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Fellow (1 February 2000 - 30 June 2000)
The purpose of my stay at NIAS was to finish the second and last volume of a biography of Queen Wilhelmina, the grandmother of the present queen. Her long reign (fifty years) from 1898 tot 1948 made her a pivotal figure in the history of the Netherlands during the first half of the twentieth century. The first volume (published early 1998 after a previous stay at NIAS in 1996/97) ended in 1918 at the end of the First World War. The second volume, that covers the rest of her life, deals in particular with the war years (1940-1945), when Wilhelmina was head of a government in exile in England. Among other things the Queen's (personal) relationship with her allies (Churchill and Roosevelt) have been described extensively but also the strained relationship that existed between her and the cabinet during the war years. The Central theme of the book (and also of Volume 1) was the role and the influence of the constitutional king in a parliamentary democracy like the Netherlands. This is still a point of much interest, as the recent discussion in this country on the subject of the role of the monarchy in politics has shown.
I was so fortunate to finish my book at the end of June within the term of my stay at NIAS. It will be published by early 2001, three years after the first volume.
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