Princess Margriet and her husband, Pieter van Vollenhoven celebrate their Golden Wedding today. The couple were married on 10 January 1967 at St James’ Church in The Hague after being engaged just under two years. They had met while they were both studying at Leiden University, which is the oldest University in The Netherlands having been founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange. The University is popular with the Dutch Royal Family, in addition to Princess Margriet, her mother Queen Juliana and elder sister Queen Beatrix in addition to her nephew, King Willem-Alexander all attended.
The couple have both worked very hard for the Netherlands throughout their marriage by both carrying out visits on behalf of the Dutch Royal Family. Pieter van Vollenhoven was initially appointed Chairman of the Road Transportation Safety Board and he took charge of the Dutch Safety Board in 2005 until he retired in 2011. Barry Sweedler (of the US National Transportation Safety Board) said of him: “The world is a safer place because of your work and leadership.”
Princess Margriet has carried out numerous visits on behalf of the Dutch Royal Family and she is very interested in health and cultural causes. Between 1984 and 2007, she was President of the European Cultural Federation and is an Honorary member of the Board of the International Paralympic Committee and between 1987 and 2011, she was vice-president of the Dutch Red Cross. Some of her visits take her back to her country of birth, Canada, as she was born in Ottawa whilst the Dutch Royal Family were there during World War II. The labour ward was temporarily declared to be extraterritorial during the royal birth, so that Princess Margriet would not have a double nationality.
The couple have four sons, Princes’ Maurits, Bernhard, Pieter-Christaan and Floris all of whom are married and between them have given Pieter and Princess Margriet eleven grandchildren.