Beatrix presented with honorary doctorate

9th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — On receiving an honorary doctorate from Leiden University on Tuesday, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands said she was progressively given greater freedoms by successive prime ministers from the 1980s.

9 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — On receiving an honorary doctorate from Leiden University on Tuesday, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands said she was progressively given greater freedoms by successive prime ministers from the 1980s.

She explained that her ministerial responsibility had initially been quite restricted, but since the 1980s that responsibility had broadened.

"Thanks to successive prime ministers I was granted the possibility to enter new terrain, talk with people in broad circles of society and in general, give the function a broader social interpretation," Queen Beatrix said.

The Queen also said she stood above party politics and would continue to work for the public interest. "This notion is the basis that makes this function worthy," she said.

Beatrix added that a private life is important in order for her to adequately carry out her public duties. She said her husband, the late Prince Claus, had always kept a close watch on private and public life.

Admitting it was strange that she was being given an honorary doctorate without "exceptional academic services", the Queen said that her reign has been a "permanent education", news agency Novum reported.

Pointing to the exceptional nature of the monarchy, Beatrix said she "did not choose, but accepted" her function. As she did not ascend the throne, per definition, due to her achievements; the Queen said "modesty and self-reflection" are necessary. Her public responsibilities have posed a "continuing challenge" in the 25 years of her reign.

The honorary doctorate was presented in the Pieterskerk in Leiden as an acknowledgement for the manner in which the Queen has drawn attention to the importance of freedom. She has also impressed upon others that freedom also brings responsibilities.

Presentation of the doctorate was linked to the university's motto: Praesidium Libertatis or Bastion of Liberty. The university was a gift by the Prince of Holland, William of Orange, in 1575 to reward the citizens of Leiden for their courageous defence of the city during the Spanish occupation in the preceding year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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