Connected with the University
Many members of the Royal Family have studied at Leiden University and several have been awarded an honorary doctorate.
In 1987, Prince Willem-Alexander followed in the academic footsteps of his mother Beatrix, his aunt Margriet and his grandmother Juliana, and started his History studies in Leiden. In 1993, he graduated based on a thesis on the French exit from NATO's integrated command structure, and the way the Netherlands responded to this.
'I found History really interesting. In addition I followed courses that focused on my future, such as state law, European law and economics. I'm already very aware that what I learned in my studies is enormously useful,' he said in an interview with alumni magazine Leidraad in 1995 (text in Dutch). His brother Constantijn and nephew Floris, Princess Margriet's son, also chose to study in Leiden.
Leiden University has bestowed honorary doctorates on the three Queens: Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix. Queen Beatrix received her honorary doctorate in 2005 for her commitment to freedom of speech. In his eulogy, then Rector Magnificus Douwe Breimer praised the way in which the royal honorary doctor had shown throughout her 25-year reign that freedom comes with responsibility. In her speech, the Queen concluded that her éducation permanente started at Leiden University.
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