Juliana laid to rest in royal family tomb

30th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

The coffin is carried to the crypt

The coffin is carried to the crypt

30 March 2004

AMSTERDAM — The former Dutch monarch, Princess Juliana, was interred in the royal family crypt in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft on Tuesday.

An estimated 60,000 people lined the procession route to witness her casket being brought in a carriage with full ceremony and honour guard from Paleis Noordeinde in The Hague earlier in the day.

Princess Juliana, who reigned in the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980, was the 45th member of the House of Orange to be interred in the Nieuwe Kerk, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

As she was taken into the crypt, she regained her official title as queen, a title she relinquished when she abdicated in favour of her daughter Beatrix in 1980.

Her 92-year-old husband, Prince Bernhard, walking arm-in-arm with his daughters, Queen Beatrix and Princess Irene, followed the coffin as it was carried though the church to the tomb.

The immediate family

They were accompanied by Juliana's other daughters, Princess Margriet and Princess Christina, and her husband, Pieter van Vollenhoven.

Earlier, the ceremony began with Princess Christina singing, It's a Gift to be Simple. Her mother had made it known she wanted her daughter to sing at her funeral.

Vicar W. Hudig-Semeijns de Vries van Doesburgh recited the blessing over the former queen in words from the Bible, having earlier asked the congregation to formulate their own blessing for Juliana in their hearts.

"In that way the old biblical words will be augmented by the power of your intentions and the love of her family and her people," the female vicar said.

Princess Juliana had her own "spiritual convictions" which were not dictated by church dogma or laws.

Freedom of worship and tolerance were self-evident to Juliana, Hudig said. During her life she learned about Christianity, Eastern wisdom, Judaism, Islamic mysticism and modern spiritual movements.

"She did not sit in one holy house alone, but preferred to go on a voyage of discovery. She was convinced that several paths led to the one God."

On the way from The Hague

The vicar recalled the scandal Juliana caused in one of her last public appearance when she — a protestant — took communion during the Catholic wedding of her grandson, Prins Maurits and Marilene.

It was not the "whim of an eccentric old dame", the vicar said, but a conscious act as she understood "communion literally means community — community between people of different churches was her deepest held wish".
Also on Tuesday, former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers revealed that Princess Juliana had approached him to express concerns about the readiness of her grandson, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, to take the throne after Beatrix.

She was worried that Willem-Alexander, then a college student, was not showing the same interests as she did at that age. Lubbers, now the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said he reassured the queen that her grandson would make a good king when the time came.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news + Princess Juliana

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