorrow to purchase the book

Reaction by the PM on the publication of the book.
Het Koninklijk Huis

It seems she was indeed. Runs in the family, I presume. William the III, her grandfather, also was a bit of an excentric figure (King Gorilla). I'll purchase the book soon, I am much interested about this matter. I do think, however, Juliana did not change as much from Greet Hofman, but also from her stay in Canada, which made her see many things in a different view.

Mandrake 11-11-2008 04:35 PM

Look, lets simply read the book before we decide that he Orange-Nassaus have a tradition of being mentally unstable. That was exactly the thing Bernhard wanted us to believe in the first place. And I don't think Drees age (he died 'only' 31 years later) had anything to do with his attitude. At that time the Monarchy was almost sacred and politicians had a lot of respect (and personal distance) towards them.

I find it simply heartbreaking that our present Queen and her sisters had such a bad relationship with their mother and maternal grandmother. They reffered to Wilhelmina as 'cold' ( living in the 'koude loo castle') whilst they found their paternal grandmother very 'warm' (living in Warmelo Castle).

This crisis must have been a terrible strain for Wilhelmina also. Wilhelmina stated she was afraid of a german putsch by Berhard and his mother. Although that didn't happen then, it almost seems that Beatrix nowadays is more a Queen to Bernhard and Armgards liking and standards than to that of Juliana and Wilhelmina. Im curious if Beatrix and Juliana respected and liked each other in later years...

Marengo 11-11-2008 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lucien (Post 851474)
The Cold War had nothing to do with it,in essence that is,it's that Hofmans constantly issued orders/demands/strong requests to Juliana,and the latter honoured each.Not a healthy attitude by a Constitutional Monarch,and she wasn't mentally healthy.

I can't understand that Drees called Hofmans Rasputin in as early as 1951 and then didn't react untill 1956.It is incomprehenseble.

I just saw the EO with ' Netwerk', they dedicated the entire programme to the presentation of the Hofmans book. To my surprise even Fasseur said that the influence that Hofmans had over Queen Juliana was limited. It was first and foremost a marriage crisis. They showed quotes from Juliana and Wilhelmina, complaining about Bernhards character. Wilhelmina says something like ' One day he says this, one day he says that. Sometimes good, sometimes bad and often it is all just a comedy'. She also says that he thinks that he is on an eternal vacation (or something to that order). And also surprising was that Queen Juliana was not so 'in love' with Bernhard many think, according to several people they interviewed her words seemed pretty harsh and maybe even bitter.

Elsbeth Etty also speech during the book presentation, while Fasseur remained rather respectful towards Bernhard she was even more critical, putting much of the blame for the failed marriage on him and his 'male chauvinist pig' behavior, so to speak. Wan't it the plan that Etty would write the biography on Queen Juliana btw?

Tonight both Etty as Fasseur will be present during the live broadcast of the programme 'Pauw and Witteman' , it seems they dedicate the entire programme to the matter. I have to say I am surprised by the amount of attention the publication gets, it is the 1st news story actually, while there is very little 'news'.

Femke Halsema (Green Left Party) was also in Netwerk. She commented that much of the book was highly personal, sad an almost embarrasing to read. She also questioned the way the Beel report has been released, maybe that should change for the future. At the moment the report is not publically released but included in Fasseurs book, which is expensive.

---
And indeed Mandrake, from what seems to be getting attention in the press today, it is not Juliana's supposed mental unstability that gets the attention, but more Bernhards role in the marriage. I never knew that Wilhelmina was afraid of a German putch at the palace, but there was little love lost between her and Armgard. It must have been rather bitter for her to witness her daughters marriage fall apart after going to such great lenghts to get a suitable husband of Juliana's own choise. And even more bitter indeed that the bond with her eldest grandchildren was under strain too, perhaps that explains why Beatrix did not get a tiara for her birthday while Irene did (in a cardboard box so the story says).

Marengo 11-11-2008 05:41 PM

And quite against the character of the newspaper, the Telegraaf has the least sensational headline, claiming; 'Report Hofmans is an anti-climax'. They quote prof. Fasseur, who stated that the report of Beel had very little new information and was an anti-climax, though some private letters were interesting indeed.

Apparently the commission concluded that Hfmans and her clan had to leave court, while Bernhard had to change his life for the better. Juliana kept her end of the bargain, Bernhard obviously didn't keep his.

Article in Dutch here.

The newspaper also published some quotes from the book, which can be read in Dutch here. Among other things, Bernhard comments in a letter to Juliana that he only had to deal with two jealous husbands while he was in London, thus far. On 2 August 1955 Juliana writes him a letter (while they live under the same roof!!!) saying she wants to end the marriage. She also writes to the commission Beel, saying that Bernhards wants to make her life a hell on purpose.

Maura724 11-11-2008 05:41 PM

Where were the four young princesses in all this? I once read that Beatrix and Irene took their father's side while Margriet and Christina took their father's. Is that true? Does anyone know how all this affected the sisters' relationships with each other?

Marengo 11-11-2008 05:48 PM

It is said that Beatrix and Irene sided with their father, who they adored. Princesses Margriet and Marijke were probably too young to play a role in the affair. What effect it had on the long term relationship between Beatrix and Juliana is not clear, but some sources say that their relationship was far from an ideal mother-daughter one.


---
NRC Handelsblad has parts of their articles in English, so here the one on today's release of the raport:

Quote:

New book to shed light on marriage of former Dutch queen

Published: 11 November 2008 14:00 | Changed: 11 November 2008 17:35

By Bart Funnekotter

After 52 years of secrecy, a new book on the marriage of the former Dutch queen, Juliana, and Prince Bernhard sheds light on the role of faith-healer Greet Hofmans in the marital relationship. Juliana died in 2004.
The fact that the Dutch royal couple’s marriage had turned into a form of trench warfare was the best-kept secret in the Netherlands in the 1950s. Then on June 13, 1956 the German magazine Der Spiegel hit the newsstands with an article which lifted the cloak of secrecy shrouding Palace Soestdijk where the royal couple lived.

The article ‘Between Queen and Rasputin’ gave a lengthy account of the problems afflicting the Dutch royal marriage. It described German-born Prince Bernhard as being trapped between the queen and her confidante Greet Hofmans. He had ‘lost’ his wife to the faith healer.

New revelations followed, particularly in the foreign press, about the conflict between followers of the prince and the circle surrounding Queen Juliana. The Netherlands was in uproar. The affair had far-reaching implications. In the summer of 1956, a divorce, the abdication of the queen and a constitutional crisis were all serious considerations.

Concealed archives

The affair has recently resurfaced because a book by historian Cees Fasseur on the marriage of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard is to be published on Tuesday afternoon. The book, which covers the marriage in the period 1936-1956, includes information from long-concealed archives about Hofmans.

The marital difficulties of Prince Bernhard and Queen Juliana are attributed to the influence which faith healer Hofmans had on the queen. Greet Hofmans was brought to the royal court in 1948 by Bernhard, the man who was later to become her arch enemy. He hoped she would be able to heal an eye disease suffered by their new-born daughter, Princess Marijke.
Read the entire article here.

----
And the Reformatorisch Daglad has a rather original way of putting it, accoring to them the court was responsible for the separation between Queen and Prince, read more in Dutch here.

Marengo 11-11-2008 06:21 PM

From Pauw & Witteman:

According to Prof. Fasseur the relationship between Bernhard and his private secretairy Miss Cornelia (Cocky) Gilles was a platonic one. The one with Lady Penelope Aitkens might have been platonic too.

It was General Koot, a friend of Bernhard, who introduced him to Greet Hofmans, not the Heeckerens. Prince Bernhard asked advice to Hofmans about his horses, to make them run harder. She told him that he should give the horses meatballs. The stableboys did just that, but it didn't work. Since Bernhard probably looked like a fool he became angry and told his wife that Greet Hofmans had to go.

Fasseur denies that Hofmans hypnotised Juliana, as Bernhard claimed. She just told the Queen what she wnated to hear at that point. Etty claims that Bernhard blew it all out of proportions to use to his own advantage, Juliana wanted to get away from the humiliations, influence etc. of Bernhard, Bernhard didn't want this to happen and got the cabinet involved.

According to Fasseur Queen Juliana also broke off all contact with her mother-in-law, princess Armgard. She became more and more isolated and thus more under the influence of Greet Hofmans and her circle.

Fasseur is rather direct about the prince, that he twists his story to his own advantage and has a rather selective memory. He also says it is possible that prince Bernhard was behind the letters in which it was threatened that Greet Hofmans and the van Heeckerens would be killed, but another option is Francois van 't Sant (to make his role in the RF even more interesting and mysterious).

-
Among other things, the commission also adviced Queen Juliana to start horseback riding again on saturdays, with her husband and daughters. She was allowed to keep some of her confidentes and kept in touch, via-via with Greet Hofmans. Etty is right IMO in her final remarks: Juliana had to give up everything, Bernhard did nothing, he could keep his courtiers, his private secretaries, his mistresses etc. Elspeth Etty made a plea that another book should be written, where the focus lies on the perspective of Juliana. Queen Juliana was worried about Prince Bernhards uncontrolable activities, and warned the government about the Bilderberg conferences, among other things. She was quite right, as was proven 20 years later in the Lockheed affair. Sadly nothing was done with Juliana's warnings.

The programme ended with the christmas speech of Queen Juliana in 1956, in which she talks about malicious letters and more, she ended with the sentence: 'Don't I have the right to be who I am?'

Marengo 11-11-2008 07:30 PM

A letter that Prince Bernhard wrote to his wife on 18 September 1956:

Dear Lula,

Due to our conversation of two days ago, and thinking about all that ha happened I want to write a few things down.

1) The children and I do love you, but you and not your friends from the circle of Miss Hofmans!
2) The children and I truly want you back - but in a way that we can be sure that you can not be influenced badly anylonger. We want the real, old Lula back, but not the gramaphone record with the words etc. of the Van Heeckerens or others. Because it is scary to see and to hear how you are hypnotised, so to speak, by them and by all they say and think. This undermines our confidence in the future forever.
3) You have many good friends, who are ready for you, to take the positions of the friends of Miss Hofmans (those who do not love you but who use you for their own good) while the ones that I mean do love you. (...)

Read the bible, without help. I hope and pray tht i fidn your situation bettered when I return and that you will hear Gods voice, without 'translator' because in my opinion that is a incorrect one. Gods word doesn't need a tanslator, when people claim that they do, then those people are influenced by wrong sources.
I will pray for you and the children, that you may see the true light and true love and that you may be part of it again.

Mandrake 11-11-2008 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 851591)
From Pauw & Witteman:

According to Prof. Fasseur the relationship between Bernhard and his private secretairy Miss Cornelia (Cocky) Gilles was a platonic one. The one with Lady Penelope Aitkens might have been platonic too.

Cocky Gilles, in later years, was the person who made the annual photograph with both Juliana and Berhard on it that was sent as a Christmas card to their relatives and friends. What the nature of the relationship between Bernhard and Cocky might have been, Juliana did not oppose Cocky Gilles.

After all these tv-broadcast and articles I can't help thinking of the sermon that W. Hudig-Semeijns de Vries van Doesburgh delivered at the funeral of Juliana.
She quoted a letter from Juliana who stated that the quest for "peace' was the biggest political fight she had to face and that she was ready for it whatever the consequence. Juliana also stated that most of her private suffering was unknown to others and that could remain so. Juliana wrote that she was tended to see the good side of most people but that she was not so stupid to deny that they could have ulterior motives. (reference to the hofmans group??)
In the 1980's when Juliana was no longer queen she could be herself and restored contacts with the van Molecaten's and others. Then she stated that their movement of the 1950's had been a vanguard and that they were ahead of their time back then.

Prince Bernhard in later years took much trouble to defend his own actions and his mother(s). On his funeral it was said that even in the times of the marital troubles his mother had still shown affection for both parties, Juliana and Bernhard. Now we know that at that time not only Wilhelmina but also Juliana loathed Armgard.
---
Marengo: the tale about the tiara seems telling. Although it is still unknown if Beatrix recieved an family heirloom for her 18th birthday, Irene certainly did. In later years Irene organised (not surprisingly) with the help of Wilhelmina conferences at the big Loo Palace for international youth.
Irene, with her spiritual side, really resembles her mother, and grandmother in that way.

The suggestion Fasseur made on P&W to write an play (why not a book?) on Francois van 't Sant was a nice suggestion. According to the book (quoted in netwerk) this man was the only person during the entire crisis who was on speaking terms with all involved parties.

Maura724 11-11-2008 11:57 PM

Marengo, thanks for all the information you've posted in this thread. I didn't know very much about any of this, and it's all fascinating. :flowers:

lucien 11-12-2008 03:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 851619)
A letter that Prince Bernhard wrote to his wife on 18 September 1956:

Dear Lula,

Due to our conversation of two days ago, and thinking about all that ha happened I want to write a few things down.

1) The children and I do love you, but you and not your friends from the circle of Miss Hofmans!
2) The children and I truly want you back - but in a way that we can be sure that you can not be influenced badly anylonger. We want the real, old Lula back, but not the gramaphone record with the words etc. of the Van Heeckerens or others. Because it is scary to see and to hear how you are hypnotised, so to speak, by them and by all they say and think. This undermines our confidence in the future forever.
3) You have many good friends, who are ready for you, to take the positions of the friends of Miss Hofmans (those who do not love you but who use you for their own good) while the ones that I mean do love you. (...)

Read the bible, without help. I hope and pray tht i fidn your situation bettered when I return and that you will hear Gods voice, without 'translator' because in my opinion that is a incorrect one. Gods word doesn't need a tanslator, when people claim that they do, then those people are influenced by wrong sources.
I will pray for you and the children, that you may see the true light and true love and that you may be part of it again.

Don't forget that Bernhard was,and always behaved like,a conniving denying spoiled rotten german boy ( who's Ich habe es nicht gewüsst is still a popular phrase...).Not to speak of that woman,his mother,the haunty taunty conniving former german baroness,( who lived with her lover,a self proclaimed Colonel by the name of Pantchoulidzew,(Who btw,as it was proven,later helped to embazzle the Lockheed bribe on a Swiss bankaccount for Bernhard) who later thought it beneath her to attend the wedding of dear Pietie ( Margriet) because she married a commoner,dear Pieter.

That nonsens about the Cold Loo and the Warm Lo (Loo meaning in english lea,an open space in the woods,instead of in this case,a royal flush).

"Cold Loo" referring to Het Loo Palace,residence of Queen Wilhelmina and Warm Loo is "Warmelo" the castle purchased by Bernhard,with or without bribes,for his mother.

It was somehow another silly story that the 4 Princesses preferred Armgard over Wilhelmina.This is not true.The Princesses spend many a summer at the grounds of Het Loo Palace with their grandmother there and to this day hold dear memories of these times.All four of 'm.

But none of the present "media-minkukels" seem to know that,small wonder,they were not even planned at the time,and thruthfull stories never sell,gotta make it juicyer a la van der Linden.

Van Heeckeren van Molecaten knew Bernhard and HE introduced Hofmans to him.Koot is a newcomer in this story.It was after a while,maybe two years or so,that he,Bernhard,wanted to put Hofmans to the test,and came up with that horse,and what could be done to make it ever win a throphy.She failed and gave the sillyest answer and it was then Bernhard saw she was a fraud,it was then he told Juliana so,and it was then he also said the van Heeckerens had to leave as through Hofmans,that aristo family clique got way to much influence over the Queen,and only because of that,not because of an overdose of braincells,Vna Heeckeren van Molecaten was born without much of a cell in his head and if it wasn't for Hofmans,would never have gotten his position as private secretary to HM.But Hofmans could easily use van H as he was to dumb to see through all the conniving,busy as he was,with his wife Rita and his mother the Grandmistress,to play their own game and gain even more influence that way.As that was the game of the day at the then Court,individuals and whole groups of courtiers against each and everyone else just to gain a influancial position,a snake nest,it had to be rotted out.

And like I said before,all this impregnated our present beloved Queen and it was then and there she made up her strongwilled mind that that was never ever to happen again.Hence the strictly managed present day Court and hence her insisting to be addressed as Majesty instead of her mothers "mevrouw".There had to be a distance and their had to be brains instead of empty titles and a clustering of aristo's at Court who would again get the silly idea it was actually them that "ruled",and thus claim a position thet would never posess.


Are you still with me?

Maybe you've already gathered I'm not much of a Bernhard fan,yes he did a lot for our country,he really did,like bribing the Perons on behalve of the Dutch government with millions,a Royal Order and Evita with a stunning emarald necklace made by Steltman The Hague,in order to win a railway order.Ofcourse it all payed off,and as even the governments bribed to gain whatever,how easy it must have been for our spoiled rotten german boy to jump the bandwagon and put a dime here and a nickle there in his own pocket while he took the ride?Small wonder,that because of that alone,he wasn't willing to leave the Palace at Juliana's request.All that gone?Imagine.Never.So,he saw to it that an interview was published in a German magazine,and spilled all the beans on the crisis at Court.
In time to save the Monarchy from the ultimate embarrassment,but most of all he saved his own butt.

Just a little side info on how things also were at Court at the time in light of yesterdays book by mr.Fasseur.

Maura724 11-12-2008 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lucien (Post 851699)
Not to speak of that woman,his mother,the haunty taunty conniving former german baroness,who later thought it beneath her to attend the wedding of dear Pietie ( Margriet) because she married a commoner,dear Pieter.

What a horrible thing to do to your own granddaughter. :eek: That makes her, not Wilhemina, sound really cold.

lucien 11-12-2008 11:33 AM

Maura,it was a pity that Queen Wilhelmina already had died,in 1962,otherwise she would have attended Margriet's wedding,definately.
She was all for marrying the one you loved and if that would be a dutch national and a commoner at that,al the better as far as she was concerned,more then fet up as she was with the aristocracy.Btw,Queen Wilhelmina never thought much of Armgard,she disliked her,and showed it as the occasion arrose.No love lost there.

Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard in the early 50's,at the time of the crisis.A dramatic picture during the Queen's crisis
as the period is now dubbed.Poor woman,she might have had all the wrong judgement due to Hofmans,and she did,but
what a lonely woman."Mein Gott Erbarme Dir"...

http://gpdhome.typepad.com/photos/un..._0julianab.jpg

Courtesy HJA's Royalblog.nl.

Marengo 11-13-2008 06:18 AM

I bought the book yesterday, it is E.27.95, which is a reasonable price at it is hard cover. The book deals with more than just the Greet Hofmans crisis but basically starts of at the point where Juliana and Bernhard first meet. To my surprise the Dutch court, queen and crownprincess were much less enthousiastic at start than I heard before. They seem rather cautious towards Bernhard, and never quite sure what to make of his intentions. It was Bernhard who pressed things, writing to Juliana all the time, always complaining that Juliana didn't write him back quickly enough etc. It seems Juliana had her doubts, even in June 1937 (onmly 1 1/2 months before the engagement), but after a while it became a train that couldn't be stopped.

Bernhard had a bloody nerve btw, asking Juliana to visit the son of Ann Orr-Lewis, as the son was in Canada. The crownprincess had the boy over once, and wrote a letter to his mother Ann (who was Bernhards mistress). Bernhard asked Juliana to visit him another time and to take him home to England with her on the plane, but Juliana didn't do so. The bloody nerve of that man! He also seems rather keen on critisizing his wife on her figure, the way she dressed etc. He refers to her in letters as 'my worse half' and to himslef as 'your better half' or something to that extend. It might be a private joke between the two of them but still not very nice. Juliana seems well aware what kind of man her husband is, and in more than one leter she complains about his luxurious lifestyle, and asking him why on earth he was in Italy for example ('you don't let any entertainment pass').

It is rather odd to read how much critisism the RF received for things we find fairly normal these days, by the protestants at home. They had a swimming pool: protestants were worried that they would use it on a sunday. The prince went on his boat the Piet Hein on a sunday: protestants angry as he did not respect the sundays rest. Juliana wearing lipstick: shocking..etc etc.

Marengo 11-13-2008 06:25 AM

Another article from the NRC Handelsblad in English:

Quote:

Former queen's confidante received death threats

Published: 11 November 2008 17:30 | Changed: 12 November 2008 12:13

By Bart Funnekotter

Greet Hofmans, the faith healer who became the former Dutch queen’s confidant in the 1950s, was removed from the royal court after threats were received that she would be assassinated if she did not leave “voluntarily”. The revelation is contained in a new book out today.

The controversial faith healer Greet Hofmans left the Dutch royal court in 1956 after receiving a letter warning that both she and Queen Juliana’s private secretary Walraven van Heeckeren would be “assassinated”, according to the book by historian Cees Fasseur.

The existence of the anonymous letter, signed by “the Action Committee”, was unknown until now and has come to light in Fasseur’s book Juliana & Bernhard. Story of a marriage, 1936-1956.

It was, however, known that two members of former Dutch resistance groups had sent a letter to Queen Juliana’s mother, Wilhelmina, suggesting that violence might be used to solve the crisis within the monarchy caused by the Hofmans’ closeness to Queen Juliana.

Two camps

This crisis, which lasted from 1948 to 1956, split the Dutch court into two camps. On the one side were Queen Juliana and other admirers of Hofmans, and on the other Prince Bernhard, his supporters and the children, including the current Dutch queen, Beatrix.


Read the entire article here.

----

And from Dutchnews.nl:

Quote:

52-year-old royal scandal hits headlines

Wednesday 12 November 2008
A controversial book about the marriage between queen Juliana and prince Bernhard has shed new light on a 52-year-old royal and political scandal.

The book's author, historian Cees Fasseur, was given exclusive access to parts of the royal archives, including papers on the role of faith healer Greet Hofmans who became Juliana's confidant in the 1950s.
By 1956 fears about the far-reaching influence of Hofmans within the royal court were leading to a constitutional crisis and had created deep rifts in the marriage between queen Juliana, the mother of the current monarch, and her husband prince Bernhard.
The book reveals for the first time the details of the machinations within the royal household which split the court into two warring camps. Juliana and Hofmans were on one side and Bernhard and the couple’s children, including the current queen, Beatrix, on the other.
Read more here.

lucien 11-13-2008 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 852280)
I bought the book yesterday, it is E.27.95, which is a reasonable price at it is hard cover. The book deals with more than just the Greet Hofmans crisis but basically starts of at the point where Juliana and Bernhard first meet. To my surprise the Dutch court, queen and crownprincess were much less enthousiastic at start than I heard before. They seem rather cautious towards Bernhard, and never quite sure what to make of his intentions. It was Bernhard who pressed things, writing to Juliana all the time, always complaining that Juliana didn't write him back quickly enough etc. It seems Juliana had her doubts, even in June 1937 (onmly 1 1/2 months before the engagement), but after a while it became a train that couldn't be stopped.

Bernhard had a bloody nerve btw, asking Juliana to visit the son of Ann Orr-Lewis, as the son was in Canada. The crownprincess had the boy over once, and wrote a letter to his mother Ann (who was Bernhards mistress). Bernhard asked Juliana to visit him another time and to take him home to England with her on the plane, but Juliana didn't do so. The bloody nerve of that man! He also seems rather keen on critisizing his wife on her figure, the way she dressed etc. He refers to her in letters as 'my worse half' and to himslef as 'your better half' or something to that extend. It might be a private joke between the two of them but still not very nice. Juliana seems well aware what kind of man her husband is, and in more than one leter she complains about his luxurious lifestyle, and asking him why on earth he was in Italy for example ('you don't let any entertainment pass').

It is rather odd to read how much critisism the RF received for things we find fairly normal these days, by the protestants at home. They had a swimming pool: protestants were worried that they would use it on a sunday. The prince went on his boat the Piet Hein on a sunday: protestants angry as he did not respect the sundays rest. Juliana wearing lipstick: shocking..etc etc.

Gawd awfull indeed.On the book,it gets more and more the aura of brussels sprouts.

Juliana was right with her doubts on her spoiled rotten german boy.He also used her as some sort of
a Canadian mailorder company while she lived in Canada.
He constantly sent her requests to send him,whisky,vermouth,chocolates,whatever.......

It had Juliana exclaiming;"What a luxury edition of a man I got"...

She was already well aware early on in the war that he had his mistresses in London and
she wrote late september 1940;"I don't know who is sleeping with you,I know nothing,nothing,nothing".

Poor woman,she had to deal with a lot concerning that man.

In the fifties Wilhelmina on Bernhard;"Bernhard is a split personality,one day he is nice,the other nasty,
one day he shows his good side,the other day his bad.Ofcouse all that could be comedy too".

Marengo 11-13-2008 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maura724 (Post 851822)
What a horrible thing to do to your own granddaughter. :eek: That makes her, not Wilhemina, sound really cold.

Well, you know the expression 'more roman than the pope' probably. She as a mere baroness was considered morganatic for her own husband, and all of a sudden 50 years later she thinks she has to uphold the ebenburtigheid principles, to which she did not stick herself.

I always do wonder why Armgard, Bernhard and Beatrix opposed Pieter as much as they are said, due to him being a commoner (from a patrician family), while they did not mind Beatrix marrying Claus, who is one of the countless German untitled nobles, not exactly a highflyer either. Personally I think that considering the exclusiveness a Dutch patrician has more glamour to in than just one of the 10.000-ends German untitled junkers, but that might be chauvinism of course.

lucien 11-13-2008 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 852292)
Well, you know the expression 'more roman than the pope' probably. She as a mere baroness was considered morganatic for her own husband, and all of a sudden 50 years later she thinks she has to uphold the ebenburtigheid principles, to which she did not stick herself.

I always do wonder why Armgard, Bernhard and Beatrix opposed Pieter as much as they are said, due to him being a commoner (from a patrician family), while they did not mind Beatrix marrying Claus, who is one of the countless German untitled nobles, not exactly a highflyer either. Personally I think that considering the exclusiveness a Dutch patrician has more glamour to in than just one of the 10.000-ends German untitled junkers, but that might be chauvinism of course.

No it's not chauvenism.Pieter's Patrician lines are/were far more/higher in rank then Claus was.

Armgard von Sierstoff-Cramm already had a divorce on her cv before she angled Bernhard's father,who was a mere Count at the time.And you can count Counts like you can count Aldi's in germany,in abundance.It was about 4 to 5 years later he was granted the title prince.She had a problem with that,being just a gräfin for 4 or 5 years,she was german remember,Hochmut and arrogance first,at that time at least.

Marengo 11-13-2008 06:46 AM

Well, I am not sure how old the Oeynhausen family is actually, but the family seems rather well-off considering they still have their own schloss in Bad Oeynhausen.

The book says that Armgard was the first noble woman that dared to divorce during the reign of Kaiser WIlhelm II, which is quite something.

Do you know if she divorced her husband after she met prince Benrhard sr. or before that?

lucien 11-13-2008 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 852295)
Well, I am not sure how old the Oeynhausen family is actually, but the family seems rather well-off considering they still have their own schloss in Bad Oeynhausen.

The book says that Armgard was the first noble woman that dared to divorce during the reign of Kaiser WIlhelm II, which is quite something.

Do you know if she divorced her husband after she met prince Benrhard sr. or before that?

True,the Oeynhausen's are the odd exception.She knew Bernhard sr. while she was married with Bodo.

Marengo 11-13-2008 07:45 AM

Marc van der Linden of 'royalty' and the website 'royalty-online.nl' has placed the advice of the commission Beel on his website. And it clearly shows that Juliana kept her side of the deal completely, while Bernhard did not stick to any of the points they set for him:

Read the article in Dutch here.

A few points for Bernhard: break the contact with Sefton Delmer and Cocky Gilles & her office had to go to The Hague and leave Soestdijk.

Does anybody know who the Freule Roëll is who became HM's new lady-in-waiting? I suppose it is not Martine Feaver, widow of Jhr. Willem Roëll as she was in Canada and not a 'freule' (and apart from that not even a Roëll since she remarried).

lucien 11-13-2008 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 852324)
Marc van der Linden of 'royalty' and the website 'royalty-online.nl' has placed the advice of the commission Beel on his website. And it clearly shows that Juliana kept her site of the deal completely, while Bernhard did not stick to any of the points they set for him:

Read the article in Dutch here.

Hmm,I am not a van der Linden/Pv/d V fan.

It wasn't v/d Linden who saw that first,it's all over,and yes Bernhard didn't keep any of the deals made,none.One being that his "secretary"cocky Gilles had to leave the Palace and had to move her work to one of the The Hague departments/ministeries.That never happened,she remained at the Palace,more,she accompanied the RF to Porto Ercole,evry year.So,he cryed Victory and behaved like the
ass he was.I've come to dislike this man more and more,even tho it must be said he saved further damage to the Monarchy by leaking the crisis to a german magazine as Jula really had lost it all.Not in her public appearances,she was who she was,The Queen of the Netherlands,
but at home at Soestdijk she wasn't easy to cope with,"drammertje".

And what about all those rediculous "commands"by Hofmans to Juliana?Bundles of 'm on each and every subject,even political/governmental.

Sorry,but Juliana was absolutely a major mental case at that time,poor woman,and had to deal with that mostly all on her own.Imagine.
And then having Bernhard around constantly bickering her on this that and another thing.

It is a miracle still they eventually found eachother again,and became very close,especially after her abdication,they became a close-knitted set and shared almost 70 years of marriage between them.

Still,I recall Bernhard saying,not long before Juliana died,that she couldn't remember anything,her memory all gone (She was totally demented ),and,and that caught me and puzzled me at the time,he said he hadn't seen her for months.

Hadn't seen her for months.
And he lived in the very same Palace Soestdijk,and owed everything to her,but never bothered to see in on her.The coward,in mnsho.

Marengo 11-13-2008 08:18 AM

I didn't say it was van der Linden who saw things first, but he wrote it down on his website so that saved me the trouble ;). I have to say that considering the branch of journalism he is in (boulevard journalism) he is more reliable and knowledgable than any other royalty reporter of these magazines/programmes (though that is a completely different discussion).

I never had a high opinion of the prince but somehow you could never help it, thinking he was a sort of 'good crook' that you can't help but like. But this book is certainly not showing him in a good light, and exposes him for the opportunist that he was. Indeed it is difficult to have some sympathy left for the prince after this. Still we should not forget that he had good sides too, his children and grand children seemed to adore him, which must have had a reason. he could be very nice, and the things he did for the veterans is admirable. It is somewhat curious that dispite all the scandals and the bad marriage Juliana and Bernhard were a very strong 'team', probably the strongest one the Dutc monarchy ever had.

According to Elsbeth Etty the book of Fasseur is not convincing i showing how Hofmans influenced Queen Juliana politically btw. But it is obvious that Juliana was an easy prey for the van Heeckerens and Hofmans, since they probably gave her some kindness and understanding that she did not get from her husband.

I am not sure to what extend 'they found each other' again in the 70-ties and afterwards. It never became the typical marriage obviously but there seem to have been a good working relationship and somehow they also appeared to be friends. Sadly most things we know about it come from prine Bernhard and he has a rather selective memory, as even prof. Fasseur notes.

Marengo 11-13-2008 09:18 AM

For those who can read Dutch, Elsbeth Etty writes a rather interesting article with the title: 'Juliana was immensely wronged', it was published in yesterday's NRC Handelsblad.

Article in Dutch here.

It is the short version of a speech that she gave when Fasseurs book was presented, the entire speech can be found here (again, only in Dutch).

Etty said that a divorce would have been 'a enormous stimulans for the emancipation of women'... :whistling: . But she has more interesting points too, basically saying that Greet Hofnams influence over Queen Juliana was not political, even Prime Minister Drees did not think that it was. And that Bernhard in the end did not stick to his side of the deal and basically continued his bachelor life style. She also has a different conclusion than Fasseur, Fasseur claims that Bernhard was right, Etty says that Juliana was....

I checked about Etty & a Juliana biography but she said in Pauw & Witteman that she will not write it, first of all she will never be asked by the court and secondly, queen Juliana's private archive will only be opened 50 years after her death, in 2054.

-
An article in the volkskrant places sidenotes at the alleged fits of anger that Juliana had. Basically they say, which wife wouldn't have those if they were married to a man who is constantly and openly cheating? Read the article in Dutch here. They call Bernhard:

Quote:

Een omhoog getrouwde, een op geld en macht en vrouwen beluste proleet

lucien 11-13-2008 10:02 AM

Etty,silly girl.A feminist who hasn't noticed that that idiot 70's feminist bruhaha is long gone.it is not longer feminist,but elitist.

2054....could you send it to me post mortem by then.....grin....

http://www.royalimages.nl/search.pp?...d=2282&flush=1

courtesy Royalimages.

Marengo 11-13-2008 10:59 AM

To be honest I don't find Elspeth Etty that disturbing, a lot of times she makes sense in her columns, even when she is supposed to be elitist or feminist. Of course many times she does not sound sensible at all ;) but at least she comes with a new perspective of the matter this time, and I do think that up to a point she is right that since it were the 'old boys' who judged all this that might have played a role in the report.

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According the the Algemeen Dagblad the book is already a big succes. Even yesterday, the 1st day that they were able to sell the book, many bookshops did not have enough copies and had to order more! The bookshops already anticipated that it would sell well, but they did not expect it would be this much.


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Cartoon characters Fokke and Sukke have their own view on the situation of course:

Look here.

'Fokke and Sukke are in touch with Greet Hofmans'
'She says that Bernhard... still doesn't stop bullying Juliana'

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The view of Reinildis van Ditzhuizen, in Dutch here. (from NRC Handelsblad)

And in Elsevier writes that it is odd that a 60-year old gossip story gets so much attention today. Article in Dutch here.

Royalblog/GDP papers also states that Queen Juliana deserves more sympathy than is given in Fasseurs book, and prince Bernhard is too much presented as the guardian angel of the Dutch monarchy, while he was the one responsible for much of the mess.

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And columnist Sylvain Ephimenco writes in 'Trouw' a rather harsh article about Queen Beatrix with the title 'treason of a daughter'. He critisizes Queen beatrix for releasing all these private letters etc, quite wrongly IMO.
Article in Dutch here.

Mandrake 11-13-2008 07:19 PM

I don't think the quotes from Berhard from the war-years and those of Juliana should be taken so seriously. It seems they used sarcastic humour to express their feelings.
'wat een luxe editie man heb ik wel niet' 'schijnheiligerd grote schurk' (during a stay with the pope) are quotes from Juliana about Bernhard. I don't think they humiliated each other in their letters, it simply was a sarcastic way of commenting on each others activities. 'vertel eens waarom je zo gek bent geweest om met mij te trouwen' (quote from 1987 is a late example of that) And let's face it what is so wrong of Berhard to comment on his wife's clothing. A husband likes to see his wife at her best, male pride so to speak. Bernhard, being an unimportant count in his youth, also realized that appearance was important for the upkeep (and improvement) of status. Juliana didn't bother about these things. The quote about 'ik weet niet met wie je slaapt' 'Don't know who your sleeping with' possibly referred to the people in the bombshelter in which Bernhard slept in London, Fasseur remarked that it is typical that the link with romance is automaticly made.

I didn't like the book. At some point I lost track of what was going on in the last months of 1956. Fasseur has written better books. He said that Juliana's view on things largely missed because her diaries will not be public until 2054. He could have interviewed her daughters, friends and other relatives on how Juliana reflected on the crisis in (later) life. Probably Juliana wrote letters to lots of people (alice in England, Martine Roel in Canada to name a few examples) This book is of the same caliber as his third book on Wilhelmina.... very entertaining but not very good.

Marengo 11-15-2008 06:55 PM

I am only half-way in the book, so I will judge about the style and contents later. For now I was just very annoyed in one remark by prof. Fasseur. He quotes from letters of a courtier, Mr. van Maasdijk, and his wife, a Baroness van Tuijl van Serooskerken. Fasseur stresses that they were causing trouble and were always putting oil on the fire. He then shows a few letters in which the barones is writing to Queen Juliana that she should stand up for herself, and not accept it a second time that Bernhard sends his mistress along on wintersport holidays with Juliana, the 3 eldest princesses and without Bernhard (!). The baroness writes:

Quote:

Tell him: I don't want to have anything to do with Annie (Ann Orr-Lewis, Bernhards mistress) anymore, neither do I want that the children see her. What you do leaves me cold!
or

Quote:

In St. Anton I told you several times: you are too sweet, too good. Now I say, you are too naive.
Rather sensible advices IMHO, considering most women do not go on wintersport holidays with their husbands mistress, neither do they want the mistress to meet the children. But Fasseur uses these letters to show that the baroness was causing trouble, while the real trouble is that Bernhard had the indecency to shove his mistress up his wifes throat! Of course it is possible that Maasdijk and his wife did exactly what Fasseur claims, but his uotations does not show they do.

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About the remarks towards each other, maybe that is their way of writing indeed, after reading more it is obvious that 'Mamie' used a simular style to 'Papie', affectionally teasing each other perhaps.

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Another thing that struck me thus far is the intregues at court, I never knew how prominent a position all the courtiers played in this matter. And these are not only the courtiers that were later removed from court, but also courtiers that kept working there or that resigned due to other reasons. it seemed like a wasp nest and somehow the strong hand was missing, Wilhelmina seemed to have left a void, a void that Bernhard didn't want to see filled with his wife...
A third thing I found remarkable is the people that went to faith healer Greet Hofmans, a lot of nobility, patricians, businessmen, etc. Not only Juliana! Since I never read a book about the matter this all in new to me. She even helt sessions in Hattem, Zwolle and Amsterdam, with people lining up to get a free consult.

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About the book: according to royalblog it is only outsold by Harry Potter, they already need a second print (after being in the shops for 2 days!).

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Another thing: today the newspaper 'Telegraaf' had an advertisement commemorating the death of Margaretha (Greet) Hofmans, who died 50 years ago exaclty. The advertisement was anonimous, and among other things saying it was unfair that Greet's name was for always linked to the marriage crisis of Soestdijk, as it is known as the 'Greet Hofmans-affaire'.

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Author Anet Bleich has a rather good review (IMO), not the first part about Lockheed (which is besides the point) but the rest of the article is rather interesting. Article in the Volkskrant here (in Dutch only).

lucien 11-16-2008 05:07 AM

Excellent review indeed.The most plausible one I have seen so far.

Avicenna 11-20-2008 01:02 PM

For all those, who understand German:
Skandal im Königshaus: "Du scheinheiliges Scheusal" - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Panorama

Marengo 11-22-2008 05:57 PM

In this article in Dutch on royalblog.nl Cees van Hoore is very critical of prof. Fasseur and of Queen Beatrix. He wants rehabilitation for Juliana, and says that the character assasination by Fasseur, supported by HM The Queen is close to mother murder. Compare it to the Greek tragedy where Orestes kills his mother Klytemnestra.

In strong words he goes on, lists all Juliana's qualities, why he and many others treasure her memory, he continues that her side of the story is completely missing from the book and he mentions all the members of the press who critisized Fasseur for his one-sided book. He quotes Juliana's notorious speech in the US senate, which does not look very shocking indeed. In the end he repeats what Mark van der Linen said: replace the statue of Willem of Orange, in front of Palace Noordeinde, with a statue of Juliana on a bicycle ;).

Marengo 06-24-2010 01:06 PM

Prof. Fasseur and publisher 'Balans' are getting sued fo defamation by the children of Gerrie van Maasdijk. Mr. van Maasdijk who was general secretary and ' kamerheer' of Queen Juliana the 50-ties.

His son Robert and daughter Eleonora were already in 'Pauw & Witteman' a year ago or so, complaining about Fasseurs description of their father. They say that the description is untrue.

source: royalblog.

Marengo 06-24-2015 06:27 AM

Han van Bree finished his PhD at the university of Leiden about the religious conferences of Queen Juliana at Castle Het Oude Loo in Apeldoorn. Van Bree states that it was injust that the Queen had to stop attending these conferences in 1956 by the 'three wise men' of the commission Beel.

Van Bree states that Juliana was a victim of the spirit of the time, by being a woman in a men's world. He also states that Juliana always strictly held the difference between 'private' and 'public', also in these pacifistic religious meetings and they did not influence her role as monarch.

He continues that Bernhard didn't like pacifism or these conferences and he felt threatened by the faith healer Greet Hofmans & some of Juliana's friends who strengthened Juliana and made her not accept her husbands debauch life style any longer. The marriage was about to burst but Bernhard retained his position by getting the foreign media to write about his wife's unstable nature.

The 'commission Beel' decided that Juliana had to break contact with the conferences, with many of her courtiers and with some of her best friends.

Nice that yet another researcher has come to this point of view. The interpretation of Prof. Fasseur (lackey of Beatrix according to some) on this marriage was outragious as he sided with Bernhard almost completely. I hope that the biography of Jolande Withuis wich will be published soon, will shed even more light on the matter.

A pity that Juliana didn't live to see this rehabilitation, though I suppose she wouldn't be happy that the dishonorable behavior of her husband would come to light yet again.

Geloofsconferenties Juliana geen gevaar staat - Vorsten

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More on Bernhards role:

He seemed mainly interested in saving his own position.

According to Van Bree it was Bernhard who was completely responsible for creating the one-sided image of Juliana.

Bernhard didn't like pacifism. And he felt threatened while his wife became more independant & the people around Juliana turned more and more against Benrhard due to his appaling behavior. Juliana also had her doubts about her husband becoming too independant with the Bilderberg conferences and his economical missions. In hindsight she was completely right about these worries.

Bernhard needed to keep the marriage in tact as his own status derived from it. That is why he encouraged people to talk about the great influence of Greet Hofmans on Juliana. In those days people believed a man's word before that of a woman. Juliana became the victim of her husband but she was never the weak and naive woman as some thought. It was Bernhard who told the commission Beel that his wife had to break of contact with her friends, courtiers and others. After he succeeded his position was secure again. His wife even saved his position in the 70-ties when it was discovered that he accepted bribes.

'Bernhard had vooral oog voor eigen hachje' - Vorsten

It would be very interesting to know what Pss Beatrix thinks of this book. It has always been said that she supported her father in this period & had a difficult relationship with her mother.


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