Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Jonkheer of Amsberg was born on September 6, 1926 and died on October 6, 2002 at the age of 76 . He was a German-born aristocrat who became the husband of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands at a wedding ceremony held on 10th March 1966. Upon his marriage he became HRH Prince Claus of the Netherlands. His parents were Claus Felix Friedrich Leopold Gabriel Archim Julius August von Amsberg and Gösta Julie Adelheid Marion Marie Baroness von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen. His father operated a large farm in Tanganyika from 1928 until World War II. Claus and his six sisters grew up at their grandparents' manor in Lower Saxony. Claus also attended a boarding school in Tanzania from 1936 to 1938 and the Baltenschule Misdroy from 1938 until 1942. Prince Claus and Queen Beatrix' three sons are: Prince Willem-Alexander in 1967, Prince Johan Friso in 1968 and Prince Constantijn in 1969.
The Queen and Prince Claus took an interest in important events in the Netherlands and kept themselves fully informed of social and economic developments in the country and the concerns of its people. They regularly visited the provinces. During these working visits, Prince Claus devoted particular attention to technological innovation and music. He was also interested in the preservation of historic buildings, nature conservation, the environment and urban and regional planning. He frequently visited public utility organizations, commercial and industrial enterprises, companies in the agriculture and fisheries sector, and organizations in the commercial sector.
In 1984, Prince Claus accepted four new posts in addition to his post of Special Adviser on Development Cooperation. In the same year, he became Inspector-General for Development Cooperation, member of the Board of Directors of both De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. and Royal PTT Nederland, and Chair of the Transport and Public Works Export Platform until 1998.
To mark Prince Claus's seventieth birthday, the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development was established at the initiative of the Dutch government. The objective of the Fund is to enhance understanding of cultures and to promote interaction between culture and development. Prince Claus occupied the post of Honorary Chair.
Prince Claus was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in 1988. Prince Claus was held in very high esteem in the international development cooperation community, partly because of his considerable insight and understanding of the problems involved, and partly because of his exceptional gift for expressing the hopes and anxieties felt by all.