This is how Juliana, Beatrix and Willem Alexander lived their student days

The period of study is generally a period of freedom and opportunity to develop yourself. For the heir to the throne, it’s a little different. How did the heirs to the throne of Amalia, her father, grandmother, and great-grandmother experience their education? And what can Amalia learn from that?


“Juliana craves fun, freedom, a life without obligations and festivity. To a life as she thought others were leading,” Jolande Withuis wrote in the book Juliana, a princess in a man’s world.

Withhuis says Juliana’s student days were perhaps the happiest of her life. Juliana is locked in an ivory tower like a real Disney Princess. She had no brothers, no sisters, and she did not go to school. She was taught at home, in a composite class, with a few noble girls. “But she didn’t have any real friends,” Withhuis says.

“The daughters of the people who worked in the court and who came to visit her played with her because they had to.” She was lonely and isolated. Juliana did not meet people outside the court’s circle. I hope Amalia won’t be bothered by it,” says Withhuis. “I just went to high school. She appears to have a rich social life.”

“Juliana thoroughly enjoyed studying and chatting with friends,” says Withhuis. Sometimes she would drive hard, away from her guards, through the alleys in Leiden, where the cars could not come, to try on the hats secretly with her friends. That was the most fun.”

But, unfortunately, Juliana’s study time has already ended after two years. As the only heir to the throne, she had to marry and have children. “A terrible slavery, to be forced to have an heir to the throne,” says Withhuis.

Withwis predicts that Amalia will have to deal with sexism, just like Juliana and all the women who perform in public. In the cabinet, Juliana was said to be ugly and poorly dressed. She had to accept the first man who wanted her. I refused. They also did not agree that Juliana had studied; The study made women unattractive in the eyes of ministers,” says Withhuis. “It would be different with Amalia, but she is still a woman, so sometimes she will be judged harshly for her appearance. I hope she has thick skin.”

Princess Beatrix on a walk in the study city of Leiden.Image ANP / ANP


Study period is wonderfully carefree, but when 18-year-old Beatrix had to seriously consider that she would soon become queen. “It definitely put a lot of pressure on her,” says Cos Huizen, the book’s historian and author. Beatrix Crown of the Republic.

Like her mother, Princess Beatrix was able to attend university. away from home. And this is probably exactly what you need when your parents are in the midst of a crisis. Queen Juliana was influenced by faith healers Great Hoffmanns, which led to much tension between Prince Bernard and Juliana. The situation between her parents had dire consequences for Princess Beatrix. She did not have all the freedom to delve into student life,” says Huijsen. The resignation of Queen Juliana cannot be ruled out in which case Beatrix will succeed her.

“Its situation in her home was complex and may have had a direct impact on her future,” Huygsen said. “For Beatrix, the extraordinary nature of her office influenced her even while she was studying.”

Perhaps this is why Beatrix insisted on being “you” and “Your Royal Highness” as a sociology student. “She was not an ordinary student, she was striving for perfection and aware of her duties.” In the end, things did not go smoothly in the house, and the heir to the throne could “only” finish her studies.

Her life as a student was somewhat sheltered. She lived with a family in Rapenburg and was a member of the Female Students League of Leiden (VVSL), Minerva’s predecessor. No dramatic details or excesses emerged.

Beatrix chose sociology. Later she expanded this with economics, parliamentary history, legal science and constitutional law. Huizen: “You cannot learn for the profession of a head of state, but it is useful to speak and think in all areas. This is also reflected in the choice of study made by Amalia. This approaches her grandmother.

King Willem-Alexander, at the beginning of his studies in front of his house in Rapenburg in Leiden.  ANP . image

King Willem-Alexander, at the beginning of his studies in front of his house in Rapenburg in Leiden.ANP . image

Willem Alexander

In the lead up to his student days, Prince Willem-Alexander knew three things for sure: he did not want to go to Leiden, he did not want to study law and he did not want to become a member of the fraternity. Things went differently.

Unlike Amalia, her father did not go to college right after high school. He first completed his military service in the Royal Navy and served with a number of frigates. He also obtained a pilot’s license. The transition to study was not easy for him, it was difficult to get used to the character of the school again.

“I tried to find as many reasons as possible not to go to Leiden,” Prince Willem-Alexander told the university’s magazine. guidance In 1995. However, in 1987 he “just” went to Leiden. He became a member of Minerva. He stood firm about his choice of study: it became history.

During his freshman year, Prince was part of the large group of freshmen. He attended regular classes and lectures. A building consisting of three semi-detached houses was purchased for him in Rapenburg. The seller asked for 450,000 guilders (more than 200,000 euros). He lived there with three of his roommates and security. Behind the house they kept chickens and roosters.

During his studies, Willem Alexander’s love life and love for beer were widely reported in the tabloids. “If he allowed himself something, it got taken care of right away,” says Cos Huizen, author of the book. The Netherlands and the story of Orange.

Willem-Alexander often walked and enjoyed walking, including in Amsterdam, where his friends lived. It earned him the nickname Prince of Bills. A rather constant picture, in which he forgot that, in addition to his studies, he was busy getting his licenses and skills as a pilot. Huizen: “Willem-Alexander knew what he wanted. Although the heir apparent path is marked, it is important that you feel good about it yourself. A sense of importance is also essential as a head of state.”

Willem Alexander graduated in 1993. At the time he said, “I was able to live my own life, they let me be myself and that’s the best thing ever!”

Read also:

She can’t be an ordinary Amalia. “Don’t worry about the tied jacket.”

The king is a minor child, and even worse: he is under guardianship, writes Nellieke Norderfleet. Her advice to Amalia, who is now beginning her first year of school: ‘Live an honest, social and comfortable life. With a sense of humor.

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