Klaus-Georg Wilhelm Otto Friedrich Gerd von Amsberg – or just Prince Claus – married Beatrix of the Netherlands, now Queen of the Netherlands, in 1966. Not everybody welcomed the German prince, but he went on to become increasingly popular.

Prisoner of war

Klaus von Amsberg grew up in Africa, where his father was working. He returned to Germany just before World War II, and was drafted into military service. But in May 1945, he was captured by the Americans and made a prisoner of war.

Lower House

The Dutch crown princess Beatrix first met Klaus at a new year's party. Their mutual interest in each other was noted in the press a few years later, and in 1965 the couple felt obliged to announce their engagement sooner than planned. However, they could only do so once a journalist, at the government's request, had shown evidence that Klaus had a clean record of behaviour in World War II.

No accent

Von Amsberg was granted Dutch nationality on 10 December. His name was changed slightly to ‘Claus George Willem Otto Frederik Geert van Amsberg' to make it more Dutch. Claus managed to win over the Dutch public with his open demeanour and by quickly learning to speak Dutch with no trace of an accent.


Prince Claus turned out to be a sincere and enterprising man, with a strong interest in development work. But in later years he struggled with poor health. He eventually succumbed to the effects of Parkinson's disease and pneumonia. Prins Claus's funeral and interral in the royal crypt in the New Church was a major public event.

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