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Netherlands: Royal transitions reflect rising national unity
by Global Good News staff writer

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15 May 2013

In Holland, Queen's Day has been a national holiday since the late 19th century, celebrating the official birthday of the monarch.

Queen's Day, 30 April, had special significance this year, as the Netherlands gained a new king and queen (the occasion will now be known as King's Day). Willem-Alexander was sworn in as the first Dutch king in more than 120 years after his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated the throne, ending 33 years as the country's monarch. News reports in Holland and around the world noted that, in contrast to previous occasions, this transition of power was completely peaceful, with millions of Dutch people celebrating throughout the country. The new king and his wife, Queen Maxima, are very popular, and he is known as being close to the people.

'I want to be a king who is first of all traditional, built on the tradition of my predecessors, who stands for continuity and also for stability in the country . . . but also a king who in the 21st century can bind together and represent society as a whole.' He also said, 'I want to establish ties, make connections and exemplify what unites us, the Dutch people.'

It is often noted that, at 46 the youngest monarch in Europe, King Willem-Alexander represents the 21st century thinking of a younger generation; it is anticipated that he will breathe new life into the dignity of being the royal leader.

Dr Paul Gelderloos, director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Holland, commented on the remarkable nature of this peaceful transition, referring to a principle brought out by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, that the role of a monarch is to unify his people, and to be above the divisions and quarrels of parties or factions.

One of the traditions of Queen's Day has been that Dutch citizens who have made a major contribution to society are recognized by the monarch, becoming Members of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Orde van Oranje-Nassau). The Order was founded in 1892 by Queen Emma.

This year, for the first time, a teacher of Transcendental Meditation was among those selected to receive the honour. The recipient, Rien Calis, age 74, is a lifelong music teacher and the organist and choir director for St Joseph Church and the Church of the Good Shepherd. This honour is given to Dutch citizens who 'deserve appreciation and recognition from society for the special way in which they have carried out their activities'. For Mr Calis, these activities, as announced publicly, included being a Transcendental Meditation teacher (a news article noted that he completed the rigorous training course at age 70).

Over the years Maharishi's programmes to create an ideal quality of life and invincible, permanent peace have been implemented in the Netherlands, with increasing numbers of people learning Transcendental Meditation and practising its advanced techniques together in coherence-creating groups in recent years.

As demonstrated in these current events, Dr Gelderloos commented, Dutch society seems to be reflecting rising unity, harmony, and positivity in the collective consciousness, predicted by Maharishi to develop naturally with the rise of invincibility in a nation.

Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service

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