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Scarcely a sovereign in Europe is so wisely and graciously parsimonious as Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria of Orange, Queen of the Netherlands. Her favorite Palace, at The Hague, has such an air of whitewashed simplicity that non-Dutch-speaking tourists have been known to leave the city under the impression the Court resides at the late Mr. Carnegie's far more sumptuous Peace Palace. The tastes of the Prince Consort (Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin) are likewise circumscribed within the same prudent limits. Hence, when a large appropriation was recently placed at the disposal of the royal pair to be expended on the celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary, the foreign diplomats at The Hague speculated whimsically upon the form which this "celebration" would take.

Last week they found out. The Queen, the Prince Consort, and the heiress apparent, Princess Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina, proceeded to the Church of Saint Jacob and participated in a service of thanksgiving. That was all.

The money destined for a Court fete was expended in toto to relieve the widespread misery caused by the recent disastrous floods (TIME, Jan. 11, INTERNATIONAL). The Queen's almost fanatically devoted subjects were roused from their usual respectful but undemonstrative attitude. Whenever Queen Wilhelmina rode out last week she was greeted by deep-throated yet melodious* cheers.

*Although printed Dutch words convey a guttural jangle to the English-reading eye, the ample Dutch vocal cord mellows them astonishingly.