Bernhard admitted two extramarital children
14 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The posthumous revelations of the life of Prince Bernhard continued on Tuesday when it was reported that the late husband of Queen Juliana had six daughters, two of them born out of wedlock.
14 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — The posthumous revelations of the life of Prince Bernhard continued on Tuesday when it was reported that the late husband of Queen Juliana had six daughters, two of them born out of wedlock.
The existence of Bernhard's 37-year-old French daughter Alexia Grinda-Lejeune is a publicly-known secret. Newspaper De Telegraaf published a photo of her on Monday, claiming she had also paid her last respects to Bernhard at his palace home last week.
But the prince reportedly admitted in a series of interviews before his death with newspaper De Volkskrant that he also had a daughter in the US, Alicia, aged about 50. The German-born prince included both his extramarital daughters in his will.
Bernhard is also the father of present Dutch monarch Queen Beatrix and the princess Irene, Margriet and Christina. But the prince's life was subject to frequent rumours about his out-of-wedlock children — rumours he always denied.
But Bernhard told the Volkskrant that the birth of Alicia was an "accident" and that her conception was directly related to his marriage crisis in the mid-1950s.
The conflict was sparked after supporters of Greet Hofmans accused Bernhard of stealing money from his wife. Hofmans was a faith healer and pacifist who allegedly wielded great influence over Juliana's policies before then Prime Minister Willem Drees ordered Juliana to cut all contacts with Hofmans.
Bernhard said the accusations cut deeply, later telling his wife that they were the reason why he had another daughter, Alicia. But the prince also said Juliana was always welcoming of her husband's two extramarital children, describing them as being "terribly sweet".
Questioned about his love for Juliana, the prince said there was a definite percentage of love and a definite percentage of attraction. "It was a challenge to make something of it," he said.
But controversy was never far from the prince's life, admitting in an interview with magazine De Groene Amsterdammer that he had accepted bribes from US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed in the 1970s to influence the Dutch government's choice of a fighter plane. The scandal nearly led to Juliana's abdication.
But in the interviews with the Volkskrant, the prince gave another version. He asserted that Lockheed had in fact deposited money in his Swiss bank account, but claimed the money was intended for another person. Juliana and Bernhard held a fortune estimated between EUR 150 and 200 million.
The interviews with the newspaper were given in the past four years at Soestdijk Palace. The interviews took place without the prior knowledge of the Government Information Service RVD, the prime minister or Queen Beatrix.
The flurry of revelations about Bernhard's life are not about to end in the short-term either, with the National Archive releasing several documents on Tuesday morning. Some of the documents relate to the Greet Hofmans scandal.
The popular prince was interred in the royal family crypt in Delft on Saturday with full military honours in recognition of his service during World War II. The prince died on 1 December of cancer at the UMC hospital in Utrecht. He was 93 years old.
[Copyright Expatica News + Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news