Thursday, September 8, 2016

Juliana engaged

September 8, 1936

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands announced today the engagement of her only daughter, Princess Juliana, to Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, reports the New York Times.

The "entire country" has been expecting "Juliana's betrothal as a matter-of-course duty," but today's announcement came as a surprise as "Swedish and British suitors have been frequently mentioned but ever a German one."

Juliana, the heir to the Dutch throne, and her fiance have known each other for about a year.  There have been frequent meetings, abroad and at the home of friends.  Last summer, Prince Bernhard, who is two years Juliana's junior, was a member of Queen Wilhelmina's vacation part.   Bernhard, who is known as Benno to his friends, is "described as very popular," and has a pleasant character and personality."    He is fluent in French and English and studied law n Berlin.  He is also "good at sports and an excellent horseman."

The newly engaged couple arrived at the royal palace this evening and were "greeted tumultuously by thousands who had braved a heavy rain " to get a glimpse of the couple.  

The "chorus of congratulations" was not unanimous.   A socialist newspaper, Het Volk,  would have preferred that the future Queen had found her consort "in some democratic country rather than in the Third Reich."

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