A buxom, healthy, studious Dutch girl reached the age of 21 last week, celebrated by moving from her town residence at The Hague to an estate called the "House in the Wood." One and all, Dutch newspapers congratulated the young woman, but a few of the very oldest and most aristocratic news organs of Amsterdam and The Hague also dropped respectful hints.
It would not have been respectful to hint that at 21 the heiress of the House of Orange-Nassau should have a husband. Dutch delicacy forbade that. But it was permissible, right, even a duty to hint that the Dutch East Indies have not yet received a visit from Her Royal Highness Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina, Duchess of Ficklebourg, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Crown Princess of the Netherlands.
Has not Crown Prince Leopold of neighboring Belgium visited the Belgian Congo? Is not beloved Edward of Wales the most traveled heir-apparent who ever lived? Do not the various princes of the Imperial House of Japan encircle the globe?* Then why should not Dutch East Indians be given opportunity to vent their loyalty and devotion with cheer on cheer?
If Princess Juliana was impressed by these hints last week, the Court did not admit it. The 21st birthday passed without formal observance, by special request of H. R. H. Busy, bustling and housewifely (although no wife), she personally supervised the loading of her personal belongings into moving vans, sped after them in her unostentatious limousine to the Huis Ten Bosch. Standing in a vast, majestic park on the outskirts of The Hague, the ''House in the Wood" holds treasure which sedate Dutch Royalty values mostprivacy.
When cornered with the question, "But whom do you think Juliana will choose as her Prince Consort?" discreet Dutch gentlemen usually answer, "Perhaps her second cousin, Prince William Ernest Henry Alfred of Erbach Schoenberg. He is five years older than she and that is good. The Queen Mother favors the match, I hear. She wants to marry her granddaughter to her sister's son. So many foreign Royalties lack qualities we demand of a Dutch prince."
* Prince Takamatsu & Wife set forth last week.