Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013



History occurred at seven o'clock last night.  In Amsterdam, the Dutch monarch delivered a somber address on National TV. All across the Netherlands, citizens listened closely to their Queen as she made her brief but sudden announcement. Effective April 30th, (the Queen's Day holiday) she is abdicating.  Loved by many...hated by some...but respected by all...Queen Beatrix is a monarch no more.  Her tumultuous twenty-three year reign is officially over.  So...join us at the DUNER BLOG as we take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of a truly great world leader.

Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of Orange was born 75 years ago in Utrecht.  Her baptism a year later in The Hague was massive.  A horde of European dukes and duchesses cheered, as the Great Cathedral erupted in adoration.  Her godparent, King Leopold III of Belgium, stood next to her mother, Princess Juliana and her grandmother, the glorious Queen Wilhelmina.  Unfortunately, the fun would be short lived.   A year later, Princess Beatrix and the entire House of Orange were forced to flee in exile to London when Nazi Panzer forces overran the Low Countries.  Although the Dutch Monarchy was reinstated after war, things were different.  When Queen Wilhelmina died in 1948 and Queen Juliana took over the throne, the pomp and circumstance of the past was missing from the ceremonies. 

In the 1950's, things changed and a 'Golden Period' of prosperity followed.  In 1962 Rotterdam became the busiest port in the world, as products from a robust Central Europe were received and sent around the globe.  One such product was CLAUS VON AMSBERG, a German aristocrat who proposed to Princess Beatrix in 1965.  Their marriage set off a wave of anti-royal protests nationwide.  How could a Dutch princess marry a former Nazi?  "Raus Claus!" (Claus Out!) they shouted.  None of this mattered to Beatrix. Undeterred by the negative press, she instead ushered in a new, forgiving attitude towards Holland's domineering Eastern neighbor.  Over time, the anti-German fervor in the Netherlands waned.  By the time Prince Claus died in 2002, all was forgiven.   His sense of humor, compassion for the poor and 'common man' approachability to Dutch citizens won over the hearts and minds of a nation.

In 2009, Queen Beatrix again showed her toughness when she survived a horrific assassination attempt.  KARST TATES, a derranged anti-Monarchist, crashed his cheap Suzuki compact car into the Queen's motorcade.  Eight innocent people were killed but Beatrix survived.  Afterwards, she shocked the world with a compassionate speech, again emphasizing 'peace and harmony' over 'anger and distrust.'  Rather than demonize her killer, the assassin is currently serving a life sentence without parole and is receiving much needed psychiatric treatment. 

Finally, we here at the DUNER BLOG salute the Dutch Royal Family for having the wisdom to abdicate and let a more able leader take over the duties of the state.  Although still very healthy at age 75, Beatrix felt it was time for a "New Generation" to lead Holland.  (Are you listening...Queen Elizabeth II?  Put Wills and Kate on the throne NOW!)  Anyhow, Holland will soon have its first King in 123 years.  Prince Willem Alexander is a robust 45 years old and is married to a sexy Argentine.  No dates have been set for the coronation ceremonies in Amsterdam...but don't worry...the DUNER BLOG will keep you informed!


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