Juliana risked abdication call in Hofmans scandal
14 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The late Dutch monarch, Queen Juliana, faced being forced to abdicate the throne at the height of a scandal involving a faith healer in the mid-1950s, newly-released documents have confirmed.
14 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — The late Dutch monarch, Queen Juliana, faced being forced to abdicate the throne at the height of a scandal involving a faith healer in the mid-1950s, newly-released documents have confirmed.
National archive documents released on Tuesday indicate some ministers in the government of Prime Minister Willem Dress were in favour of Queen Juliana's abdication. Consideration was given to the question whether Juliana should be declared to be of unsound mind.
The documents include papers from Louis Einthoven, the former head of the Dutch intelligence service (then known as the BVD), former prime minister Pieter Gerbrandy and Cees Fock, the top civil servant at the General Affairs Ministry at the time.
The continued presence of faith healer Greet Hofmans around Queen Juliana brought much embarrassment to the royal family and the Dutch government in the 1950s.
Hofmans — a pacifist, who also believed aliens were living on Earth — exercised great influence over Juliana before Drees ordered the Queen to cut all contacts with her.
Fock's documents, in particular, give great insight into the scandal. Fock attended the meetings at which the Dress Cabinet discussed Hofmans. He was also involved in the "commission of three" that investigated the affair.
Fock's notes indicate that the scandal propelled the Netherlands into a constitutional crisis. Foreign affairs minister Jan Willem Beyen and several other ministers wanted Juliana to abdicate in favour of her then-underage daughter, now Queen Beatrix.
Beyen believed that Prince Bernhard could have performed Beatrix's tasks as regent. The prince could also have exercised great influence on his daughter, Fock's notes indicated.
Government ministers spoke about taking parental authority away from Juliana, which would have meant the Queen would have been forced to abdicate. It was also discussed declaring Juliana to be of unsound mind, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
But Drees was not in favour of Juliana's abdication and eventually demanded that Juliana break all contact with Hofmans. The faith healer had initially been sought out by Prince Bernhard after Juliana's fourth daughter, Princess Christina, was born with eyesight problems.
The influence that Hofmans exercised over Juliana led to a marriage crisis between Juliana and Bernhard. The German-born prince later admitted in interviews with newspaper De Volkskrant that one of his two extramarital children was conceived at the height of the crisis.
The official report into the Hofmans case will not be released until 2056.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news