Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It's all the talk of Dutch media this week, but 52-year old news. It's about a political and royal scandal surrounding the role of Greet Hofmans, a faith healer, who became a confidante of then Queen Juliana and
sparked a marital crisis at Soestdijk Palace. Prince Bernhard leaked the story to the German press to force the Dutch government to take action and remove a potential threat to the monarchy. However, it took a second government commission as well as threats against the life of Greet Hofmans by former resistance fighters to persuade the queen to break all ties to the controversial faith healer.

There was talk of divorce and betrayal. What's been revealed this week were the death threats.

However, Juliana never stopped loving Bernhard, and the unSaintly Bernhard never stopped loving himself. The couple remained married for almost seventy years. I recall an interview with royal correspondent, Maartje van Weegen, where Juliana grabbed Bernhard's knee and asked, "We didn't do that bad, did we?" After the abdication in 1980, the couple seemed to become closer and had a mutual admiration for each other, despite Juliana's worsening Alzheimers. has a background article on the Hofmans case here

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