From outcast to popular prince (2002)

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Friday, 6 October 2017

2002 -

Today in 2002 Prince Clause of the Netherlands, husband of Queen Beatrix, died at age 76. The former German diplomat was on his dying day one of the most popular members of the Dutch royal family. But before that he had to overcome a storm of protest. The country was still in pain form German occupation in WWII when he first appeared in the Netherlands.

Not wanted
The Dutch parliament reluctantly approved his engagement to Princess Beatrix, heiress of the Dutch Crown, even though 300.000 people signed a petition against the proposed marriage. During their wedding ceremony a smoke bomb exploded close to their golden carriage. The Dutch were not happy with their newest member of the royal family.

Inspirational thinker
By the time his wife ascended the throne the people from the Netherlands had already seen more of their Prince. His popularity had grown. Claus was said to be intelligent, modest and humorous and his role became more and more that of an inspirational thinker. He suffered several diseases such as cancer, depression and Parkinson’s. He died of pneumonia after a long illness.

360 trivial fact
Prince Claus showed his eloquence at the awards reception for African fashion in 1998. He expressed his admiration for Nelson Mandela’s casual dress, stripped off his own tie and threw it at his wife’s feet. ‘Tie wearers of all nations unite. Cast of the robe that binds you’, he said. Later it would be called the ‘Amsterdam Declaration’.


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