News of: Tuesday, February 08 2005,
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has today been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Leiden.
She received the doctorate for the fact that, since her accession to the throne almost 25 years ago, she has continued to give freedom a central role in the excercise of her duties.
According to prof. dr. D. Breimer, rector magnificus of the Leiden University, she teaches that it is important to fight for your own freedom, as well as the freedom of others.
The city of Leiden (about 25 miles south of Amsterdam) was today the background of a century old ceremony, which belongs to the 'Dies Natalis', date of foundation, of the university, today 430 years ago. Part of the ceremony is the walk to the Pieterskerk Church by a parade of University officials and professors, where the doctorate was handed to the Queen.
The procedure took place in the church, in the presence of many international guests, royal family members, and representatives of the government.
The Leiden University is traditionally linked to the Royal Family; Queen Juliana and Queen Wilhelmina also received honorary doctorates here, and most crown princes and princesses follow their studies here. The university was founded in 1575 by William of Orange, the forefather of Queen Beatrix.
Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill are among the persons who previously were awarded the honorary doctorate.
More on the history of the university.