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“Who am I to do this?” asked Queen Juliana when she delivered her inaugural address nearly 75 years ago. exhibition Julian’s century The Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam tries to answer that.
Everyone who enters the church immediately gets an answer to this question: the queen. At the gate of the copper choir in the chapel you can see the blue dress that Juliana was wearing, with the red cloak with the white fur collar (not visible by the way). In the place where she was installed as queen.
Juliana wanted to bring the unit to Holland three years after the end of World War II. So at her inauguration she chose a combination of the three national colors. “It’s so special to see this blue dress in real life,” says Jolande Withuis. I wrote a huge autobiography about the former queen five years ago. So the photos will be seen countless times “but always in black and white”.
In this video, reporter Per Olin takes you through what to see in the exhibition…
Exhibition on the life of Queen Juliana: ‘She especially wanted to be so ordinary’
According to Withuis, Juliana was disappointed after the war that her role in the war had been forgotten. Her husband Prince Bernard released videos of family happiness in Canada. This depicts Juliana as a mother.
A portrait of the wartime mother can also be seen in the gallery, which includes Princess Beatrix’s carriage. That vehicle provided protection against a possible gas attack.
But that image flows seamlessly into another wartime Juliana. “She traveled across the American continent and gave no fewer than sixty speeches, on radio or in front of an audience. She called on the Netherlands and Europe to support the Nazis,” explains Withhuis.
She also did the same with US President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, with whom she became friends. It is not by chance that the granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt, in addition to Princess Beatrix, is also present at the opening of the exhibition.
According to biographer Withways, Juliana learned so much in the United States and Canada that she was way ahead of her mother, Wilhelmina, and the government. “Juliana tried to show her role in the war, but she could not compete with the films of the Bernard family and the history of Lou de Young.”
After the war, Juliana had to prepare for her role as queen. She wanted to be close to people.
In the background of a model of the Soestdijk Palace are photos of the annual parades, which were supposed to reduce the distance to the royal family. Juliana as an ordinary woman. Historian Hermann Blige identifies with that photo: “At that time, all our mothers looked like her, with her curly hair and butterfly glasses.”
As a result, Juliana also enjoyed the support of unexpected quarters, villains. Juliana has just embraced the scene that has essentially gone against the established order. According to villain Diana Ozon, this was due to the honest image she gave of herself as a “mother smoking chain on slippers”.
“In many punk newspapers, her image appeared, including as a cut button, in comics, or loosely with a cigarette dangling between her lips,” Ozon says. And that suits us. Although she may have never known.”
“Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Freelance organizer. Avid analyst. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon junkie.”