Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Christening Of A Princess

I start today with a view of the main entrance at St. Andrew's; this also features the flag of Canada and St. Andrew's cross.

This takes in the length of the sanctuary, culminating in the organ on the balcony. It's light inside, and there were people going in and about, with members of the congregation on hand to answer questions. One woman was of particular help with a wealth of information.

I mentioned yesterday that Queen Juliana worshiped here when she lived in the city as an exiled princess during the War. She gave birth to her third daughter Margriet, and the baby was baptized in the church. The service was recorded and aired to the Netherlands, still under German occupation at the time. Much of the service, therefore, was in Dutch. It was hoped that the baby might make a sound, but the infant was quiet throughout the service.

This photograph was taken by the portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh, during the service. Queen Wilhelmina can be seen at the center, with the Prime Minister of the time, William Lyon Mackenzie King behind her. The princesses Irene and Beatrix are between Wilhelmina and their mother Juliana, holding the baby Beatrix, with her husband Prince Bernhard to her left. 

Karsh also took this photograph outside on the front steps, and it was given to the church. It's much less formal than his usual photographs, and features the major players of the occasion all looking in other directions but at the camera. Queen Wilhelmina can be seen looking back as if trying to get things organized- this was a Queen, after all, used to giving orders- while the baby seems contentedly asleep. Margriet has returned to Canada on numerous occasions in the decades since, as have other members of the Dutch Royal Family. St. Andrew's always welcomes them back.

This wooden lectern was given to the congregation by Juliana at the war's end in thanks for their hospitality. It features the four Apostles below, and the coat of arms of the Dutch Royal Family along its side.

I leave you with a closeup of the coat of arms.


  1. Great post, William. I especially love your first two photos.

  2. What a well behaved baby not making a sound... ;-)

  3. You have so many fascinating churches!
    I like the closeup of the coat of arms.

  4. interesting. fine photos

    Don’t underestimate value of Doing Nothing, just going along, listening to things you can’t hear, & not bothering ~Winnie the Pooh

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= <3

  5. Wonderful shots again, William, it's nice to see the Dutch Royal Familiy is still honoured in that church. I love those old photos.

  6. What a lovely and meaningful gift!

  7. What a nice post about our Royal Family. Princess Margriet is one of our nicest members of the family, she married no prince, but just a dutchman and created a loving family with 4 sons. She has a warm heart and has reached a high position in the "Red Cross". Now she is retired and has lots of grandchildren.
    She was born two days after my sister. My mother told me when she was in hospital, the nurses came to tell everyone that a princes was born in Canada. So nice to see the church and the photos.

  8. I feel like I am there - great shots!

  9. This is a wonderful moment in history. I'm not sure most people know about the Dutch-Canadian connection, but it's a nice one. And it's also nice when you have well-informed volunteers at Doors Open!

  10. A baby's baptism or dedication is always a very special occasion. Beautiful!

  11. @Linda: thank you!

    @Ciel: not so much as a peep!

    @Karl: it is fine craftmanship.

    @Cloudia: thank you!

    @Jan: the Karsh photos have character.

    @Revrunner: and a lasting one.

    @Bieb: the connections between our countries remains as strong as ever.

    @Hilary: thank you.

    @Halcyon: my family is from a Dutch background so I grew up with that awareness.

    @Norma: it certainly is special.

  12. Interesting history I knew nothing about, thank you!

  13. An interesting story and some beautiful wood carvings!

  14. Lots of history commemorated in this church.

  15. I so approve of your getting the news out that Canada was the place the Dutch Royal Family came to during the Second World War.

  16. @Merisi: you're welcome.

    @Tex: it cdertainly is.

    @VP: I did like the carvings.

    @Sharon: the congregation is as old as the city.

    @Luis: you're welcome.

    @EG: it is a touch of history many wouldn't know about.

  17. I'm sure Julianna was grateful for the hospitality Canada gave her during the war. So nice her daughter was born here.

  18. oh i just love the woodwork on the podium ... what a master craftsman who made that. my Grandpa would be amazed. ( :

  19. Lovely to see and read this post about our royal family, William. The church is so beautiful!

  20. i would really love to hear that organ!

  21. It is a wonderful structure full of history and memories. Thanks for all that information. Who knew?

  22. Some days I was gone, and so many new topics for watching and reading.
    On Friday, I'm leaving again for a week. I do not know, when I catch up.

  23. This is a beautiful church, William, but after two weeks in Russia, I am just about beautiful churched out. The tour operators have a phrase, ABC: "another beautiful church."

  24. @Lauren: thanks!

    @Cheryl: it's a nice legacy from the War.'

    @Beth: it took great care to craft it, that's for sure.

    @Marleen: thank you!

    @Tanya: I've heard it before. It fills the sanctuary beautifully.

    @Lowell: you're welcome!

    @RedPat: thanks!

    @Mariusz: see you when you get back!

    @Jack: I can imagine!

  25. Thank you for this great story. That lectern is very handsome.

  26. Great post William! I love posts with both great photos and narrative. If it's historical in nature, I like it even more. This is one of those posts! Thanks...

  27. Wonderful post so full of history.Great images. MB

  28. Beautiful, both inside and out. Great details too.

  29. What an interesting and storied history!

  30. @Hilda: you're welcome.

    @Elaine: I've always thought so.

    @Pat: you're most welcome!

    @MB: thank you!

    @Jose: thanks!

    @Kay: there's so much of history here.