Studies and diplomatic service

Prince Claus originally wanted to study mechanical engineering, but as the German universities were overcrowded and priority was being given to older candidates he was unable to enrol.

He therefore began the year's work experience placement which was prescribed as part of the university course, taking a job at an engineering works in Winsen/Luhe. At the end of 1948, however, he decided to enrol at the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Hamburg. He sat his first law examination (Referendar) in 1952 and his second (Assessor) in 1956.

In early 1957 he began working for the West German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and passed the Diplomatic Service (Attaché) examination in 1958. From 1958 to 1961 he was Secretary at the German Embassy at Ciudad Trujillo (now Santo Domingo), Dominican Republic, and from 1961 to 1963 was posted to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Later that same year he transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bonn, where he worked in the department responsible for economic relations with sub-Saharan Africa until August 1965.