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GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:13 AM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of the Netherlands


Welcome to the October 2005 edition of The Royal Forums’ newsletter.

To start off this newsletter, I would first like to welcome GrandDuchess as my co-Editor in producing and writing to this newsletter. It will be wonderful to have a colleague such as GrandDuchess make wonderful contributions to future newsletters that I and other members will enjoy! :)

It’s hard to believe that it is already October and that fall is in full swing by now after what was a particularly hot and sticky summer for many of us.

Fall has always been my favourite season – I love the changing colours of the leaves, the crisp, cool air, fresh apples and apple pies baking, pumpkin pie, Halloween and jackolanterns, and of course for my fellow Canadians, Thanksgiving.

More than any other time of the year (even New Year’s), October is a time of reflection for me. It’s a time to take in all that’s happened the last year, to give thanks for the wonderful things I’ve been blessed with and to look ahead. This October is extra special because a very wonderful little person in my life celebrates his first birthday. The son of a very good friend who is like a big sister to me turns one on October 1, marking a year full of firsts: his first tooth, his first time crawling and his first step, his first word (ma mere—French for mom), the first time he pulled himself up to a standing position, the first time he sat up, and a million other big and small firsts that mark a baby’s first year. He will celebrate his first birthday with a small dinner party with some of the adults who have been so much a part of his life: his mom, his grandparents, and of course, his Aunt Alex—though all he make out of my name so far is Lex-eeeeee!

I think back to a year ago, last October 2, when his mom called me mid-morning. I had just come back from the grocery store and other Saturday morning errands. My caller ID simply said “Private,” so I had no clue where she was calling from. She had started her maternity leave two weeks earlier, and was not expected to have her baby for another two weeks so I thought she was just calling for one of our daily chats. Her voice did not betray the happenings of the last 18 hours. She asked me how my morning was, we talked about the weather, and the movie I had seen the night before. Then I asked her what she had done. Her reply? “I had the baby.” I shrieked into the phone – “WHAT?! … Why on earth did you let me prattle on about my Friday evening when you just gave birth?!”

This past year, it has been amazing to watch the baby grow up and discover the world for himself – this little mini person whom I have “known” since he was in his mother’s belly. This little person who is the spitting image of his mother but with his very own personality, his own likes (Brown Bear, Brown Bear is a favourite book and prunes are a surprisingly favourite fruit) and dislikes (strained peas – I have yet to meet a baby who likes this and am convinced that Gerber should stop making it for future babies), and a fondness for both Barney and rockabilly music.

This past year has been full of firsts for many of our favourite royals, too. A year ago around this time, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia were happy newlyweds embarking on royal duties after spring weddings and summer holidays. Who would’ve thought that nearly a year after their respective grand weddings there’d be official announcements about the pregnancies of both princesses? This past year we also welcomed some tiny new faces to our royal watching: Luana, Felecia and Alexia of the Netherlands, Irene of Spain, Carlos of Greece, and Jaliah of Jordan. And in the weeks to come, we can watch out for new babies in the Danish, Spanish, Belgian and Norwegian households – who will no doubt be as loved and relished as the little baby in my life.

Happy fall!

/GrandDuchess, Alexandria & The Royal Forums Team

PS. If there is a royal person or residence, or a special piece of jewellery you would like to see covered in a future issue of our newsletter, please let us know here. Our member comments and suggestions are always welcome.

It is with great appreciation and gratitude that we thank Josefine for all her work as an Administrator of this forum. Josefine has been an Administrator of this forum from the very beginning, from its inception as Les Tribunes Royales to its present incarnation, The Royal Forums. Josefine stepped down in mid-September because she was unable to devote sufficient time to this forum, which grows by leaps and bounds daily. Josefine has been a wonderful teacher and friend to all of us here, and we hope to see her around still and her many wonderful contributions.

Please review our latest announcement regarding Attachments. We want to make TRF the best it can be and as such, compromises and changes in how we do things will sometimes have to be modified. We thank everyone for co-operating with our changes.

We thank the following members for their submissions to the Banner Contest: ~*~Humera~*~, Martine, Meredith, Stone Cold, tbhrc, and Vea for their creative replies. It is with great pleasure that we announce ~*~Humera~*~ as the winner of our banner contest. Congratulations on a job well done! :)

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:18 AM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands


The late Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg (11 October 1927)

Prince Constantijn of The Netherlands (11 October 1969)

Princess Luisa-Maria of Belgium (11 October 1995)

Princess Marie Caroline of Liechtenstein (17 October 1996)

Aimée Leonie Allegonde Marie Söhngen (18 October 1977)

Prince Laurent of Belgium (19 October 1963)

Empress Michiko of Japan (20 October 1934)

Princess Mako of Japan (23 October 1991)

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium (25 October 2001)

Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein (28 October 1967)

Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (29 October 1934)


Spain's National Day (12 October)

Prince of Asturias Awards (21 October)

Wedding of Prince Floris of The Netherlands and Aimée Söhngen (20 & 22 October)

Official Visit from Norway to Great Britain (25-27 October)

The death of King Gustaf V of Sweden (born 16 June 1858, died 29 October 1950)

Expected birth of the third child of the Duke and Duchess of Brabant

Expected birth of the first child of Crown Prince Fredrik and Crown Princes Mary of Denmark

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:22 AM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands

Here are five threads we feel are of note and worthy of a look at:

Prince Floris and Aimée Söhngen will become husband and wife this month, with a civil service taking place on 20 October in Naarden followed by a religious service on 22 October. You can find the thread here. The weddings of Prince Floris's parents and other brothers can also be reviewed in Something Old, New, Royal, and Blue.
Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven
Prince Maurits and Princess Marilene van den Broek
Prince Bernhard and Annette Sekreve
Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Anita van Eijk

This month, we can expect at least two new royal babies. In Belgium, Crown Prince Phillippe and Crown Princess Mathilde expect the birth of their third child; watch for news of the baby in the Belgian Crown Princely couple's sub-forum, here. In Denmark, after a slight scare and being admitted to the hospital then being ordered bed rest, Crown Princess Mary and her husband Crown Prince Frederik eagerly await the birth of their first child. News of the birth can be found in the Danish Crown Princely couple's sub-forum, here. In the meantime, you can guess if the baby will be a boy or a girl here, suggest names, or guess who might be the baby's godparents.

In November, the Prince and Princess of Asturias await the arrival of their first bundle of joy. Guess the sex of the baby here, or suggeste names for the future Infante or Infanta, or guess who the godparents might be.

The Norwegian royals will pay a visit to Great Britain from 25-27 October. As the British royals will be hosting this visit, you can find news and pictures of the visit in the British forum.

Take part in the Great Baby Guessing Challenge Part 6.

The 25th edition of the Prince of Asturias Awards takes place on 21 October; the thread can be found here.

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 07:22 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
This month, on 20 October, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands’s youngest son, Prince Floris will wed, marking the last marriage of Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven’s four sons. On this occasion, while it is not her birthday or a special anniversary, we celebrate and pay tribute to an underrated but beloved Dutch royal.

A Childhood in Canada
Princess Margriet Francisca of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld, was born on 19 January 1943, the third of four daughters to then-Crown Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard.

The future Queen of the Netherlands’ third daughter was born under inauspicious circumstances. World War II was raging in Europe with Nazi invasion and occupation taking place across the continent. To ensure the future of the House of Orange, Queen Wilhelmina (1882-1962) sent her daughter and her two granddaughters, Princesses Beatrix and Irene, to Canada, which was chosen because it was a WWII ally to the Netherlands and was far away from Europe.

When Crown Princess Juliana arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in June 1942, gossip was already being written about the future Queen: A local paper, The Herald, stated that the Dutch Crown Princess was pregnant with her third child. A formal announcement about Crown Princess Juliana’s pregnancy however would not be made until the end of the summer. Prince Bernhard, who did not join his wife and two daughters in Canada at first, announced his wife’s pregnancy via Radio Orange. The Dutch people were advised to “not openly demonstrate their joy for fear of causing reprisals” due to the German occupation of neighbouring countries and the German disdain for Queen Wilhelmina and her family.

The impending birth posed a problem: A royal baby born in Canada would be born a Canadian citizen. And if the baby were to be a boy who would succeed his mother as King of the Netherlands, it would be inappropriate for the future ruler of the Dutch people to have Canadian nationality. The solution proposed was that the place of birth would be declared as extraterritorial, ensuring that the royal baby would be a Dutch citizen from birth. Although untrue, reports circulated at the time that Dutch soil was flown in and scattered about the delivery room of Civic Hospital in Ottawa to cement the solution. A formal proclamation was published in a special edition of the Canada Gazette on 26 December 1942, just short of a month before Princess Margriet’s birth.

Four rooms of the hospital were set aside for the royal birth: one for Crown Princess Juliana, one for the baby, one for a special nurse, and a final room for the security agents who protected the royal family. The Crown Princess originally wanted the baby to be in the nursery with the other babies, but decided in the end that it would be unfair as the royal baby would receive many official visits and guests, who might subject the other babies to germs and infections, which the ever considerate Crown Princess felt would be unfair to the other babies and their parents.

Upon her birth, the Dutch flag flew from the top of the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. It was the very first time that a foreign flag had ever flown alone from the seat of the Canadian government, a true honour for the newly-dubbed and adopted “Canada’s Princess.” The bells of the Peace Tower chimed to the tune of the Dutch national anthem in her honour.

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 07:27 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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A Childhood in Canada - And Arriving in The Netherlands
The wartime circumstances of Princess Margriet’s birth are further reflected in her name: She is named after the marguerite (daisy) flower, which blossomed and dotted Dutch fields and which was chosen by her grandmother Queen Wilhelmina as a symbol of resistance and hope during the difficult and trying times of war. In a Radio Orange broadcast, Queen Wilhelmina said of her daughter and son-in-law’s choice of name for their new daughter: “It is the intention of the parents through their choice of name to establish a lifelong bond between our grievously tired people in the occupied part of the kingdom and the newly-born … Who does not remember the marguerites budding in the month of May in the meadows and fields, reclothing with their whiteness every year for memory of the suffering and grief of these terrible days in 1940 and whispering of a better future? But above all, the name is a reverent tribute to the memory of our heroes on land and sea, no matter in what part of the world they may have fallen, and to those who died as martyrs for their country’s cause. May their memory live not only in our hearts but also through the new great happiness in which God has given my children.” De Oranjekrant, an underground Dutch paper echoed the Queen’s sentiments, proclaiming: “Little Margriet, you will be our princess of peace. We long to have you in our midst. Come soon, Margriet. We are awaiting you with open arms.”

Princesses Beatrix and Irene were excited about their new sister. The little girls were broadcast on Radio Orange: “It is the dearest baby in the whole world” and “I’ve made a necklace for her, one this big.”

Princess Margriet’s baptism took place on 29 June 1943, which was also her father’s 32nd birthday, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Ottawa, where Crown Princess Juliana had attended regular services during her Canadian exile. Queen Wilhelmina arrived from the Netherlands for the baptism. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, the Governor General of Canada, the Earl of Athlone and his wife, Princess Alice (who was also Crown Princess Juliana’s aunt), were in attendance. Her godparents included Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, and American President Roosevelt.

The Canadian baptism of Princess Margriet marked yet another country for the baptisms of Crown Princess Juliana’s daughters: Princess Beatrix had been baptized in the Netherlands and Princess Irene in England.

Although the first two years of Princess Margriet’s life were spent in exile, she had as normal a Dutch childhood as possible, including birthday parties, visits from Sinterklaas (the Dutch Santa Claus), and sleigh rides in the Canadian snow.

On 4 August 1945, after five years away from their homeland, Crown Princess Juliana and her three daughters returned at last to the Netherlands. Prince Bernhard was there to welcome back his wife and three daughters. Princess Margriet was the center of attention upon her return. She was somewhat of a “novelty”—a Dutch princess born on foreign land setting foot on Dutch soil for the first time.

Upon the young family’s return from Canada, life resumed at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn, where the Crown Princess, her husband and their two daughters had lived before the war. A fourth daughter, Princess Maria “Marijke” Christina (now Princess Christina), completed the family upon her birth in 1947.

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 07:38 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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A Young Lady

The young princess’ education was typical: Her primary education was completed at De Werkplaats (The Workshop), followed by a Bilthoven progressive school, Kees Boeke, followed by the Nieuwe Baarnse School in Baarn. Princess Margriet then attended Baarns Lyceum until 1961 for her secondary education.

A year was spent at the University of Montpellier in France, where Princess Margriet studied French literature, art history and history.

It was her studies at Leiden University back home in the Netherlands that changed the course of Princess Margriet’s life. While the majority of the Princess’s time was occupied with courses in elementary jurisprudence, constitutional law, Roman law and social science, Princess Margriet found time for romance with a fellow university student, Pieter van Vollenhoven.

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 07:51 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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A Royal Family Life - Being a Daughter, a Sister and a Princess

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 07:54 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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A Royal Family Life - Being a Daughter, a Sister and a Princess

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:01 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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Engagement & Wedding to Pieter van Vollenhoven

Princess Margriet began a budding romance with fellow law classmate Pieter van Vollenhoven (born 30 April 1939), an active and outgoing student who was part of the Leiden Students’ Association and president of the Netherlands Students’ Sports Trust.

The engagement of the 23-year-old princess was announced on 10 March 1965; the wedding took place on 10 January 1967 in The Hague, marking the first time ever in the history of the House of Orange that a princess had married someone of Dutch nationality.

On her wedding day, Princess Margriet donned Queen Sophie’s tiara, with its five triangular diamond arches and pearl buttons. The bride carried a small bouquet of her namesake, marguerites.

Dr. Burggraaf, who had presided over Princess Margriet’s baptism in Ottawa, was in attendance.

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:07 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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Family Life
Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven began married life in the right wing of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. In 1975, the couple with their young sons moved to their current home Het Loo House, which was built near the palace.

Opposite of her mother who had four daughters, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven had four sons: Prince Maurits (born 1968), Prince Bernhard Jr. (born 1969), Prince Pieter-Christiaan (born 1972), and finally, Prince Floris (born 1975). All four boys carry the titles Princes of Orange-Nassau van Vollenhoven.

The young family’s life was active and busy. Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven and their sons enjoyed many activities together as a family, including skiing and water sports. The van Vollenhoven family often joined their royal cousins on summer holidays.

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:10 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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Husband & Wife - Princess Margriet & Pieter van Vollenhoven

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:13 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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A Growing Extended Family

After raising four sons, daughter-in-laws joined the family’s ranks. In May 1998, the eldest of the couple’s children, Prince Maurits, married a fellow university classmate, Marilène van den Broek. Meeting future spouses at university proved to be a van Vollenhoven family tradition for a third time when the second van Vollenhoven son Prince Bernhard Jr. married Annette Sekrève in July 2000, a fellow co-ed from Groningen. In August of this year, the third van Vollenhoven son married Anita van Eijk, and the youngest of the clan, Prince Floris will marry Aimée Söhngen this month. Only the two eldest van Vollenhoven sons remain in line to the throne, having sought government permission for their marriages. The youngest two van Vollenhoven sons did not seek government permission in keeping with the desire to keep the Dutch royal family small, and the Dutch monarchy being ensured now with two of Queen Beatrix’s sons married and with their own children to succeed the Queen. Princes Pieter-Christiaan and Floris’s wives carry honourary titles of Princesses of Orange-Nassau van Vollenhoven however.

So far, Princes Maurits and Bernhard Jr. have blessed Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven with grandchildren—five in total between both of them. Anna (born 2001), Lucas (born 2002), and Felicia (born 2005) van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven are the children of Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène, who chose to give their children the surname of Prince Maurits’ maternal grandfather, Prince Bernhard. Isabella (born 2002) and Samuel (born 2004) van Vollenhoven are the children of Prince Bernhard Jr. and Princess Annette.

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:16 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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Royal Engagements & Patronages
As neither Princess Irene nor Princess Christina sought government permission for their respective marriages, Princess Margriet is the only sister to support Queen Beatrix in carrying out royal engagements and representing the Netherlands at home and abroad. Princess Margriet and her husband frequently attend state dinners and receptions for visiting heads of states alongside Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Crown Princess Maxima.

Princess Margriet is affiliated with many organizations within the Netherlands as well as international organizations, including the Red Cross—for which she received the Order of the Red Cross in 2002,—the Red Crescent Movement, the International Paraolympic Committee, the Netherland-America Foundation, the Netherlands American Amity Trust, the National Union of Volunteers, the Fondation Europeenne de la Culture, and the Het Loo Palace Museum.

Of her younger sister and her husband’s tireless devotion to represent and serve the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix said in her spontaneous Queen’s Day speech this year, “I want to thank my (little) sister Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven for all the valuable help they have given me during the years.”

GrandDuchess 09-24-2005 08:19 PM

October 2005 Newsletter: Featuring Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
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Canada's Princess
Canada holds a special place in Princess Margriet’s heart. Since her birth, she has been adopted by Canadians as their own princess, an affection which both Princess Margriet and her husband have returned. In September 1968, Princess Margriet returned to Canada with her new husband, Pieter van Vollenhoven. Although she had spent the first years of her life in Canada, the only thing she could remember from her childhood was the sunroom of the maternity suite—of which she recalled only because she had seen it in the family picture albums at home. Together, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven have travelled Canada from coast to coast, including the Canadian Arctic where they reveled in Inuit culture, Calgary, the Canadian Rockies, Quebec, and of course Ottawa.

When Crown Princess Juliana and her daughters departed from Canada, Crown Princess Juliana noted, “Canada has shown me the greateste hospitality I have ever known.” As a thank you to Canada for its hospitality and kindess in welcoming her family and providing them with refuge during WWII, Crown Princess Juliana sent thousands of tulip bulbs to the nation’s capital. Since 1958, 10,000 tulip bulbs have been sent annually courtesy of the royal family, tulips which are the highlight of Ottawa’s spring festival.

Princess Margriet’s youngest son, Prince Floris, is a godchild of the Royal Canadian Legion, the country’s largest veteran’s organization.

The book When Canada Was Home: The Story of Dutch Princess Margriet by Albert VanderMey chronicled Princess Margriet’s life and ties to Canada.

Earlier this year in May, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet and her husband paid a visit to Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Canadian Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband John Ralston Saul.

“Canadians have long held a special place in their hearts for Princess Margriet, her family and the people of the Netherlands,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said. “Not only did the Dutch royal family take refuge in our country during the German occupation of the Netherlands, but more than 7,600 Canadians gave their lives to help liberate that country. We are very pleased she will be here to help us celebrate our shared history and the end of World War II.”

Princess Margriet's official schedule included meeting with Canadian veterans at a Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue hospital, a tour of the new Canadian War Museum, and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Some pictures courtesy of posts by Squidy.

Alexandria 09-25-2005 12:55 PM

7 Attachment(s)
Princess Margriet - A Dutch Marguerite

Dutch Royal House website (

When Canada Was Home: The Story of Dutch Princess Margriet by Albert VanderMey

City of Ottawa website (

Credit and Thanks to:
GrandDuchess for compiling the Life in Photos
Squidy for providing When Canada Was Home as well as other articles
Marengo for providing links and anecdotes
Marianne of the Glittering Royal Events MB for links and anecdotes.

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