Queen of the Netherlands

In the first year of her reign, it was principally the Indonesian question that claimed Queen Juliana's attention. In 1949 she signed the documents transferring sovereignty to Indonesia in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

On 15 December 1954 Queen Juliana gave her assent to the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which formed the basis for cooperation between the three remaining parts of the Kingdom: the Netherlands, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. Suriname became an independent republic on 25 November 1975 after the Queen signed the Act transferring sovereignty to the Republic of Suriname.

Queen Juliana was closely involved in the formation of the Drees, Beel, De Quay, Marijnen, Cals, Zijlstra, De Jong, Biesheuvel, Den Uyl and Van Agt governments. As Head of State, she was a fervent supporter of international cooperation and European integration.

Social issues

In the night of 31 January 1953, the provinces of Zeeland and South Holland were hit by disastrous floods. Queen Juliana did all in her power to obtain international aid, and she visited the disaster area for days at a time.

During her reign, Queen Juliana showed a very great interest in social issues. She made frequent visits to hospitals, convalescent centres, sanatoria, homes for the elderly and children's homes. On the international front, she was particularly interested in the problems of developing countries, the refugee problem and child welfare throughout the world.

In 1966, at the opening of the General Assembly of the International Union for Child Welfare (known in the Netherlands as the Children's Aid Scheme), Queen Juliana launched a new project entailing studies of child care and protection methods which could be applied on a broad scale as part of local or regional development plans.

The Queen also provided financial and material support. When she and Prince Bernhard celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 1962, they donated both land and funds to facilitate the establishment of youth centres throughout the Netherlands. On her Silver Jubilee in 1973, she presented the large sum of money that had been raised by the National Silver Jubilee Committee to organisations for children in need throughout the world. Queen Juliana decided that the gift from the nation which she received on her seventieth birthday in 1979 should be donated to the International Year of the Child.

The Queen gave her name to the Queen Juliana Foundation, later renamed the Juliana Welfare Fund. The aim of the Fund, which merged with the Orange Fund on 27 June 2002, is to improve social welfare and encourage social cohesion.

In recognition of her services to society, Queen Juliana was awarded an honorary doctorate in the social sciences at Groningen University in 1964.

Science and culture

Queen Juliana closely followed developments in science and the arts, in particular in the visual arts, the theatre and literature. She took a great personal interest in the allocation of the annual Royal Award for Painting. She frequently visited exhibitions and attended the theatre both at home and abroad.

The Queen's birthday on 30 April was always celebrated with a parade of flowers at Soestdijk Palace.