United Kingdom and Ireland
Main article: Elevenses
In everyday life, many Britons take a much simpler refreshment consisting of tea (and occasionally
is a snack
that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning. It is generally less savoury than brunch, and might consist of some cake or biscuits with a cup of coffee or tea.
Afternoon tea / low tea
or low tea
is a small meal snack typically eaten between 4pm and 6pm. Observance of the custom originated amongst the wealthy classes in England
in the 1840s. Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford
, is widely credited as transforming afternoon tea (or low tea) in England into a late-afternoon meal whilst visiting Belvoir Castle
, thoughCharles II of England
's wife Catherine of Braganza
is often credited with introducing tea to the court upon her arrival in 1662. By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea or low tea had developed into its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes: "the table was laid...there were the best things with a fat pink rose on the side of each cup; hearts of lettuce, thin bread and butter, and the crisp little cakes that had been baked in readiness that morning."
Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot
and served with milk and sugar. The sugar and caffeine of the concoction provided fortification against afternoon doldrums for the working poor of 19th and early 20th century England who had a significantly lower calorie count and more physically demanding occupation than most Westerners today. For laborers, the tea was sometimes accompanied by a small sandwich or baked snack (such as scones) that had been packed for them in the morning. For the more privileged, afternoon tea was accompanied by luxury ingredient sandwiches
, fish paste, ham
, and smoked salmon
(with clotted cream
and jam, see cream tea
) and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg cake
, fruit cake
or Victoria sponge
). In hotels and tea shops the food is often served on a tiered stand; there may be no sandwiches, but bread or scones with butter or margarine and optional jam or other spread, or toast, muffins orcrumpets
For much of the twentieth century, methods of preparing and serving afternoon tea were the subject of much snobbery. In a letter to Nancy Mitford, a social commentator and great satirist of upper class behavior, the author Evelyn Waugh mentions a mutual friend who uses the expression 'rather milk in first' to express condemnation of those lower down the social scale. This expression was used by the Georgian and Victorian elite to deride their middle-class governesses for the practice of pouring milk into the cup first, dubbing them "milk-in-first misses." In the British film Gosford Park
the tension is depicted as continuing to exist; Lady Sylvia McCordle sneers at the police Inspector Thomson for putting the "milk in first" and in the film he quickly realises how the act demonstrates his social "inferiority" and becomes embarrassed. Nowadays the 'milk in first or tea in first' debate is altogether more light-hearted, but nonetheless everyone has his or her preferred method of making tea.
, whose books on home economics
were widely read in the 19th century, describes afternoon teas of various kinds: the old-fashioned tea, the at-home tea, the family tea and the high tea and provides menus. Nowadays, a formal afternoon tea is often taken as a treat in a hotel
or tea shop
. Most high quality hotels in Britain serve afternoon tea, sometimes in a palm court, and more recently have offered the option of champagne instead of tea.
Tactful, and careful to operate within the limits of what was expected by the Dutch people and their elected representatives, the strong-willed Wilhelmina became a forceful personality who spoke and acted her mind. These qualities showed up early in her reign when, at the age of 20, Queen Wilhelmina ordered a Dutch warship to South Africa to rescue Paul Kruger
, the embattled President of the Transvaal
Wilhelmina had a stern dislike of the United Kingdom, which had annexed the republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State
in the Boer War
. The Boers
were descendants of early Dutch colonists, to whom Wilhelmina felt very closely linked. Nevertheless, in 1940, King George VI sent the warship HMS Hereward
, to rescue Wilhelmina, her family and her Government and bring them to safety in the UK, which offered the Netherlands facilities including broadcasting time on the BBC.
Queen Wilhelmina also had a keen understanding of business matters and her investments made her the world's richest woman, a status retained by her daughter, Juliana
, and by her granddaughter, Queen Beatrix
Before the First World War started, the young Wilhelmina visited the powerful German Emperor Wilhelm II
, who boasted to the Queen of a relatively small country, "my guards are seven feet tall and yours are only shoulder-high to them." Wilhelmina smiled politely and replied, "Quite true, Your Majesty, your guards are seven feet tall. But when we open our dikes
, the water is ten feet deep!"
World War I
The Netherlands remained neutral during World War I
. However, the Allies
included the Netherlands in their blockade of Germany, intercepting all Dutch ships and severely restricting Dutch imports to ensure goods could not be passed on to Germany.
Wilhelmina was a "soldier's queen"; being a woman, she could not be Supreme Commander, but she nevertheless used every opportunity she had to inspect her forces. On many occasions she appeared without prior notice, wishing to see the reality, not a prepared show. She loved her soldiers, and was very unhappy with most of her governments, which were always eager to cut the military budget. Wilhelmina wanted a small but well trained and equipped army.
In the war, she felt she was a "Queen-On-Guard". She was always wary of a German attack, especially in the beginning. However, the chief violation of Dutch sovereignty was the Allied blockade.
Civil unrest gripped the Netherlands after the war, spurred by the 1917 Bolshevik revolution
leader Pieter Jelles Troelstra
wanted to abolish the existing government and the monarchy. Instead of a violent revolution, he hoped to do this by winning control of Parliament
in an election, supported by the working class. However, the popularity of the young Queen helped restore confidence in the government. Wilhelmina brought about a mass show of support by riding with her daughter through the crowds in an open carriage.
At the end of World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm fled to the Netherlands, where he was granted political asylum, partly owing to his family links with Queen Wilhelmina. In response to Allied efforts to get their hands on the deposed Kaiser, Wilhelmina called the Allies' ambassadors to her presence and lectured them on the rights of asylum.
Between the wars
During the 1920s and 1930s, the Netherlands began to emerge as an industrial power. Engineers reclaimed vast amounts of land that had been under water by building theZuiderzee Works
. In 1934, both Wilhelmina's mother Queen Emma
and her husband, Prince Hendrik
The interbellum, and most notably the economic crisis of the 1930s, was also the period in which Wilhelmina's personal power reached its zenith; under the successive governments of a staunch monarchist prime minister, Hendrik Colijn
), Wilhelmina was deeply involved in most questions of state.
In 1939, Colijn's fifth and last government was swept away by a vote of no confidence two days after its formation. It is widely accepted that Wilhelmina herself was behind the formation of this last government, which was designed to be an extra-parliamentary or 'royal' cabinet. The Queen was deeply skeptical of the parliamentary system and tried to bypass it covertly more than once.
She also arranged the marriage of her daughter Juliana to Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
, a German aristocrat. Although it was claimed that he was initially a supporter of the Nazi
regime, no hard evidence of this has ever been found or publicized. The prince however, was a member of the Nazi Party and of the so-called Reiter-SS
(SS Cavalry Corps), as was proved by the Dutch national institute for war documentation, NIOD
In 1939, the government proposed a refugee camp for German Jews fleeing the Nazi regime. Wilhelmina intervened, as she felt the planned location was "too close" to her summer residence. The camp was finally erected about 10 km from the village of Westerbork
World War II
On 10 May 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands
. Queen Wilhelmina had wanted to stay in the Netherlands: she had planned to go to the southern province of Zeeland
with her troops in order to coordinate further resistance from the town of Breskens
and remain there until help arrived, much as King Albert I of Belgium
had done during World War I. She fled The Hague, and she boarded HMS Hereward
, a British destroyer which was to take her south; however, after she was aboard, Zeeland came under heavy attack from the Luftwaffe
and it was considered too dangerous to return. Wilhelmina was then left with no option but to accept George VI's offer of refuge. She retreated to Britain
, planning to return as soon as possible.
The Dutch armed forces in the Netherlands, apart from those in Zeeland, surrendered on 15 May. In Britain, Queen Wilhelmina took charge of the Dutch government in exile
, setting up a chain of command and immediately communicating a message to her people.
Relations between the Dutch government and the Queen were tense, with mutual dislike growing as the war progressed. Wilhelmina went on to be the most prominent figure, owing to her experience and knowledge. She was also very popular and respected among the leaders of the world. The government did not have a parliament to back them and had few employees to assist them. The Dutch prime minister, Dirk Jan de Geer
, believed the Allies would not win and intended to open negotiations with the Nazis for a separate peace. Therefore Wilhelmina sought to remove De Geer from power. With the aid of a minister, Pieter Gerbrandy
, she succeeded.
During the war her photograph was a sign of resistance against the Germans. Like Winston Churchill
, Queen Wilhelmina broadcast messages to the Dutch people over Radio Oranje
The Queen called Adolf Hitler
"the arch-enemy of mankind". Her late-night broadcasts were eagerly awaited by her people, who had to hide in order to listen to them illegally. An anecdote published in her New York Times
obituary illustrates how she was valued by her subjects during this period:
Although celebration of the Queen’s birthday was forbidden by the Nazis, it was commemorated nevertheless. When churchgoers in the small fishing town ofHuizen
rose and sang one verse of the Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassauwe,
on the Queen’s birthday, the town paid a fine of 60,000 guilders.
Queen Wilhelmina visited the United States from 24 June to 11 August 1942 as guest of the U.S. government. She vacationed in Lee, Massachusetts, and visited New York City, Boston, and Albany, New York. She addressed the U.S. Congress on 5 August 1942, and was the first queen to do so.
Queen Wilhelmina went to Canada in 1943 to attend the christening of her grandchild Princess Margriet
on 29 June 1943 in Ottawa and stayed awhile with her family before returning to England.
During the war, the Queen was almost killed by a bomb that took the lives of several of her guards and severely damaged her country home near South Mimms
in England. In 1944, Queen Wilhelmina became only the second woman to be inducted into the Order of the Garter
. Churchill described her as the only real man among the governments-in-exile in London.
In England, she developed ideas about a new political and social life for the Dutch after the liberation. She wanted a strong cabinet formed by people active in the resistance. She dismissed De Geer during the war and installed a prime minister with the approval of other Dutch politicians. The Queen "hated" politicians, instead stating a love for the people. When the Netherlands was liberated in 1945 she was disappointed to see the same political factions taking power as before the war. Before the end of the war, in mid-March 1945, she travelled to the Allied occupied areas of the south of the Netherlands, visiting the region of Walcheren
and the city of Eindhoven
where she received a rapturous welcome from the local population.
Following the end of World War II, Queen Wilhelmina made the decision not to return to her palace but to move into a mansion in The Hague, where she lived for eight months. She travelled through the countryside to motivate people, sometimes using a bicycle instead of a car. However, in 1947, while the country was still recovering from World War II, the revolt in the oil-rich Dutch East Indies
saw sharp criticism of the Queen by the Dutch economic elite.
Around the same time, Wilhelmina's health started failing her. Bad health caused her to cede her monarchial duties to her daughter Juliana temporarily towards the end of 1947 (October 14 through December 1). She considered abdication but Juliana pressed her to stay on for the stability of the nation, urging her to complete 60 years on the throne. Wilhelmina tried to comply, but exhaustion forced her to relinquish monarchial duties again on May 12, 1948. The timing was unfortunate, as it left Juliana (as regent) to deal with the early elections caused by the ceding of the Indonesian colonies.
Wilhelmina kept her promise to her daughter, remaining on the throne until September 4. Then, being extremely disappointed about the return to pre-war politics, she abdicated.
As of 1948, Wilhelmina was the only survivor of the 16 European kings and one queen who were sitting on their thrones at the time of her coronation in 1898. TheDutch Royal Family
was also one of seven European royal houses remaining in existence.
On 4 September 1948, after a reign of 57 years and 286 days, Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana
, because of advancing age and illness which had already caused two regencies
, and the strain of the war years. She was thenceforward styled "Her Royal Highness Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands". After her reign, the influence of the Dutch monarchy began to decline but the country's love for its royal family continued. No longer queen, Wilhelmina retreated to Het Loo Palace
, making few public appearances until the country was devastated by the North Sea flood of 1953
. Once again she travelled around the country to encourage and motivate the Dutch people.
During her last years she wrote her autobiography entitled Eenzaam, maar niet alleen
(Lonely but Not Alone), in which she gave account of the events in her life, and revealed her strong religious feelings and motivations.
Wilhelmina died in Het Loo Palace
at the age of 82 on 28 November 1962, and was buried in the Dutch Royal Family crypt in the Nieuwe Kerk
, on 8 December. The funeral was, at her request and contrary to protocol, completely in white to give expression to her belief that earthly death was the beginning of eternal life