Dries van Agt had a ‘difficult relationship’ with Queen Beatrix

Former Prime Minister Dries van Agt (CDA) who died on Monday had a “difficult relationship” with then Queen Beatrix. He said this in an interview with Jeroen Pauw recorded for the program in 2015 The last word that aired Friday evening. “I had, I may not say a difficult, but still a somewhat difficult relationship with Queen Beatrix,” said Van Agt. “I have to guess why I did not become minister of state.”

But he thinks it had to do with the riots during the coronation of Queen Beatrix. “I cannot escape the suspicion that I am to blame for the serious disruption of the day of the new majesty, the coronation day of April 30, 1980, which was largely destroyed by the hassle of ‘no home, no coronation’,” he said. “I was responsible for the government that should have made that happen better.” Van Agt says he disagrees with this and later never heard a direct accusation about it.

Bad criticism of formateur

He thinks that another “incident” also played a role in not appointing him as minister of state. That was his open criticism of formateur De Gaay Fortman during the cabinet formation of 1981, when the Van Agt II cabinet was formed of CDA, PvdA and D66, which he actually did not like. “I am almost certain that she blamed me for that,” Van Agt told Pauw. “And I think rightly so, I have to be honest about that.” He was told that Beatrix was displeased about this. “That takes a detour, the Queen’s cabinet is such a detour.”

Also read
Former Prime Minister Dries van Agt: a politician who puts things into perspective in turbulent years

In a reaction Upon his death, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix announced on Friday that Van Agt deserves “great appreciation” for “his commitment to our country and for maintaining connections in our society” and that he “with his striking personality and colorful style inspired many”.

Van Agt: I was nothing special

Looking back on his political career, Dries van Agt called himself “an intermediate figure” and “nothing special” at the end of the conversation with Jeroen Pauw. He was, in his own words, “the umpteenth in a very long line of people who have once been Prime Minister of this country.” […] and I wasn’t the worst, but I wasn’t the best either by a long shot.”