Monday, April 20, 2015

How memory failed me. Part I: Queen Juliana of Nederland

This is Queen Juliana on her wedding day to Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld in 1937.
Like all queens, Juliana rode her bike from castle to castle.
The queen, the prince and their four daughters, (oldest to youngest) Beatrix, Irene, Margriet (my age) and Marijka

Queen Juliana swinging with one of her daughters before biking home.                  
If I wrote recent Dutch history from my own memory, I would have sworn that Juliana was the Queen of the Netherlands when I was born there in September 1942.  She was included in a memoir I wrote and published. I grew up wanting to be one of her daughters, who seemed always to wear white (of course, all photos were in black and white).

What I learned from Wikipedia this weekend was that Juliana was not queen until September, 1948. Our family left the Netherlands the end of April, 1948. 

WIKIPEDIA MUST BE WRONG, I thought.  This echoes what my father used to say to me when I brought him a fact from the World Book Encyclopedia that opposed his world view: "The encyclopedia is wrong."

My father could be a real prat sometimes.

I am just like him.

The queen's mother, Wilhelmina, was still the queen when I was born.  How could this be?  Did my parents know?  Why didn't they tell me?

Oma used to send newspapers from Holland, which I certainly must have looked through, and by then, Juliana WAS the queen.

I have looked up the Dutch royal family before.  How could I have missed this?  I'm 72 years old.  I thought Juliana was my queen.

There's a crack in the universe.

1 comment:

  1. If it's any consolation, I'm 39 and I forgot a veritable laundry list of things just yesterday (e.g. to give the keys to my kids so they could get into the house with the babysitter after school). By the time I'm 72, we'll be on Volume The Third of How Memory Failed Me. She was a very lovely queen. You had good reason to claim her as your own. xox