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A little princess

Yesterday afternoon, the wife of HRH The Prince of Orange (i.e., the Dutch Crown Prince), gave birth to a daughter in the hospital a few blocks away from where I live. As this is their first child, 2nd in line to the throne and therefore -God willing- our future Queen, 101 gunshots were fired from 4 ceremonial cannons in the middle of town.

I didn't hear the shots. It's my nephew Romeo's 2nd birthday today so I was far too busy finding, buying and bringing him a present than to pay any heed to the pounding of guns off in the distance. We didn't see the news. We didn't listen to the radio. We didn't see any people dancing in the streets, as there were when this little girl's daddy was born. No churchbells tolling, no flags waving...it was an ordinary, quiet Sunday.

So I first read about it in the morning paper. 6 Pages chock-full of baby news. Apparently, the princess had a natural childbirth. She went into labour around 9 a.m., and was delivered of a daughter at 5:01 p.m. Mother and daughter left hospital at around 10:30 last night.

We don't know what the baby's going to be called yet, but Emma seems to be the nation's favourite choice at the moment. Personally, I think I'd prefer her to be called Amalia, just to be different, but I don't think that's very likely. As long as her name's not going to be Britney, any name'll do, I suppose. Anyway, we should know tomorrow or the day after; by law, any baby born in The Netherlands must be registered within 3 days of birth.

A future Queen...Neat!


( 13 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Dec. 8th, 2003 08:53 am (UTC)
Congratulations on (y)our new future queen...Catharina Amalia seems to be the thing that's leaked. I hope Amalia, too, every other princess in named Catharina, too boring and non-Orangey.
Dec. 8th, 2003 11:36 pm (UTC)
I agree. I don't fancy Catharina for a name at all. Far too pretentious for a princess of the House of Orange.

Keeping my fingers crossed for Amalia though. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read it was in the running last night!
Dec. 8th, 2003 09:25 am (UTC)
How cool! I think most other countries with monarchies don't allow females to be queen unless there are no male heirs, so yah for yours.

As long as her name's not going to be Britney, any name'll do, I suppose.
LOL! Queen Britney doesn't sound too bad :-)
Dec. 9th, 2003 12:37 am (UTC)
I think most other countries with monarchies don't allow females to be queen unless there are no male heirs, so yah for yours.

The Constitution was changed in 1983, to end this last remnant of discrimination against women. Before that time, male heirs were preferred. But for a period of 116 years, no baby boys were born into the House of Orange, and so we had 3 Queens one after another (Wilhelmina, Juliana, and now Beatrix).

The Belgians made a similar change to their Constitution a few years ago, shortly after the death of the previous King. Their current Crown Prince has a daughter as well as a son, but because the daughter is his eldest child, in time she will be the first ever Queen of the Belgians.

Actually, I believe it was the Swedish parliament that started the trend, when their King and queen had their first child, Crown Princess Victoria. They were worried their King wouldn't produce any male heirs...but after another daughter, Prince Carl Philipp was born a couple of years later. By then, they didn't see any need to change the law back again, though ;-).

Queen Britney doesn't sound too bad :-)

It's certainly different...and I would prefer it to Catharina...;-)
Dec. 8th, 2003 09:54 am (UTC)
Queen Emma would sound very tawdry.
Dec. 9th, 2003 12:07 am (UTC)
It would at that...and we've already had a queen called that, the mother of Queen Wilhelmina, this baby's great-greatgrandmother. Admittedly, she was a queen consort as well as a queen regent, never a Queen regnant, but -- better to give the child a name of her own. It's bad enough all the boys that could conceivably grow up to be King in this family are called Willem as a matter of course.
Dec. 8th, 2003 01:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's so cool. Like a fairy-tale, with the shots and the possibility of dancing in the streets and things.

Sometimes being American is so lame.

Dec. 9th, 2003 12:56 am (UTC)
Thank you!

We're getting into the party spirit a little better now - when the announcement was made that Princess Máxima was expecting, we were told the baby wasn't due until January. Now it turns out they either made a mistake in their calculations, or they deliberately fed us the wrong information. Either way, we weren't ready for her this early in December.
Personally, I still don't notice it very much since I work in an international environment and my colleagues couldn't care less; but if the papers are to be believed, supermarkets have difficulty catering to the demand for 'beschuit' and 'oranje muisjes' ('beschuit met muisjes' is a Dutch traditional treat to celebrate the birth of a child. 'Beschuit' is tack, and 'muisjes' is sugarcoated aniseed - pink for a gil, blue for a boy, and orange for a royal baby. The father usually offers this round, at work, in the street, and at home with mother and baby of course).
Dec. 8th, 2003 08:44 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! I like Amalia. It looks nice visually and it has a nice ring to it. Plus, it's not a name you hear in America. The closest we have is Amelia.
Dec. 8th, 2003 11:58 pm (UTC)
Well, Amalia and Amelia are often thought to be one and the same name; just that Amelia is originally the Portuguese form of the name. If I remember my etymology, amal means 'powerful' in Visigoth, so the name would mean something like 'powerful one' - not a bad name for a Queen, eh? There's also a Germanic word amel having to do with 'work', 'labour', 'travail'...but that doesn't make very much sense, unless you want to call your child 'the toiling one'. Nomen est omen, after all. ;-)
Dec. 9th, 2003 09:40 pm (UTC)
Nomen est omen. I like it. It also has a much nicer ring in Dutch (or is it French) than it would in English. :-)
Dec. 8th, 2003 09:41 pm (UTC)
Very cool. I love LJ as this is something that I had heard nothing about as the news here is busy covering what Michael Jackson had for dinner last night.
Dec. 9th, 2003 01:02 am (UTC)
But then, Michael Jackson's evening meal is far more newsworthy to the world at large than the birth of a little baby girl in a remote corner of Europe; so I'm not surprised to hear your newsrooms have their priorities sorted...just as a matter of interest, what did Michael Jackson have for dinner last night? ;-)
( 13 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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