THE NETHERLANDS: The Woman Who Wanted a Smile

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Nineteen hundred and twenty-seven!

When Juliana told her mother about her achievement, the Queen said: "Don't get excited. They gave you the prize because you are the Princess." Juliana brought this story back to Leiden, whereupon the student jury wrote a respectful letter to Her Majesty, assuring her that the poem had won on its own merits.

Juliana's freedom at college was distantly supervised by the Queen. Once, in the dressing room of the student theater, Juliana's classmates twitted her about her long underwear. Next day she went out and bought something more modern. But when the fripperies arrived at the palace, Wilhelmina took one shocked look at them and sent them back. When Juliana's marriage was being considered, her lady-in-waiting suggested that she wear some makeup. Wilhelmina declared: "The Princess will remain as God and I made her."

That was somewhat unfair to the late Prince Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg, Juliana's father, of whom the Princess was very fond. Prince Henry was far more tolerant than Wilhelmina. Once, Juliana was secretly smoking with several ladies-in-waiting when the door was thrown open imperiously. Aghast, the girls expected to see Wilhelmina. But when it turned out to be Juliana's father, she ran to embrace him, crying: "It's only Mecklenburg!"

The Flavor of Greenwich. When Juliana was 26, she met Prince Bernhard zu Lippe-Biesterfeld, a charming young man-about-Europe who worked for I. G. Farben in Paris. Declared Wilhelmina: "This is not the marriage of The Netherlands to Germany [but] the marriage of my daughter to the man she loves, whom I have found worthy of her love." The story goes that when a German diplomat suggested how sensible it would be if The Netherlands indeed joined Germany, Juliana remarked: "Oh, I think Mama is too old to rule such a large country as Germany."

During the war, Bernhard fought ably with the Dutch army underground. The Dutch people took to him, as did their Queen. He became one of Wilhelmina's closest advisers and greatest favorites. Something of the playboy before the war, even taking a cocktail on Sundays, he settled down to a quiet, domestic postwar existence with Juliana at rambling, pleasant Soestdijk Palace. The household has the flavor of Greenwich, Conn. The Lippe-Biesterfelds like bridge, talky dinner parties, go to bed by 11. Each time Juliana expected a child, the nation waited excitedly to hear whether it was a boy (though by now, the Dutch have got used to matriarchy). Four times it was a girl (Beatrix, now 10; Irene, 9; Margriet Francisca, 5; Maria Christina, 1).

Juliana insisted that her daughters attend a public school, once instructed the headmistress not to "tell stories about fairy princesses or any stuff like that." The children have the Orange matter-of-factness. Recently, vacationing, Princess Beatrix grew impatient with a crowd of gaping local children. She presented herself on the porch of her parents' house. "This is how I look in front," she said, and turned. "This is how I look in back. Now go away and leave me alone."

The Spirit of Bryn Mawr. Juliana is far more sociable than her formidable mother. "Wilhelmina never starts a conversation," say friends, "and Juliana never finishes one."

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