Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Royal birth: It's a girl

January 31, 1938

Great joy in The Netherlands today.  Crown Princess Juliana gave birth to her first child, a daughter, reports the New York Times.  The Netherlands "generally would have hailed a son most enthusiastically, but this country has been ruled so satisfactorily by Queen Wilhelmina," that no real disappointment has been seen by the "nation-wide rejoicing."

The official communiqué read:  "Her Royal Highness Juliana gave birth to a fine daughter today, the 31st of January, 1938, at 9:37 a.m.  The condition of mother and child is most satisfactory."

Queen Wilhelmina was told that the "child is perfect." The new princess has blue eyes and fair hair.  She weighs 7lbs 11 ozs.

The news spread like lightning throughout the country.   Former Kaiser Wilhelm II, who lives in exile in the Netherlands, sent flowers from his hothouse.

The infant will have the titles Princess of Orange-Nassau and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld.  Her names will not be announced until the day after her father, Prince Bernhard, "announces the birth to the burgomaster in the presence of two witnesses."

The AP reports that "for months the pious Hollanders had prayed" that the Crown Princess would give birth to a son.  The last King of the Netherlands, Willem III, was born in 1817.   But Princess Juliana wanted a daughter, and her "wish was granted at the little white palace of Soestdyk," her country home.

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