NEW YORK: Lang Leve de Koningin

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Lang Leave de Koningin

Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria, Princess of Orange-Nassau, age 61, the sturdy, solid, cheerful Queen of The Netherlands, has been living a quiet and well-regulated life with her daughter and grandchildren on a rented estate at Lee, Mass. There she has impressed the natives with her neighborliness. Once she climbed through a wire fence to greet a neighbor who was haying.

Last week Queen Wilhelmina visited the Dutch-descended President of the U.S. at Hyde Park. Then, wearing her store-bought clothes from Pittsfield, she motored to the island that Dutchman Peter Minuit bought from the Indians for $24, a city that might have been under her domain but for the casual fall of New Amsterdam 278 years ago.

At the New York City Hall, she was greeted officially by sturdy, splenetic Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. She sat in a leather chair while the Mayor introduced her to city officials, then rose majestically, took a sheet of paper out of her handbag and, with hardly an accent, read her reply. As the first Dutch ruler ever to visit the New World, she was sorrowful that she had come "under the shadow of war."

That night she talked again of war as she went to a foodless and drinkless reception at the Astor. The ballroom was draped with the ancient provincial emblems of the Dutch. Some 4,000 friends of The Netherlands cried "Lang Leve de Koningin" as the Queen walked to her chair on a dais, stiffly waving her white-gloved hand. While everyone else stood up, the monarch remained seated in her chair, told her audience in Dutch: "When ultimately victory is ours and this terrible time belongs to the past, there will rest upon our shoulders the heavy duty of building a better world."

As a reigning monarch, though in exile, and as the richest woman in the world, the Queen could have had a lavish welcome. But she vetoed that. Next morning she chatted at length with some 200 Dutch sailors at the Home for Netherlands Seamen, decorated eleven of them and one Dutch nurse for heroism in action. After 27 hours in the gaudiest city of the world, the plain, sensible Queen of The Netherlands returned to her Cape Cod cottage in Lee, there to carry on her affairs of state and her shopping.