THE NETHERLANDS: The Woman Who Wanted a Smile

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Just 50 years ago, while cannon boomed and church bells rang, an 18-year-old girl with a sweet and melancholy face walked across the ancient square to Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk.* A purple mantle was on her shoulders, a diadem in her hair. She was Wilhelmina, Princess of Orange, about to become Queen of The Netherlands.

It seemed like a good, safe time for a princess to assume royal duties. The Czar's Russia was distant and implausible. The U.S., fighting Spain, was young, uncoordinated and callow. Queen Victoria ruled Britannia, and Britannia ruled...

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