Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Princess Beatrix wails during christening

May 12, 1938

The New York Times reports today on the baptism of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, who was born on January 31.

The first child of Crown Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard was baptized in the Groote Kerk of St. Jacob, where her parents were married last year.
Beatrix "wailed lustily" when the Rev. W.L. Welter, the 80-year-old former court chaplain, said in a solemn, but quavering voice: "Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Lord Bless you and keep you. The Lord have mercy upon you. the Lord grant you peace."

The ceremony was witnessed by Queen Wilhelmina and King Leopold III of the Belgians, several royal princes and princesses, the "elite of the Netherland nobility, civil, military and ecclesiastical authorities and representatives of foreign nations."

The baby "continued to cry at the top of her lungs," despite all that her mother, Princess Juliana "could do to quiet her." She finally stopped crying after the ceremony was over - the "sermons, the peal of the organ and the rest of the ritual." Exhausted by all her tears, the little princess "fell asleep in her mother's arms.

Princess Juliana, with Beatrix, and Prince Bernhard were the first to leave the church, followed by the godparents, Queen Wilhelmina, King Leopold, Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld (Bernhard's mother), Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and the Duke of Mecklenburg.

The baby "made the short journey" from the palace to the church and back to the palace with her parents in Wilhelmina's golden coach, which was a gift from the nation when Wilhelmina ascended the throne forty years ago.

Princess Beatrix wore the Brussels lace robe that her mother and grandmother wore at their christenings.

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