Claus was born in northern Germany. He spent part of his childhood in Tanzania, and later returned to Africa as a diplomat. After his marriage he continued to work in international development.
Beatrix and Claus first met in 1962. Their relationship began a few years later. After they were photographed together they decided to announce their engagement. The couple married in 1966.
Prince Claus’ health gradually deteriorated in the late 1990s and he died in 2002 at the age of 76.