Sunday, January 31, 2010
On 30 April this year Queen Beatrix will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her succession to the throne, which came after her mother Juliana abdicated aged 71.
Queen Beatrix remains very popular among Dutch expatriates. In a survey conducted by Radio Netherlands Worldwide, they gave her a rating of 8+.
Of the 1,100 expats surveyed, one in five of them has met the Queen, often during one of her state visits. I had the chance to meet her in 2007, but I was stuck in the Istanbul traffic jam.
Emigrants praise her state visits for boosting the image foreigners have of the Netherlands. Half of those interviewed expect the Queen will abdicate when she turns 75.
Beatrix is rarely quoted directly in the press, since the government information service (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst) makes it a condition of interviews that she may not be quoted. This policy was introduced shortly after her inauguration, reportedly to protect her from political complications that may arise from "off-the-cuff" remarks.
She has one of the highest approval tatings in the Netherlands.