On Sunday, Holland’s Queen Beatrix was at the Monument of the East Indies in The Hague to commemorate 65 years after Japan surrendered the East Indies, which were then Dutch colonies.
Her Majesty, along with Prime Minister Jan Balkenende and representatives of the East Indies community laid wreaths at the monument. Several thousand people also gathered to mark the occasion.
At the memorial was singer Boudewijn de Groot, who was born in a Japanese prison camp in the former Dutch East Indies. He read a poem and sang the song, “Behind Glass.”
A student of the Liberal Christian High School, a school close to the monument, told about the respect and admiration he has for the Dutch who were in the Japanese internment camps. He spoke of their survival and how, after the war, “the broken pieces” of their lives were picked up.
During the Japanese occupation of Dutch East Indies, 100,000 Dutch spent four years in concentration camps. About 13,000 died during that time period.
Sources: De Telegraaf, RTLNieuws
The only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 60th birthday Sunday, and she made it clear she has no intention of slowing down.
“Will I slow down? Look around at my family. It is unlikely,” Princess Anne said in a recent interview with the BBC.
“Look around at the members of my family who are considerably older than me and tell me whether you think they have set an example which suggests that I might. Some of it is in the genes.”
Princess Anne is known for being the hardest working of the Queen’s children by being patron to about 200 of charities and doing hundreds of engagements each year. In 2009, she carried out 600 appearances.
Although she is officially known as the Princess Royal, Anne is famous for her no-nonsense personality. Rather than looking glamorous at her official events, the Princess is known for being down-to-earth in appearance. She also gave her children, Peter, 33, and Zara, 29, as normal of an upbringing as possible in which they do not have royal titles. They are simply known as Peter and Zara Philips.
“Her advice generally about life has been invaluable. Whenever we may have got slightly above our station she’d be the first one to bring us back down to earth fairly hard,” Peter told the BBC.
Zara added: “I would like to be as good a mother as she has been to us.”
Princess Anne is also a keen equestrian, having competed in the 1976 Olympics and is a member of the International Olympic Committee. Her daughter is following in her horse riding footsteps by aiming for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Anne married Lieutenant Mark Philips in 1973 but divorced in him 19 years later. She is now married to naval captain now Vice-Admiral Tim Laurence.
There will be no fanfare for the Princess’ milestone birthday. Instead, she is expected to celebrate it with Laurence at home.
But in December, Princess Anne has something to look forward to: she will become a grandmother when son Peter’s wife, Autumn, gives birth to their first child.
Sources: AP, ITN