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    Queen Beatrix

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    January 31, 1938 —

    Our long quest for finding Jewish European nobility is over... And how!

    We selected Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for this profile, but we could have had our pick of the litter. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. King Constantine II of Greece (deposed. Still thinks he hold the title). And a bunch of others: grand dukes, princes, etc, etc, etc.

    How so? Well, it all starts with Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, who we recently profiled. Velazquez's father, Juan Rodriguez da Silva, was Jewish, but he was forced to convert to Christianity.

    So what, you say? What does a 17th century artist have to do with today's royalty? A lot, it turns out.

    Velazquez had a daughter, Francesca. And she had a daughter, Maria Teresa. And she had... well, you get the picture. At some point, the descendants crossed from Spain to Germany, marrying into aristocracy. A couple of centuries later, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands married Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, Velasquez's great-great-(we'll count the greats later)-grandchild. From that union, Beatrix was born.

    So exactly how Jewish is the Dutch Queen? Well... the last full-blooded Jew in her line is Velazquez's father, who is Beatrix's 12-great-grandfather. So, according by our calculations, she's 1/214, or 1/16384, or .006% Jewish.

    Now, one might say that that fraction is not exactly a ringing endorsement of anyone's Jewishness. And we wouldn't necessarily disagree. But Jewish blood is Jewish blood. Even if it's not enough to fail a breathalyzer.

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    July 20, 2009

    See Also

    Catherine I

    Queen Elizabeth II

    Queen Marau

    Kate Middleton

    Diego Velazquez
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