Contact with the public

As Queen, Princess Beatrix devoted much attention to important events in the Netherlands. When a disaster occurred she expressed her sympathy with those affected and talked to the bereaved.

The Princess kept herself informed of what was going on in society. She regularly attended openings, celebrations, remembrance ceremonies and other official events.

She also regularly visited the provinces to learn of the issues that affect people at local level. During specially organised working visits, she examined issues relating to such subjects as justice, agriculture, minorities and the environment.

On 16 May 1996, the Princess was awarded the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen for her contribution to European unification. The prize was established in 1949 for distinguished service on behalf of European unification. The Princess was the third Dutch person to receive the prize. Hendrik Brugmans, who received the prize in 1951, and Joseph Luns, the 1961 prizewinner, preceded her.

The Princess has always had a keen interest in international relations, and preparations for incoming and outgoing state and foreign visits were consistently meticulous.

In 2005, she received an honorary doctorate from Leiden University in recognition of the way in which she raised the issue of the importance of individual freedom and the responsibilities that go with it.

Princess Beatrix is still patron of many organisations.