Marriage and family

Princess Juliana's engagement to His Serene Highness Prince Bernhard of Lippe‑Biesterfeld was announced on 8 September 1936. They married on 7 January 1937, and made their home at Soestdijk Palace, Baarn.

Princess Juliana's engagement to His Serene Highness Prince Bernhard of Lippe‑Biesterfeld was announced on 8 September 1936. They married on 7 January 1937, and made their home at Soestdijk Palace, Baarn.

Four daughters were born to Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard: Beatrix (born 1938), Irene (born 1939), Margriet (born 1943) and Christina (born 1947). All the princesses were born at Soestdijk Palace, with the exception of Princess Margriet, who was born in Ottawa, Canada, during the war.

The German invasion on 10 May 1940 forced the Prince and Princess and their two daughters to leave the Netherlands for the United Kingdom; the Princess remained there for a month before taking the children to Canada, where she lived in Rockcliffe, a suburb of Ottawa, until the Netherlands was liberated. Prince Bernhard, who remained in London with Queen Wilhelmina, was able to visit his family in Canada on several occasions. During the war, the Princess visited Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles.

In April 1945 she returned with Queen Wilhelmina to the liberated part of the Netherlands, settling in Breda. She took part in a relief operation for the people in the northern part of the country, where the famine of the previous winter had claimed many victims. On 2 August 1945 Princess Juliana was reunited with her family on Dutch soil.

After the German capitulation in May 1945, the Princess took part in various relief operations to help the victims of the occupation. She was, for example, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Council for the Rehabilitation of the People of the Netherlands. In the spring of 1946 Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard visited the countries that had helped the Netherlands during the occupation.

For several weeks in the autumn of 1947 and again in 1948 the Princess acted as Regent when, for health reasons, Queen Wilhelmina was unable to perform her duties. In 1948 the Queen announced her intention to abdicate and on 4 September 1948 Juliana assumed the royal prerogative. Two days later, on 6 September, Princess Juliana's investiture as Queen of the Netherlands took place in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

In 1948 a faith healer called Greet Hofmans was appointed to treat Princess Christina, who had been born partially blind. In the years that followed her influence over Queen Juliana became considerable. In 1956, to avoid a constitutional crisis, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard agreed to the investigation of Hofmans and her activities, leading to the appointment of the Beel Commission. As a result of the Commission's findings, Queen Juliana was forced to break all contact with Hofmans. In 2005 Queen Beatrix, as Chair of the Board of the House of Orange-Nassau Archives Trust, granted Professor Cees Fasseur access to Princess Juliana's personal archives while he was researching his book on the conflict.