Even in her own royal residence on the outskirts of The Hague, Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands is supposed to obey the rule of her august mother Queen Wilhelmina: "Unmarried ladies of the Court shall not smoke."
Recently, according to Dutch Court gossips last week, the Crown Princess with three unmarried ladies-in-waiting was discreetly smoking in her own drawing room when sounds from the antechamber indicated unmistakably the imminent approach of Majesty.
Panic stricken, the four young women hastily stubbed out their cigarets, whisked the ashtray behind a cushion, waited with pounding hearts.
As flunkeys threw wide the door, Crown Princess Juliana rose courageously to face her Queen and mother, then exclaimed with a glad cry as she rushed to embrace her father: "It's only Mecklenburg!"
Genially the Prince-Consort, Henry Duke of Mecklenburg, waddled in, sniffed the blue atmosphere knowingly, relieved the last traces of maidenly embarrassment by proffering cigarets from his own case.
It was understood that Mecklenburg later expressed to Her Majesty the opinion that their daughter, who is now of age, is old enough to smoke, that the great Queen is pondering some relaxation of her Court smoking rule.