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The House of Orange-Nassau

Blason famille de Nassau
Coat of Arms of the Counts of Laurenburg and Nassau

For further reading : Lines colored in :

ORANGE = line from Dudo-Henry to William III, 1093 - 1702, straight Male succession.

YELLOW = line from Johan William Friso to King William III of the Netherlands, 1702 - 1890, straight Male succession.

PINK = line from Queen Wilhelmina to King Willem-Alexander. 1890 - present, Female succession.

Kingdom of Holland 1806-1810

France occupation by Napoleon Bonaparte 1795-1813

In 1795 the republic of Holland was annexed by France for a short period during the reign of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and was called "Batavian Republic".

Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, Prince Français, Comte de Saint-Leu 1778-1846, King of Holland 1806-1810

LouisBonaparte Holland

Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (Lodewijk Napoleon in Dutch) was born September 2, 1778), fifth surviving child and the fourth surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino, and younger brother of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France.

Napoleon made him King of Holland on June 5, 1806. though the Napoleon had intended for the younger brother to be little more than a French governor of Holland, Louis took his duties as the King seriously, calling himself Koning Lodewijk I (adopting the Dutch form of his name), attempting to learn the Dutch language, and trying hard to be a responsible, independent ruler of Holland.

Allegedly, when he first arrived in Holland, he told the people he was the Konijn van 'Olland ("rabbit of 'Olland"), rather than "Koning van Holland" ("King of Holland"), because his Dutch was not very good by then. However, his attempt at speaking the Dutch language earned him some respect from his Dutch subjects.

While in Holland, Louis Bonaparte declared that he was Dutch and renounced his French citizenship. Louis also forced his court and ministers (mostly provided by Napoleon) to speak only Dutch, and also to renounce their French Citizenships. This latter was too much for his wife Hortense who, in France at the time of his demands, refused his request.

Louis could never settle on the location for his capital city while he was in Holland. He changed capitals over a dozen times, trying Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and other places. On one occasion, after visiting the home of a wealthy Dutch merchant, he liked the place so much that he had the owner evicted so he could take up residence there. Then, Louis moved again after seven weeks. His constant moving kept the court in upheaval since they had to follow him everywhere. The European diplomatic corps went so far as to petition Bonaparte to remain in one place so they could keep up with him. This restlessness was later attributed to his alleged "lunacy".

Two major tragedies occurred during the reign of Louis Bonaparte, the explosion of a cargo ship loaded with gunpowder in the heart of the city of Leiden in 1807, and a major flood in Holland in 1809. In both instances, Louis personally and effectively oversaw local relief efforts, which helped earn him the moniker of Louis the Good.

Louis Bonaparte's reign in The Netherlands was short-lived, which was due to two factors. The first was that his brother Napoleon wanted to reduce the value of French loans from Dutch investors by two-third, meaning a serious economic blow to the Netherlands. The second factor was that became the pretext for Napoleon's demand of Louis's abdication. As Napoleon was preparing an army for his invasion of Russia, he wanted troops from the entire region under his control, the allied border Countries. This included troops from the Netherlands. Louis, confronted by his brother's demand, refused point-blank.

Napoleon then accused Louis of putting Dutch interests above those of France, and removed most of the French forces in Holland for the coming war in the east, leaving only about 9,000 garrison soldiers in the Country. Unfortunately for Louis, the English landed an army of 40,000 in 1808 in an attempt to capture Antwerp and Flushing. With Louis unable to defend his realm, France sent 80,000 militiamen and successfully repelled the invasion. Napoleon then suggested that Louis should abdicate, citing Louis's inability to protect Holland as a reason. Louis refused. Napoleon finally forcibly removed Louis from the Dutch throne and annexed the entire Kingdom of Holland on 1 July 1810.

After his Dutch kingdom was taken away from him, Louis remained in Holland for nearly three years, and he turned to writing and poetry. Louis wrote to Napoleon after the latter's defeat in Russia to request that the Dutch throne be restored to him. However, Napoleon refused. Louis finally returned to France in 1813, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Louis married on January 4, 1802, Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of the deceased general Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais and his wife Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie, who was the first wife of his brother Napoleon Bonaparte. Their marriage had been forced upon them and was rather loveless, though they supposedly consummated it often enough to produce three sons.  Hortense de Beauharnais gave birth to three sons which were officially claimed by Louis Bonaparte, despite his own doubts about their paternity:

  1. Napoleon Charles Bonaparte, born 10 November 1802, Prince Royal of Holland. When he died on 5 May 1807 at 4½ years of age, his body lay in state at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He is buried at Saint-Leu-La-Foret, Ile-de-France.
  2. Napoleon Louis Bonaparte, born 11 October 1804. Became Prince Royal of Holland on his brother's death, and was King Lodewijk II for one week between his father's abdication and the fall of Holland to Napoleon Bonaparte's invading army. Napoleon Louis Bonaparte died 17 March 1831, and his remains were buried at Saint-Leu-La-Foret, Île-de-France.
  3. Charles Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, (1808-1873). Born in Paris, he was the third and last son, and would become Emperor Napoleon III of France (1852 - 70).

He died July 25, 1846

Kingdom of The Netherlands 1815-Present

Coat of arms of the Netherlands svg

In 1815 The Netherlands became a Kingdom and consisted of :

  1. The Netherlands (Groningen, Friesland, Drente, Overijssel, Gelderland, Utrecht, North-Holland, South-Holland, Zeeland, North-Brabant and Limburg).

  2. Belgium (Wallone, Flanders, South-Limburg, South-Brabant).

  3. Luxembourg

  4. Indonesia (the same area as the present Republic of Indonesia)

  5. Suriname

  6. The Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St-Maarten and St-Eusthasius.

Willem I Frederik 1772-1843, Prince of The Netherlands 1813-1815, King of The Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg 1815-1840, Titled "Prince of Orange-Nassau"

koning willem 1William I Frederick, was born in The Hague, 24 August 1772. William I's parents were the last Stadtholder William V, Prince of Orange and his wife Wilhelmina of Prussia. Until 1813, William was known as William VI, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, Prince of Orange. In Berlin on 1 October 1791, William married his first cousin (Frederica Louisa) Wilhelmina, was the daughter of King Frederick William II of Prussia. After Wilhelmina died in 1837, William married his misstress Countess Henrietsste d'Oultremont de Wégimont (1792-1864), created Countess of Nassau, on 17 February 1841 in Berlin. This was a morganatic marriage. Two years later, William died in Berlin, 12 December 1843.

His father William V was hereditary Stadtholder when the Republic of the Seven United Provinces was invaded by the French Revolutionary armies in 1794. In January 1795 William V fled with his son to England. Unlike his father, who gave his people permission to collaborate with the French, William was a strong personality and he tried to regain the Republic.

In 1799, William landed in the current North Holland as part of an Anglo-Russian invasion. The local Dutch population was not pleased with the arrival of the Prince. Some local Orangists were even executed. After several minor battles he was forced to leave the Country again after the Convention of Alkmaar. Napoleon Bonaparte gave him some small German principalities as indemnities for the lost territories, for a short while he became ruler (as Fürst) of the principality Nassau-Orange-Fulda in Germany from 1803 until 1806. But these principalities were confiscated when Napoleon invaded Germany in 1806 and William supported his Prussian relatives. He succeeded his father as prince of Orange later that year, after William V's death.

After Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig (October, 1813), the French troops retreated to France. A provisional government was formed under the lead of some former Patriots who recalled William, in contrast to their 1785 rebellion. In their view, it was taken for granted that William would have to head any new regime, and it would be better in the long term for the Dutch to restore him themselves.

The Dutch population was pleased with the departure of the French, who had ruined the Dutch economy, and this time welcomed the prince. On 30 November 1813 William landed at Scheveningen beach, only a few metres from the place where he had left the Country with his father eighteen years previously, and on 6 December the provisional government offered him the title of King.

William refused, instead proclaiming himself "sovereign prince". He also wanted the rights of the people to be guaranteed by "a wise constitution". The constitution offered William extensive (almost absolute) powers. Ministers were only responsible to him, while a two-chambered parliament (the States-General) exercised only limited power. In 1814 he gained sovereignty over the whole of the Low Countries and was inaugurated as "sovereign prince" in Amsterdam.

Belgium part of The United Netherlands

A short history :

In 843 the area of present Belgium was divided between France and Lorraine by the grandsons of King Charles the Great. Through the Middle Ages the Counts of Flanders were liege to the French Kings. Brabant, Hainaut, Limburg and Luxemburg stayed a part of the German State.

At the end of the 14th century the Dukes of Burgundy tried to unite the "Low Countries" to get a huge state in the west of Europe. However, after the death of Duke Charles the Bold the House of Habsburg inherited the land.

The 80 years war (1568-1648) between the Spanish King Philip II and the Low Countries led to the independency of the northern part of the Low Countries as the Republic of the Seven United Provinces. The south came to the Austrian Habsburgs after 1700.

On January 11th, 1790, the States General in Brussels declared the United Belgian States independent but instead if its Independence it became a part of the French Republic in 1795 and later the French Empire (1806).

With the rise of Napoleon, French rule over Belgium became more constructive, including the revitalization of industry and (with the opening of the Schelde) the partial recovery of Antwerp as important harbor was established).

With Napoleon's fall, the great Allied powers decreed that Belgium would become a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1815 Belgium was reunited with the northern part of the Low Countries. Together they became the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The United Kingdom of the Netherlands 1815-1830

Feeling threatened by Napoleon who had escaped from Elba, William proclaimed himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands on 16 March 1815 at the urging of the powers gathered at the Congress of Vienna. His son, the future king William II, fought as a commander at the Battle of Waterloo. After Napoleon had been sent into exile, William adopted a new constitution which included much of the old constitution, such as extensive royal powers. In the same year on June, 9, William I became also the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

The States-General was divided into two chambers.

  1. The Eerste Kamer (First Chamber or Senate or House of Lords) was appointed by the King.
  2. The Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber or House of Representatives or House of Commons) was elected by the Provincial States, which were in turn chosen by census suffrage.

The 110 seats were divided equally between the North and the South (modern-day Belgium), although the population of the North (2 million) was significantly less than that of the South (3.5 million).

The constitution was accepted in the North (Netherlands), but not in the South (Belgium). The under-representation of the South was one of the causes of the Belgian Revolution. Referendum turnout was low, in the Southern provinces, but William interpreted all abstentions to be yes votes. He prepared a lavish inauguration for himself in Brussels, where he gave the people copper coins (leading to his first nickname, the Copper King).

The spearhead of King William's policies was economic progress. As he founded many trade institutions, his second nickname was the King-Merchant. In 1822, he founded the Algemeene Nederlandsche Maatschappij ter Begunstiging van de Volksvlijt, which would become one of the most important institutions of Belgium after its independence. Industry flourished, especially in the South. In 1817, he also founded three universities in the Southern provinces, such as a new University of Leuven, the University of Ghent and the University of Liège.

The Northern provinces, meanwhile, were the centre of trade, in combination with the colonies (Dutch East Indies, Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles) created great wealth for the Kingdom, however, the money flowed into the hands of Dutch directors. Only a few Belgians managed to profit from the economic growth. Feelings of economic inequity were another cause of the Belgian uprising in 1830.

Officially, a separation of church and state existed in the kingdom. However, William himself was a strong supporter of the Reformed Church. This led to resentment among the people in the South, who were Roman Catholic. William had also devised controversial language and school policies. Dutch was imposed as the official language in (the Dutch-speaking region of) Flanders; this angered French-speaking aristocrats and industrial workers. Schools throughout the Kingdom were required to instruct students in the Reformed faith and the Dutch language. Many in the South feared that the King sought to exterminate Catholicism and the French language.

Belgian uprising

In August 1830 the opera La Muette de Portici, involving the repression of Neapolitans, was staged in Brussels. Performances of this show seemed to crystallize a sense of nationalism and "Hollandophobia" in Brussels, and spread to the rest of the South.

Rioting ensued, chiefly aimed at the kingdom's unpopular justice minister, who lived in Brussels. An infuriated William responded by sending troops to repress the riots. However, the riots had spread to other Southern cities. The riots quickly became popular uprisings.

Although the Dutch King Willem I sent Crown Prince William to the south with an army but in September that army was forced to leave Brussels.

Belgium independent

On October 4th, 1830, the provisional government declared Belgium independent, and in November they choose to reject the dynasty of the Nassau-Dietz family.

After other States in the world recognized the Country as an independent state, the government looked out for a monarch. The second son of King Louis-Philippe of France, the Duke of Némours, was asked, but refused. Finally on June 4th 1831 Leopold Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was chosen. He had been married to the British Princess Charlotte, who died in childbed in 1817. The new King was welcomed in Brussels on July 21st, 1831, and on the same day he took the oath as King Leopold I.

A year after he became King Leopold I married Louise-Marie, a daughter of King Louis-Philippe of France, to secure the survival of his dynasty. She gave birth to three sons: the oldest died soon after his birth, the second became King Leopold II, and the third Philippe Count of Flanders later secured the survival of the dynasty.

Soon afterwards the Dutch tried to win back Belgium for the last time. William I sent his younger sons Prince Frederik to Belgium, leading a big army, to repress the south. Although initially victorious, the Dutch army was forced to retreat after the threat of French intervention. With the help of France, Belgium stayed independent, but lost Maastricht and a part of Luxemburg and Limburg to The Northern Netherlands. Luxembourg stayed part of The Northern Netherlands until 1890.

Until 1839 the Dutch refused to acknowledge the independency of the Belgian State. Some support for the Orange dynasty (chiefly among Flemings) persisted for years but the Dutch never regained control over Belgium again. William nevertheless continued the war for eight years until 1839.

His economic successes became overshadowed by a perceived mismanagement of the war effort. High costs of the war came to burden the Dutch economy, fueling public resentment.

In 1839, William was forced to end the war. The United Kingdom of the Netherlands was dissolved and continued as the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


Constitutional changes were initiated in 1840 because the terms which involved the United Kingdom of the Netherlands had to be removed. These constitutional changes also included the introduction of judicial ministerial responsibility. Although the policies remained uncontrolled by parliament, the prerogative was controllable now. The very conservative William could not live with these constitutional changes. This, the disappointment about the loss of Belgium and William's intention to marry his misstress Henrietssta d'Oultremont (scandalously both Belgian and Catholic) created desires about abdication. He fulfilled his desires on 7 October 1840. After his abdication he named himself King William Frederick, Count of Nassau, children of his 1st marriage :

  1. William II of The Netherlands (1792-1849)
  2. William Frederik Karel (1797-1881), married 1825 his cousin, Louise
  3. Augusta of Prussia (1808-1870). **
  4. Pauline (1800-1806).
  5. Stillborn
  6. Marianne (1810-1883), married 1830, divorced 1849 her cousin, Albert of Prussia (1809-1872). Marianne had a love affair with Johannes van Rossum (1809-1873)

** His decendents became the ancestors of the Royal family's of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

William II 1792-1849, King of The Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Duke of Limburg 1840-1849, Titled "Prince of Orange-Nassau"

William II (Willem Frederik George Lodewijk van Oranje-Nassau) (1792-1849) was born in The Hague, the son of King William I of the Netherlands and Wilhelmina, princess of Prussia. His maternal grandparents were Frederick William II of Prussia and his second wife Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt.

When William was three he and his family fled to England after allied British-Hanoverian mercenaries left the Republic and entering French troops joined the anti-orangist Patriots. William spent his youth in Berlin at the Prussian court. There he followed a military education and served in the Prussian army. Afterwards he studied at the University of Oxford.

He entered the British Army, and in 1811, as aide-de-camp to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, took part in several campaigns of the Peninsular War. He returned to the Netherlands in 1813 when his father became sovereign prince.

In 1815, William became crown prince and he took service in the army when Napoleon I of France escaped from Elba. He fought as commander of 1st English Corps at the Battle of Quatre Bras (16 June 1815) and the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815), where he was wounded. He showed personal courage and energy, but frequently displayed atrocious military judgement, leading to many heavy casualties.

On 21 February 1816 at the Chapel of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, William married Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia, youngest sister to Czar Alexander I of Russia, who arranged the marriage to seal the good relations between Imperial Russia and the Netherlands. On 17 February 1817 in Brussels, his first son Willem Alexander was born, the future King William III.

He lived in Brussels and became affiliated with the Southern industrials. In 1819, he was blackmailed over what the then Minister of Justice Van Maanen termed in a letter as his "shameful and unnatural lusts", presumably bisexuality. He may also have had a relationship with a dandy by the name of Pereira.

William II enjoyed considerable popularity in the Southern Netherlands, as well as in the Netherlands for his affability and moderation, and in 1830, on the outbreak of the Belgian revolution, he did his utmost in Brussels as a peace broker, to bring about a settlement based on administrative autonomy for the southern provinces, under the House of Orange-Nassau.

His father, William I, rejected the terms of accommodation that he had proposed; afterwards, relations with his father were tense. In April 1831, William II was military leader of the ten day campaign in Belgium which was driven back to the North by French intervention. After nine years of war peace was finally established between Belgium and the Netherlands in 1839.

On 7 October 1840, on his father's abdication, he acceded the throne as William II. Like his father he was conservative and less likely to initiate changes. He intervened less in policies than his father did. There was increased agitation for broad constitutional reform and a wider electoral franchise. And though he was personally conservative and no democrat, he acted with sense and moderation.

The Revolutions of 1848 broke out all over Europe. In Paris the Bourbon-Orléans monarchy fell. William became afraid of revolution in Amsterdam. One morning he woke up and said: "I changed from conservative to liberal in one night". He gave orders to Johan Rudolf Thorbecke to create a new constitution which included that the Eerste Kamer (Senate) would be elected indirectly by the Provincial States and that the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) would be elected directly. Electoral system changed into census suffrage in electoral districts (in 1917 census suffrage was replaced by common suffrage for all men, and districts were replaced by party lists of different political parties), whereby royal power decreased sharply. That constitution is still in effect today. He swore in the first parliamentary cabinet a few months before his sudden death in 1849.

Willem II of The Netherlands (1792-1849), married 1816 Anna Pawlowna of Russia (1795-1865), children :

  1. William III of The Netherlands (1817-1890)
  2. William Alexander Frederik (1818-1848)
  3. William Frederik Hendrik (1820-1879), Stadtholder of Luxembourg 1850, married 1st 1853 Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1830-1872), married 2nd 1878 Maria of Prussia (1855-1888). Their age difference was 35 years. After his death she married Albert of Saxe-Altenburg (1843-1902) in 1885
  4. William Alexander Frederik Ernst Casimir (b1822)
  5. Wilhelmine Marie Sophie Louise (1824-1897) married 1842, her cousin, Karl Alexander of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1818-1901), son of Maria Pawlowna of Russia.

William III 1817-1890, , King of The Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg 1849-1890 and Duke of Limburg 1849-1866 (Abolished), Titled "Prince of Orange-Nassau"


William III (Willem Alexander Paul Frederik Lodewijk, anglicised: William Alexander Paul Frederick Louis of Orange-Nassau) (19 February 1817 – 23 November 1890) was from 1849 King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg until his death and the Duke of Limburg until the abolition of the Duchy in 1866.

William was born in Brussels as son of William II of the Netherlands and Queen Anna Paulowna, daughter of Tsar Paul I of all the Russians and Empress Maria Fyodorovna (Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg). In his early years, he served in the military.

He married his first cousin, Sophie (1818-1877), daughter of King William I of Württemberg and Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, in Stuttgart on 18 June 1839. This marriage was unhappy and was characterized by struggles about their children. Sophie was a liberal intellectual, hating everything leaning toward dictatorship, such as the army. William was simpler, more conservative, and loved the military. He prohibited intellectual exercise at home, for which action Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, who corresponded with Sophie, called him an uneducated farmer.(His extramarital enthusiasms, however, led the New York Times to call him "the greatest debauchee of the age").

Another cause of marital tension (and later political tension) was his capriciousness, he could rage against someone one day, and be extremely polite the next. William loathed the 1848 constitutional changes initiated by his father (William II) and Johan Rudolf Thorbecke. William II and Sophie saw them as key to the monarchy's survival in changing times. William III himself saw them as useless limitations of royal power, and wished to govern like his grandfather, William I. He tried to relinquish his right to the throne to his younger brother Henry. His mother convinced him to cancel this action. One year later (1849) William became King upon the death of his father.

King William III repeatedly contemplated abdicating as soon as his eldest son William, Prince of Orange turned eighteen. This occurred in 1858, but as William was uncomfortable making a decision he remained King. His first act was the inauguration of the parliamentary cabinet of Thorbecke, the liberal designer of the 1848 constitution, whom William loathed.

When the Roman Catholic hierarchy of bishops was restored in 1853 he found a reason to dismiss his rival. In the first two decades of his reign, he dismissed several cabinets and disbanded the States-General several times, installing royal cabinets which ruled briefly as there was no support in elected parliament.

In 1856, William unilaterally instituted a new, reactionary constitution for Luxembourg in what has become known as the 'Coup of 1856'. He tried to sell the grand duchy in 1867, leading to the Luxembourg Crisis, which almost precipitated war between Prussia and France. However, the subsequent Second Treaty of London reestablished Luxembourg as a fully independent County. The King was popular with the ordinary people (Orangists), presenting himself as a cordial man.

In 1877, Queen Sophie died after an unhappy marriage and years of war in the palace came to an end. In the same year, King William announces his intention to marry Eleonore d'Ambre, a French opera singer, whom he ennobled as Countess d'Ambroise, though without government consent. Under pressure from the government, he abandoned his marriage plans.

In 1879, King William decided to marry Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, a small German principality. Some politicians were quite angry, as she was 41 years the king's junior. Emma showed herself, however, as a cordial woman; and when William asked permission from parliament, it was easily granted and the couple were quickly married in Arolsen on 7 January 1879, though she was not his first choice.

He had previously been rejected by her sister, Princess Pauline of Waldeck and Pyrmont, as well as Princess Thyra of Denmark, a sister of England's Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra) and of Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia.

Emma had a relieving influence on William's capricious personality and the marriage was extremely happy. The last decade was without any doubt the best of his reign. In 1880, Wilhelmina was born. She became heiress in 1884 after the death of the last remaining son from William's first marriage. Many potential heirs had died between 1878 and 1884.

King William became seriously ill in 1887. However in 1888, he managed to personally hand over a gold medal of honour to naval hero Dorus Rijkers for saving the lives of 20 people. He died in palace Het Loo in 1890.

Of William III's children, only three reached adulthood, two sons from his marriage to Queen Sophie and one "daughter" from his marriage to Queen Emma: #

  1. Willem Nicolaas Alexander Frederik Karel Hendrik "Wiwill",(1840–1879). Heir to the Throne from 1849 till his death. He asked for permission to marry the Dutch Countess Anna Mathilda "Mattie" van Limburg Stirum (1854-1932), but was not allowed to do so. From 1867 onwards Willem lived in Paris.
  2. Willem Frederik Maurits Alexander Hendrik Karel (1843–1850).
  3. Willem Alexander Karel Hendrik Frederik (1851–1884). Heir to the Throne from 1879 till his death.

Willem III married 2nd 1879 Adelheid Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont (1858-1934). Their age difference was more than 41 years.

  1. Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria (1880–1962). Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948.

# It is a "public secret" that Wilhelmina was possible NOT the "real" child of Willem III because her "father" was already ill and possibly impotent when he married Emma. A DNA test would give the answer but the present royal family will never give permission for such a test. The Nassau-Dietz family became extinct with the dead of King Willem III in 1890.

Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont 1858-1934, Queen-Regent of The Netherlands 1890-1898

Emma was born as Adelheid Emma Wilhelmina Theresia, Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont on 2 August 1858 . She was the fourth daughter of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Helena, Princess of Nassau.

Emma (2 August 1858 – 20 March 1934) was Queen consort of William III, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg. She became an immensely popular member of the Dutch royal family, After William's dead she became Queen regent from 1890 to 1898 and Queen Mother 1890–1934.

Because Wilhelmina had not yet reached adulthood, Emma became Queen-Regent for her daughter. She would remain Queen-Regent until Wilhelmina's eighteenth birthday in 1898.

Luxembourg Independent

After the dead of King Willem III the Nassau-Dietz family became extinct. The Salic Law *** prohibited the succession of Queen Wilhelmina and because of that the government decided, by Constitution, that the "Salic Law" should no longer be followed regarding the succession of a Female (Queen) and The Netherlands became a Constitutional monarchy.

*** Rule of succession in certain royal and noble families of Europe, forbid females and those descended in the female line to succeed to the titles or offices in the family. It is called the Salic law on the mistaken supposition that it was part of the Lex Salica (see Germanic laws; provisions of that code forbade female succession to property but were not concerned with titles or offices.

The Luxembourg Grand Duchy could only be inherited through the male line, under Salic law, thus the local government of Luxembourg did not accept Wilhelmina as the female-successor of her "father" and further disagreed with the Dutch to change the Constitution and declared themselves independent in 1890.

A distant relative in the House of Nassau was found for the Grand Duchy. This turned out to be Adolphe, who had been the Duke of Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg and had lost his state to Prussia in 1866, after taking the side of Austria in the Six Weeks War. Since Adolphe was actually of the senior line of Nassau, this was actually rather nice, for the Netherlands, in effect, to find a position for him after the loss of his job to Prussia.

Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Marie 1880-1962, Queen-regnant of The Netherlands 1898-1948, Titled "Princess of Orange-Nassau"


Wilhelmina ruled the Netherlands for fifty-eight years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw World War I and World War II, the economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial empire. Outside the Netherlands she is primarily remembered for her role in World War II, in which she proved to be a great inspiration to the Dutch resistance.

Princess Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Marie of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, was born on 31 August 1880 in The Hague, Netherlands. She was the only child of King William III and his second wife, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont.

Her childhood was characterized by a close relationship with her parents, especially with her father, who was 63 years of age when she was born. When Wilhelmina was four, her half-brother Prince Alexander died and the young girl became heiress presumptive. King William III died on 23 November 1890, and, although Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands instantly, her mother, Emma, was named regent. Wilhelmina was enthroned on 6 September 1898.

On 7 February 1901 in The Hague, she married Hendrik, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Although the marriage was said to be essentially without love, initially Wilhelmina truly cared for Hendrik, and it is likely that those feelings were mutual. Hendrik, however, suffered from his role as prince-consort, stating that it was boring to be nothing more than decoration, forced always to walk one step behind his wife. He had no power in the Netherlands, and Wilhelmina made sure this remained so.

Succession crisis

The couple's childlessness also contributed to a crisis in their marriagebecause Prince Hendrik was reported to have had several illegitimate children. Wilhelmina suffered miscarriages in 1901 and 1906 and gave birth to a stillborn son in 1902.

According to the Dutch constitution, Wilhelm Ernst Charles Alexander Frederick Henry Bernard Albert George Herman) (10 0 June 1876 – 24 April 1923), the last Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was in the line for the throne of the Netherlands (as the grandson of Princess Sophie of the Netherlands) after Queen Wilhelmina.

The Dutch feared the possibility of German influence or even annexation of the Netherlands. In order to prevent this, some lawyers tried to change the constitution to exclude Wilhelm Ernst from the succession. Another way, however, was this: he or his offspring -if Wilhelmina would die childless- would have to choose between the Dutch and the Weimar throne.

The birth of Wilhelmina's daughter Juliana on 30 April 1909, was met with great relief after eight years of childless marriage lessened the chance for any member of the house of Wettin (Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach branch) to inherit the Dutch throne. With the amendment to the constitution of 1922, which restricted the right of succession to the offspring of Wilhelmina, the possibility disappeared entirely. Wilhelmina suffered two further miscarriages in 1912.


Tactful, and careful to operate within the limitations of what was expected by the Dutch people and their elected representatives, the strong-willed Wilhelmina became a forceful personality who spoke and acted her mind. These qualities showed up early on in her reign when, at the age of 20 (1908), Queen Wilhelmina ordered a Dutch warship to South Africa to rescue Paul Kruger, the embattled President of the Transvaal. For this, Wilhelmina gained international stature and earned the respect and admiration of people all over the world. Wilhelmina had a stern dislike of the United Kingdom, which had annexed the republics of Transvaal and Oranje vrijstaat (Orange Free State) in the Boer War in South-Africa. The Boers were descendants of early Dutch colonists, to whom Wilhelmina felt very closely linked.

Queen Wilhelmina also had a keen understanding of business matters and her investments made her the world's richest woman, a status retained by her daughter Juliana and by her granddaughter, Beatrix. The Dutch Royal Family is reputed still to be the single largest shareholder of Royal Dutch Shell.

Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the young Wilhelmina visited the powerful Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who boasted to the Queen of a relatively small Country, "my guards are seven feet tall and yours are only shoulder-high to them". Wilhelmina smiled politely and replied, "Quite true, Your Majesty, your guards are seven feet tall. But when we open our dikes, the water is ten feet deep!".

World War I

The Netherlands remained neutral during World War I. Germany had sizeable investments in the Dutch economy combined with a large trading partnership in goods. To weaken the German Empire, the United Kingdom blockaded Dutch ports. In response the Dutch government traded with Germany. German soldiers were given Edam cheese for their rations before an assault.

Wilhelmina was a "soldier's queen"; being a woman, she could not be Supreme Commander, but she nevertheless used every opportunity she had to inspect her forces. On many occasions she appeared without prior notice, wishing to see the reality, not a prepared show. She loved her soldiers, but was very unhappy with most of her governments, which used the military as a constant source for budget-cutting. Wilhelmina wanted a small but well trained and equipped army. However, this was far from the reality.

In the war, she felt she was a "Queen-On-Guard". She was always wary of a German attack, especially in the beginning. However, violation of Dutch territorial sovereignty came from both Britain and the United States, who, with the blockade, captured many Dutch trade and cargo ships in an attempt to disrupt the German war effort. This led to increased tensions between the Netherlands and the Allied forces. Civil unrest, spurred on by the Bolshevik revolt in Imperial Russia in 1917, gripped the Netherlands after the war.

The socialist leader Pietsser Jelle Troelstra tried to overthrow the government and the Queen. Instead of a violent revolution, he wanted to control the House of Representatives, the legislative body of Parliament, and hoped to achieve this by means of elections, convinced that the working class would support him. However, the popularity of the young Queen helped restore confidence in the government. Wilhelmina brought about a mass show of support by riding with her daughter through the mobs in an open carriage. It was very clear that the revolution would not succeed.

After the armistice ending World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm fled to the Netherlands, where he was granted political asylum by the Dutch government, partly owing to his family links with Queen Wilhelmina. In response to Allied efforts to get their hands on the deposed Kaiser, Wilhelmina called the Allies' ambassadors to her presence and lectured them on the rights of asylum.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the Netherlands began to emerge as an industrial power. Engineers reclaimed vast amounts of land that had been under water by building the Zuiderzee Works. The death of Wilhelmina's husband, Prince Hendrik, in 1934 brought an end to a difficult year that also saw the passing of her mother Queen-regent Emma.

The interbellum, and most notably the economic crisis of the 1930s, was also the period in which Wilhelmina's personal power reached its zenith; under the successive governments of a staunch monarchist prime minister, Hendrik Colijn (ARP party), Wilhelmina was deeply involved in most questions of state.

In 1939, Colijn's fifth and last government was swept away by a vote of no confidence two days after its formation. It is widely accepted that Wilhelmina herself was behind the formation of this last government, which was designed to be an extra-parliamentary or 'royal' cabinet. The Queen was deeply sceptical of the parliamentary system, like her father, grandfather and great-grandfather and tried to bypass it covertly more than once.

She also arranged the marriage between her daughter Juliana and Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, a German prince who had lost most of his possessions after the Great War. Although it was claimed that he was initially a supporter of the Nazi regime, no hard evidence of this has ever been found or publicized. The prince however, was a member of the Nazi-party and of the so-called 'Reiter-Abschnitte' (equestrian department) of the SS, as was proved by the Dutch national institute for war documentation, NIOD. Prince Bernhard was a very popular figure in the Netherlands from the start.

World War II

On 10 May 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands and she fled The Hague, three days later, King George VI sent the warship HMS Hereward, to rescue Wilhelmina, her family and her Government and bring them to safety in the UK, which offered facilities including broadcasting time on the BBC to the Netherlands. This may have ameliorated her earlier stern dislike of the UK regarding the English policy in South Africa a few decades earlier.

Queen Wilhelmina had wanted to stay in the Netherlands: she had planned to go to the southern province of Zeeland with her troops in order to coordinate further resistance from the town of Breskens and remain there until help arrived, much as King Albert I of Belgium had done during World War I.

She boarded HMS Hereward which was to take her south, however, after she was aboard, Zeeland came under heavy attack from the Luftwaffe and it was considered too dangerous to return. Wilhelmina was then left with no option but to accept George VI's offer of refuge. She retreated to Britain, planning to return as soon as possible. The Dutch armed forces in the Netherlands, apart from those in Zeeland, surrendered on 15 May.

Exile in the UK

In Britain, Queen Wilhelmina took charge of the Dutch government in exile, setting up a chain of command and immediately communicating a message to her people. Relations between the Dutch government and the Queen were tense, with mutual dislike growing as the war progressed. Wilhelmina went on to be the most prominent figure, owing to her experience and knowledge. She was also very popular and respected among the leaders of the world. The government did not have a parliament to back them and had few employees to assist them.

The Dutch prime minister Dirk Jan de Geer, believed the Allies would not win and intended to open negotiations with the Nazis for a separate peace. Therefore Wilhelmina sought to remove Jan de Geer from power. With the aid of a minister, Pietsser Gerbrandy, she succeeded.

During the war her photograph was a sign of resistance against the Germans. Like Winston Churchill, Queen Wilhelmina broadcast messages to the Dutch people over Radio Oranje. The Queen called Adolf Hitler "the arch-enemy of mankind". Her late-night broadcasts were eagerly awaited by her people, who had to hide in order to listen to them illegally. An anecdote published in her New York Times obituary illustrates how she was valued by her subjects during this period: Although celebration of the Queen’s birthday was forbidden by the Nazis, it was commemorated nevertheless. When churchgoers in the small fishing town of Huizen rose and sang one verse of the Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus van Nassauwe, on the Queen’s birthday, the town paid a fine of 60,000 guilders.

Queen Wilhelmina visited the USA from 24 June-11 August 1942 as guest of the US government. She vacationed in Lee, Massachusetts, visited New York City, Boston, and Albany, NY. She addressed the US congress on 5 August 1942. Queen Wilhelmina went to Canada in 1943 to attend the christening of her grandchild Princess Margrietss on 29 June 1943 in Ottawa and stayed a while with her family before returning to England.

During the war, the Queen was almost killed by a bomb that took the lives of several of her guards and severely damaged her Country home near South Mimms in England. In 1944 Queen Wilhelmina became only the second woman to be inducted into the Order of the Garter. Churchill described her as the only real man among the governments-in-exile in London.

In England, she developed ideas about a new political and social life for the Dutch after the liberation. She wanted a strong cabinet formed by people active in the resistance. She dismissed De Geer during the war and installed a prime minister with the approval of other Dutch politicians. The Queen "hated" politicians, instead stating a love for the people.

When the Netherlands was liberated in 1945 she was disappointed to see the same political factions taking power as before the war. Prior to the end of the war, in mid-March 1945, she travelled to the Allied occupied areas of the south of the Netherlands visiting the region of Walcheren and the city of Eindhoven where she received a rapturous welcome from the local population.

Following the end of World War II, Queen Wilhelmina made the decision not to return to her palace but move into a mansion in The Hague, where she lived for eight months, and she travelled through the Countryside to motivate people, sometimes using a bicycle instead of a car.

However, in 1947, while the Country was still recovering from World War II, the revolt in the oil-rich Dutch East Indies saw sharp criticism of the Queen by the Dutch economic elite. Her loss of popularity and the forced departure from the East Indies under international pressure led to her abdication soon after.

As of 1948, Wilhelmina was the only survivor of 16 European kings and one queen who sat on their thrones at the time of her coronation. The Dutch Royal Family was also one of seven European royal houses remaining in existence. On 4 September 1948, after a reign of 57 years and 286 days, Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana. She was thenceforward styled "Her Royal Highness Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands". After her reign, the influence of the Dutch monarchy began to decline but the Country's love for its royal family continued.

No longer queen, Wilhelmina retreated to Het Loo Palace, making few public appearances until the Country was devastated by the North Sea flood of 1953. Once again she travelled around the Country to encourage and motivate the Dutch people. During her last years she wrote her autobiography entitled Eenzaam, maar niet alleen (Lonely but Not Alone), in which she gave account of the events in her life, and revealed her strong religious feelings and motivations.

Queen Wilhelmina died in Het Loo at the age of 82 on 28 November 1962, and was buried in the Dutch Royal Family crypt in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, on 8 December.

Wilhelmina Queen of The Netherlands 1890-1948 (abdicated), married 1901 Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1876-1934), children :

  1. Juliana Luise Emma Marie Wilhelmina, April 30, 1909–March 20, 2004

Juliana von Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1909-2004, Queen of The Netherlands 1948-1980, Titled "Princess of Orange-Nassau"

house-orange6Juliana was born in The Hague, the daughter of Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Juliana spent her childhood at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, and at Noordeinde Palace and Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague.

As the Dutch constitution specified that she should be ready to succeed to the throne by the age of eighteen, Princess Juliana's education proceeded at a faster pace than that of most children. After five years of primary education, the Princess received her secondary education (to pre-university level) from private tutors.

On 30 April 1927, Princess Juliana celebrated her eighteenth birthday. Under the constitution, she had officially come of age and was entitled to assume the royal prerogative, if necessary. Two days later her mother installed her in the "Raad van State" ("Council of State"). A young, shy and introverted woman Juliana did not fit the image of a Royal Princess. She would, nonetheless, become much loved and respected by most of the Dutch people.

In line with the views of the times, Queen Wilhelmina began a search for a suitable husband for her daughter. It was difficult to find a Protestant Prince from a ruling family who suited the standards of the strictly religious Dutch Court. Princes from the United Kingdom and Sweden were "vetted" but either declined or were rejected by the Princess. After meeting His Serene Highness Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Bavaria, Princess Juliana's Royal engagement was arranged by her mother. Prince Bernhard was a suave young businessman and, although not a playboy, certainly a "man about town" with a dashing lifestyle. Princess Juliana fell deeply in love with her fiancé, a love that was to last a lifetime and that withstood separation during the war and the many publicly known extramarital affaifjrs and children by the Prince.

In a legal document that spelled out exactly what the German Prince could and could not do, and the amount of money he could expect from the sole heir to the large fortune of the Dutch Royal Family, the astute Queen Wilhelmina left nothing to chance. The document was signed, and the couple's engagement was announced on 8 September 1936. The wedding announcement divided a Country that mistrusted Germany under Adolf Hitler. Prior to the wedding, on 24 November 1936, Prince Bernhard was granted Dutch citizenship and changed the spelling of his names from German to Dutch. They married in The Hague on 7 January 1937, the date on which Princess Juliana's grandparents, King William III and Queen Emma, had married fifty-eight years earlier. The civil ceremony was held in The Hague Town Hall and the marriage was blessed in the Great Church (St. Jacobskerk), likewise in The Hague. The young couple moved into Soestdijk Palace in Baarn.

The tense European political climate in the shadow of the growing threat of Nazi Germany was stoked further in the Netherlands when Adolf Hitler hinted that the Royal marriage was a sign of an alliance between the Netherlands and Germany. An angry Queen Wilhelmina quickly made a public denunciation of Hitler's remark, but the incident had by then caused further resentment over Juliana's choice for a husband. Further revelations of Prince Bernhard's past conduct added to the growing resentment amongst many of the Dutch people.


During the war and German occupation of the Netherlands the Prince and Princess decided to leave the Netherlands with their two daughters for the United Kingdom, to represent the State of the Netherlands in exile. The Princess remained there for a month before taking the children to Ottawa, the capital of Canada, where she resided at Stornoway in the suburb of Rockcliffe Park.

Juliana quickly endeared herself to the Canadian people, displaying simple warmth, asking that she and her children be treated as just another family during difficult times. In the city of Ottawa, where few people recognised her, Princess Juliana sent her two daughters to Rockcliffe Park Public School (where the gymnasium is still named after her), did her own grocery buying and shopped at Woolworth's Department Store. She enjoyed going to the movies and often would stand innocuously in the line-up to purchase her ticket. When her next door neighbour was about to give birth, the Princess of the Netherlands offered to baby-sit the woman's other children.

When her third child Margrietss was born, the Governor General of Canada, Alexander Cambridge, Earl of Athlone, granted Royal Assent to a special law declaring Princess Juliana's rooms at the Ottawa Civic Hospital as extraterritorial so that the infant would have exclusively Dutch, not dual nationality. Had these arrangements not occurred, Princess Margrietss would not be in the line of succession. The Canadian government flew the Dutch tricolour flag on parliament's Peace Tower while its carillon rang out with Dutch music at the news of Princess Margrietss's birth.

Prince Bernhard, who had remained in London with Queen Wilhelmina and members of the exiled Dutch government, was able to visit his family in Canada and be there for Margrietss's birth. Princess Juliana's genuine warmth and the gestures of her Canadian hosts created a lasting bond which was reinforced when Canadian soldiers fought and died by the thousands in 1944 and 1945 to liberate the Netherlands from the Nazis.

Return to The Netherlands

On 2 May 1945 she returned by a military transport plane with Queen Wilhelmina to the liberated part of the Netherlands, rushing to Breda to set up a temporary Dutch government. Once home she expressed her gratitude to Canada by sending the city of Ottawa 100,000 tulip bulbs. On 24 June 1945 she sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth from Gourock, Scotland, to the United States, listing her last permanent residence as London, England.

The following year (1946), Juliana donated another 20,500 bulbs, with the request that a portion of these be planted at the grounds of the Ottawa Civic Hospital where she had given birth to Margrietss. At the same time, she promised Ottawa an annual gift of tulips during her lifetime to show her lasting appreciation for Canada's war-time hospitality. Each year Ottawa hosts the Canadian Tulip Festival in celebration of this gift.

On 2 August 1945 Princess Juliana was reunited with her family on Dutch soil. Soon though, Prince Bernhard would become convinced that his children's manners had been thoroughly corrupted from their time in Canada. The manner in which the children would be raised was a matter of disagreement between Princess Juliana and her husband. She believed that the days of an aloof, near-isolated monarchy were over, and that the royal children should interact as much as possible with average citizens. Juliana immediately took part in a post-war relief operation for the people in the northern part of the Country, where the Nazi-caused famine (the famine winter of 1944–1945) and their continued torturing and murdering of the previous winter had claimed many victims. In the spring of 1946 Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard visited the Countries that had helped the Netherlands during the occupation.

She was very active as the president of the Dutch Red Cross and worked closely with the National Reconstruction organization. Her down to earth manner endeared her to her people so much that a majority of the Dutch people would soon want Queen Wilhelmina to abdicate in favour of her daughter.

During her pregnancy with her last child, Marijke Christina, Princess Juliana was infected with German measles (Rubella). The girl was born in 1947 with cataracts in both eyes and was soon diagnosed as almost totally blind in one eye and severely limited in the other. Despite her blindness, Christina, as she was called, was a happy and gifted child with a talent for languages and, something long missing in the Dutch Royal Family, an ear for music.

For several weeks in the autumn of 1947 and again in 1948 Princess Juliana acted as Regent when, for health reasons, Queen Wilhelmina was unable to perform her duties. The Independence in Indonesia, which saw more than 150,000 Dutch troops stationed there as decolonization force, was regarded as an economic disaster for the Netherlands. With the certain loss of the prized colony, the Queen announced her intention to abdicate.

Abdication of Queen Wilhelmina

On 6 September 1948, with the eyes of the world upon her, Princess Juliana, the twelfth member of the House of Orange to rule the Netherlands, was inaugurated Queen in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. On 27 December 1949 at Dam Palace in Amsterdam, Queen Juliana signed the papers that recognised Indonesian sovereignty over the former Dutch colony.

The Greet Hofmans affair

Over time, and with advances in medical technology, the eyesight of Princes Marijke improved such that with thick glasses, she could attend school and even ride a bicycle. However, before that happened, her mother, the Princess, clinging to any thread that offered some hope for a cure, came under the spell of Greet Hofmans, a faith healer with heterodox beliefs considered by many to be a sham. Her daughter's blindness and the increasing influence of Hofmans, who had moved into a royal palace, severely affected the Queen's marital relationship.

On the night of 31 January 1953, the Netherlands was hit by the most destructive storm in more than five hundred years. Thirty breaches of dunes and dikes occurred and many towns were swept away by twelve-foot tidal waves. More than two thousand people drowned and tens of thousands were trapped by the floodwaters. Dressed in boots and an old coat, Queen Juliana waded through water and slopped through deep mud all over the devastated areas to bring desperate people food and clothing. Showing compassion and concern, reassuring the people, her tireless efforts would permanently endear her to the citizens of the Netherlands.

Over the next few years, the controversy surrounding the faith healer, at first kept out of the Dutch media, erupted into a national debate over the competency of the Queen. The people of the Netherlands watched as their Queen often appeared in public dressed like any ordinary Dutch woman. Queen Juliana began riding a bicycle for exercise and fresh air. The Queen wanted to be addressed as "Mevrouw" (Dutch for "Madam") by her subjects.

Although the bicycle and the down-to-earth manners suggest a simple life style, the Dutch Royal court of the 1950s and 1960s was still a splendid affair with chamberlains in magnificent uniforms, gilded state coaches, visits to towns in open carriages and lavish entertaining in the huge palaces. At the same time the Queen began visiting the citizens of the nearby towns and, unannounced, would drop in on social institutions and schools. Her refreshingly straightforward manner and talk made her a powerful public speaker.

On the international stage, Queen Juliana was particularly interested in the problems of developing Countries, the refugee problem, and had a very special interest in child welfare, particularly in the developing Countries. The New York Times called her "an unpretentious woman of good sense and great goodwill."

In 1956, the influence of Miss Hofmans on Juliana's political views would almost bring down the House of Orange in a constitutional crisis that caused the court and the royal family to split in a Bernhard faction set on removing a Queen considered religiously fanatic and a threat to NATO, and the Queen's pious and pacifist courtiers. The Prime Minister resolved the crisis, Hofmans was banished from the court and Juliana's supporters were sacked or pensioned. Prince Bernhard planned to divorce his wife but decided against it when he, as he told an American journalist, "found out that the woman still loved him".

Marriages of her Daughters

In 1963 Queen Juliana faced another crisis among the Protestant part of her people when her daughter Irene secretly converted to Roman Catholicism and, without government approval, on 29 April 1964 married Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, a claimant to the Spanish throne and also a leader in the Spain's Carlist party.

With memories of the Dutch struggle for independence from Roman Catholic Spain and fascist German oppression still fresh in the minds of the Dutch people, the events leading to the marriage were played out in all the newspapers and a storm of hostility erupted against the monarchy for allowing it to happen — a matter so serious, the Queen's abdication became a real possibility. She survived, however, thanks to the underlying devotion she had earned over the years.

But crisis, as a result of marriage, would come again with the announcement in July 1965 of the engagement of Princess Beatrix, heir to the throne, to a German diplomat, Claus von Amsberg. The future husband of the future Queen had been a member of the Nazi Wehrmacht and the Hitler Youth movement.

Many angry Dutch citizens demonstrated in the streets, and held rallies and marches against the "traitorous" affair. While this time upset citizens did not call for the Queen's abdication because the true object of their wrath, Princess Beatrix, would then be Queen, they did start to question the value of having a monarchy at all. After attempting to have the marriage cancelled, Queen Juliana acquiesced and the marriage took place under a continued storm of protest and an almost certain attitude pervaded the Country that Princess Beatrix might be the last member of the House of Orange to ever reign in the Netherlands.

Despite all these difficult matters, Queen Juliana's personal popularity suffered only temporarily. The Queen was noted for her courtesy and kindness.

An event in April 1967 brought an overnight revitalization of the Royal family, when the first male heir to the Dutch throne in 116 years, Willem-Alexander, was born to Princess Beatrix. This time the demonstrations in the street were ones of love and enthusiasm. This joyful occasion was helped along by an ever-improving Dutch economy.

The Lockheed affair

Scandal rocked the Royal family again in 1976 when it was revealed that Prince Bernhard had accepted a $1.1 million bribe from U.S. aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Corporation to influence the Dutch government's purchase of fighter aircraft. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands (Joop den Uyl) ordered an inquiry into the affair while Prince Bernhard refused to answer reporters' questions, stating: "I am above such things." Rather than calling on the Queen to abdicate, the Dutch people were this time fearful that their beloved Juliana might abdicate out of shame or because of a criminal prosecution conducted in her name against her consort.

On 26 August 1976 a censored and toned-down, but devastating report on Prince Bernhard's activities was released to a shocked Dutch public. The Prince resigned his various high profile positions as a Lieutenant Admiral, a General and an Inspector General of the Armed Forces. The Prince resigned from his positions in the board of many businesses, charities, the World Wildlife Fund and other institutions. The Prince also accepted that he would have to give up wearing his beloved uniforms. In return, the States-General accepted that there was to be no criminal prosecution.


On 30 April 1980, the day of her 71st birthday, Queen Juliana signed the Act of Abdication and her eldest daughter succeeded her as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Juliana remained active in numerous charitable causes until well into her eighties.

From the mid-1990s, Juliana's health declined and she also suffered the progressive onset of senility by Alzheimer's disease, although this was denied by the Royal Family. Juliana did not appear in public after that time. At the order of the Royal Family's doctors, Juliana was placed under 24-hour care.

Juliana died in her sleep on 20 March 2004, several weeks before her 95th birthday, at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn from complications of pneumonia, exactly 70 years after her grandmother Emma. She was embalmed (unlike her mother, who chose not to be) and on 30 March 2004 interred beside her mother, Wilhelmina, in the royal vaults under the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. Her husband Prince Bernhard died barely eight months after her, on 1 December 2004, aged 93 and his remains were placed next to hers.

Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard had four children :

  1. Beatrix Beatrix (born 31 January 1938), Queen of The Netherlands 1980, married 1966 Claus von Amsberg (b 1926) .
  2. Irene ((born 5 August 1939), renounced her rights, married 1964, divorced 1981, Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma (b 1930).
  3. Margrietss (born 19 January 1943) married 1967 Pietsser van Vollenhoven (b 1939).
  4. Maria Christina, "Marijke" before 1964, (born 18 February 1947), renounced her rights, married 1975, divorced 1996, Jorge Guillermo (b 1946).

Beatrix von Lippe-Biesterfeld, 1938-present, Queen of the Netherlands 1980-present, Titled "Princess of Orange-Nassau"

house-orange6Princess Beatrix  Wilhelmina Armgard of Orange-Nassau and of Lippe-Biesterfeld was born on 31 January 1938 at the Soestdijk Palace in Baarn as eldest daughter of Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld.

Beatrix became the heir presumptive to the throne of the Netherlands at the age of ten.

On 31 January 1956, Princess Beatrix celebrated her 18th birthday andbvunder the Constitution of the Netherlands, she was entitled to assume the Royal Prerogative and her mother installed her in the Council of State.

Her appearance on the political scene was almost immediately marked by controversy. In 1965, Princess Beatrix became engaged to the German aristocrat Claus von Amsberg, a diplomat working for the German Foreign Office. Their marriage caused a massive protest during the wedding day in Amsterdam on 10 March 1966. Prince Claus had served in the Hitler Youth and the Wehrmacht and was, therefore, associated by a part of the Dutch population with German Nazism. Protests included such memorable slogans as "Claus 'raus!" (Claus out!) and "Mijn fiets terug" (Give me back my bike), a reference to the memory of occupying German soldiers confiscating Dutch bicycles. A smoke bomb was thrown at the wedding carriage by a group of Provos causing a violent street battle with the police.


On 30 April 1980, Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands when her mother abdicated. during this ceremony an even more violent riot occurred  during the investiture (sovereigns of the Netherlands are not crowned as such) of Queen Beatrix. Some people, including socialist squatters, used the occasion to protest against poor housing conditions in the Netherlands and against the monarchy in general, using the also memorable slogan "Geen woning; geen Kroning" (No house; no coronation). Clashes with the police and security forces turned brutal and violent.

The Queen signs official documents "Beatrix" and is addressed as "Your Majesty" (Dutch: "Uwe Majesteit"). Unlike her mother, Queen Juliana, who frowned upon this title, Queen Beatrix re-introduced the Royal Style of Majesty, like her grandmother Wilhelmina) when addressing her.

As Queen, Beatrix wields more power than most of Europe’s other reigning monarchs. In domestic matters, she has little political say, however, in international relations, the Queen has much more latitude. Queen Beatrix is, as her father Prince Bernard was, a member of the Bilderberg Group and an honorary member of the Club of Rome. In 1994, the minister of Foreign Affairs conveyed in Parliament that a Dutch embassy in Jordan had been opened at her request.

As time went on, however, Prince Claus became one of the most popular members of the Dutch monarchy and his death, after a long illness, on 6 October 2002 was widely mourned, her mother died after a long battle with senile dementia on 20 March 2004, while her father succumbed to cancer in December 2004.

Beatrix is rarely quoted directly in the press, since the government information service (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst) makes it a condition of interviews that she may not be quoted. This policy was introduced shortly after her inauguration, reportedly to protect her from political complications that may arise from "off-the-cuff" remarks. It does not apply to her son Prince Willem-Alexander.

On 30 April 2009 the Queen and the royal family were targeted in an attack by a man called Karst Tates. Tates crashed his car into a parade in Apeldoorn, narrowly missing a bus carrying the Queen. Five people were killed initially and two victims and the assailant Tates died later. Other victims of the crash are in a critical life threatening situation. One week after the attack another victim had succumbed to sustained injuries. The royal party were unharmed, but The Queen and members of her family saw the crash at close range and were visibly shaken. It is thought to be the first physical attack on Dutch royalty in modern times.


On 30 April 2013, Queen Beatrix signed the Act of Abdication and her eldest son succeeded her as King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

The Queen and her late husband, Prince Claus, have three son :

  1. Prince Willem-Alexander, born 27 April 1967 Heir-apparent, styled as the Prince of Orange; married to Máxima Zorreguietssa, daughter of Jorge Horacio Zorreguietssa (1928) and Maria del Carmen Cerruti (1944) since 2002, has issue (three daughters)
  2. Prince Friso, born 25 September 1968 married to Mabel Wisse Smit since 2004 (without authorisation from the Dutch Parliament, causing him to lose his right to the Dutch throne) and has issue (two daughters, who are not Princesses of the Netherlands), living in London.
  3. Prince Constantijn, born 11 October 1969 married to Laurentien Brinkhorst, daughter of the politician Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst (1937) and Jantien Heringa (1935). since 2001 and has issue (two daughters and one son).

Willem Alexander von Amsberg, 1967-present, King Willem-Alexander 2013, Titled "Prince of Orange-Nassau"

prins-willem-alexanderWillem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, born 27 April 1967 is the eldest son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Prince Claus.maxima Since 1980 heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He was in military service and he studied history at Leiden University. He is currently interested in international water management issues and sports.

In January 2013 Queen Beatrix announced her Abdication on April, 30 in favor of her eldest son Willem-Alexander.

Wth the abdication of Queen Beatrix Willem-Alexander became King of the Netherlands and at the same day Maxima became Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

The fact that Maxima is Queen now is in contradiction with the "Salic Low" because she is not of royal bloodline.

Although she has grown to a usefull representative for The Netherlands she is still a normal but intelligent girl from Argentina.

He married (February, 2, 2002) Máxima Zorreguieta (1971). They have three children :

  1. Princess Catharina-Amalia, born 2003
  2. Princess Alexia, born 2005
  3. Princess Ariane, born 2007

The new King of the Netherlands, April, 30, 2013

koning met koningsmantel en koningin maxima 

Kings and Queens of the Netherlands

French House of Bonaparte
Name Rule time Remarks
Louis Napoléon Bonaparte 1806-1810  
House of Nassau-Dietz
Name Rule time Remarks
King William I 1815-1840 Duke and Grand Duke of Luxemburg and Duke of Limburg
King William II 1840-1849 Grand Duke of Luxemburg and Duke of Limburg
King William III 1849-1890 Grand Duke of Luxemburg and Duke of Limburg

Following German laws, the House of Nassau-Dietz is extinct since the death of Wilhelmina (1962), contradictory to Dutch laws.

House of Nassau-Dietz / Waldeck-Pyrmont
Name Rule time Remarks
Queen Wilhelmina 1890-1948  
To the house of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Name Rule time Remarks
Queen Juliana 1948-1980  
To the house of Lippe-Biesterfeld
House of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Name Rule time Remarks
Queen Beatrix 1980-2013  
To the house of von Amsberg
House of von Amsberg
Name Rule time Remarks
William-Alexander  2013  
Catharina-Amalia   future Queen
The house of ?

Appeal to end this Monarchy

After 450 years of Stadtholders (War-Lords) and family mixing of several "Heirs" of "noble" families and finally 3 generations of Queens since 1890, there is nothing left of the Orange-Nassau "blood" that once existed in the Lowlands and Germany in the 16th to 18th century.

The present King Willem-Alexanderis in bloodline as far from "William of Orange-Nassau" as Alpha from Omega in the alphabet. Why The Netherlands is still a Kingdom I don't understand. Do You ?.

The title "Prince of Orange" is from 1702 on only a "folklore" title and has noting to do with the Orange region in France of which is was derived. Another point is that the original family, of which the title is taken from, already became extinct with the death of William III in 1702.

At present time it's impossible that children take over the titles of their father, even when he was graduated Dr., Drs., Ir., Mr., PhD or whatever, his offspring can't take over his titles after his dead but for a strange reason it is the case with the present Dutch Royal family. Only within Nobility it's usual to hand over titles to their offspring but than only in de Male line.

In accordance to the "Salic Law" the family-line cannot continue through the Female line. Why this "Salic Law" is set-apart regarding the Dutch Royal family can only be explained when the people of The Netherlands likes fairy-tails. And they still do, even in the 21st century, 311 years after the real house of Orange-Nassau has been extinct.

The madness still goes on

Prince William Alexander, the future King William IV, is married (Febr, 2 2002) with a "not noble" but charming girl, Maxima from Argentina, nevertheless the majority of the common, mostly religious, Dutch people like to continue with this fairy-tail. In that case Maxima have to be ennobled to become Queen of the Netherlands but the politicians found a way to made her Queen in, only in title.

Its ridicules and not of this era to continue succession because of birth in a "former" noble family who are only in name descendents of the German Nassau family. Last but not least ALL the children of Beatrix are married with woman of non-noble origin, Maxima is titled Queen, she is, a nice, but normal woman of Argentine origin.

THIS FOLKLORE MUST END, why continue this fairy-tail to eternity ??.

I am not a practicing Republican yet but I will be one when Queen Beatrix is not the last, it should come to an end because every fairy-tail ends once. Why not make Beatrix or her son Alexander President of The Netherlands with, as it is usual, democratic elections, maybe she or he will get my vote when there is no better candidate.


The End

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