NETHERLANDS: Girl-guiding

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A train made up exclusively of third class carriages, spotless, as are all Dutch trains, chugged out of the Hague last week brimming with apple-cheeked Girl Guides.

She, who chattered gleefully with the exuberance of 17, waved a dutiful goodbye to stout ladies in waiting, was Girl Guide Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina of Orange-Nassau. As she sat, perforce upright, upon a brightly varnished but angular third class bench, few would have supposed her the sole heir to one of Europe's largest and most thriftily hoarded fortunes. Throughout the week, as she did camp girl duty (cooked, scrubbed, mended) few chance visitors guessed that this bright-eyed buxom girl was Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, heir to the throne.

At 17 Juliana girl-guides. At 18 her mother, beloved Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands ascended her most conservative and secure of thrones (1898). Three years later the young Queen espoused as her consort Prince Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Eight years later she gave birth to Juliana amid heartfelt rejoicings. Upon Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana the love and loyalty of the Netherlands is fixed with a firm if stolid passion. Wilhelmina was the sole issue of the late King Willem III. Juliana's position is equally unique. Therefore, without intrusion, a corps of able Dutch special police guarded each moment of the Princess' girl-guiding last week.

What does the Dowager Queen Emma, 68, think of her granddaughter's girl-guiding? The Netherlandic Royalty are closelipped, but it may be assumed that the Queen Mother does not rejoice in Juliana's third class travels, camping, scrubbing. At the Hague the palace occupied by Princess Juliana and Queen Wilhelmina is an unadorned whitewashed wooden house. Not so the residence of the Queen Mother. There pomp abides. Immaculate sentries pace before her door. When she rides out her mien is regal. . . .

To this day courtiers at the Hague recall the Queen Mother's words of blistering scorn when Crown Princess Juliana, precocious at 15, became innocently infatuated with a 30 year old Jewish widower, Gabriel Alara, a sweet-voiced, black-eyed cantor in an Amsterdam synagog (TIME, Dec. 8, 1923.) But such is the winsomeness of Princess Juliana that, in her presence, all is soon forgiven.