Wilhelmina of the Netherlands


His childhood was characterized by a close relationship with parents: his mother was a little over twenty years while his father, who was 63, had already lost two sons by his first wife, Sophia Frederica of Württemberg, and the third died Wilhelmina when she was five years old, making it the only heir of the kingdom.

William III died November 23, 1890 and, although it quickly became Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, his mother Emma was a regent. In 1895 he visited Wilhelmina dall’anziana and respected dean of the sovereign, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, which she wrote in her diary: “… the young Queen still wears her hair loose. It is slim and pretty and seems like a very intelligent girl and very nice people. He speaks good English and knows how to behave with charming manners.

In 1901 she married Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin: even though it was an arranged marriage (it was necessary as soon as an heir, and the groom could not come from a royal family matter) at least in the early days, Wilhelmina was pretty tied to her husband. Henry instead, impatient of his role as Prince Consort, who considered boring, empty and only decorative, constantly forced to walk a step behind his wife from ‘label, remained without any real power and the same Wilhelmina was assured that in this position always remained . A series of betrayals, also helped to undermine the couple, and it was argued that they were many illegitimate children of the Prince Consort. After eight years of unhappy marriage, the couple had 30 April 1909 their first and only daughter, Princess Juliana and since then the couple led separate lives.

The beginning of the reign

The kingdom of Wilhelmina was characterized by enormous tact and discretion, because the queen was always very careful to operate within the limits of what was required by the Constitution. However Wilhelmina had a very strong and determined personality and thought and acted with his own brain. These qualities soon showed, in fact, just twenty, ordered a Dutch warship to rescue Paul Kruger, President of the Transvaal.

Wilhelmina had strong tensions with Britain, after the latter had annexed the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, during the Second Boer War. This is because the Boers were descendants of the first Dutch settlers arrived in South Africa and the queen heard them neighbors in particular.

The queen also proved a capable business woman and her investments made ​​her the richest woman in the world, a title retained by his daughter and his grandson, in fact the largest single shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell is a holding company by herself founded.

Shortly before the First World War, the young Queen met his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who ridiculed heavily with her ​​on her small state and its defenses. “My soldiers are seven feet tall and your coming just behind him.” Wilhelmina smiled and replied, “Of course, Your Majesty, your soldiers are seven feet tall. But when we open the dams, the water comes to ten feet! “

The First World War

During the First World War, the Netherlands was neutral, although entertained trade relations with Germany and, for this reason, Britain tried to block the ports in the Netherlands and many Dutch trading ships were stopped.

After the end of the conflict, the former German Emperor Wilhelm II took refuge in the Netherlands, and the Dutch government granted him the ‘political asylum also by virtue of his family relationship with the queen. In response to the allied efforts to extradite the deposed Kaiser, Wilhelmina summoned to his presence the ambassadors and read their rules on the right of asylum.

A climate of unrest, fueled also by the Russian Revolution, took root in the Netherlands after the war. The Socialist Troelstra tried to overthrow the government and the monarchy, but not with a violent revolution, as by controlling the Tweede Kamer, the legislative body of the Parliament, through elections (strategy that caught the sarcasm of Trotsky), convinced that the working class would support him. But the popularity of the young Queen availed to the stability of the institutions. The Queen herself with her ​​daughter in open carriage crossed a crowd gathered in the capital, getting respectful applause: the Royal House and the Netherlands were clearly protected from the danger of a Bolshevik revolution.

World War II

13 May 1940, following the German invasion of the Netherlands, Wilhelmina and the royal family were displaced. Wilhelmina had wanted to stay and organize a resistance to the invasion in Zeeland, instead was forced to move to Britain, however, planning to return as soon as possible in your country. He later moved with his family to Canada, where he remained until the end of the war.

Despite being far from their own country, Wilhelmina intervened significantly in the work of the Dutch Parliament, especially siding against the Prime Minister Dirk Jan de Geer, who wanted to sign a peace treaty with the Germans, as it was not convinced of the victory of the Allies. Also communicated with his people through Radio Oranje, sending daily messages.

In 1944 he was the second woman to enter the ‘Order of the Garter.

At the end of the war, Wilhelmina back in the Netherlands, settling in a residence in The Hague. From here he moved across the country, motivating people and trying to be close to them.

Recent years

On 4 September 1948, after a reign of 57 years, 9 months and 12 days, abdicated in favor of her daughter Juliana, assuming the title of “Her Royal Highness Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands” after his reign, the ‘ influence of the monarchy began to decline but the love of the country for the Royal House continued. He retired in Het Loo Palace, making few public appearances until the devastating storm of 1953: once again began to travel the country to encourage and support the people. During his last years he wrote his autobiography entitled “eenzaam, alleen maar niet” (“Alone, but not alone”), which recounted the events of his long life, and its deep and strong faith.

Queen Wilhelmina died at age 82 November 28, 1962 and was buried in the crypt of the Dutch royal family in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, the ‘December 8, 1962. The funeral was for her request and contrary to protocol, completely in white to emphasize his belief that earthly death is the beginning of eternal life.


Wilhelmina of the Netherlands parent

William III of the Netherlands Grandfather:

William II of the Netherlands Paternal great-grandfather:

William I of the Netherlands Paternal great-great grandfather:

William V of Orange-Nassau

Paternal great-grandmother:

Wilhelmine of Prussia

Paternal great-grandmother:

Wilhelmine of Prussia Paternal great-great grandfather:

Frederick William II of Prussia

Paternal great-grandmother:

Federica Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt

Paternal grandmother:

Anna Pavlovna Romanova Paternal great-grandfather:

Paul I of Russia Paternal great-great grandfather:

Peter III of Russia

Paternal great-grandmother:

Catherine II of Russia

Paternal great-grandmother:

Sophia Dorothea of ​​Württemberg Paternal great-great grandfather:

Frederick II Eugene of Württemberg

Paternal great-grandmother:

Federica Dorothea of ​​Brandenburg-Schwedt 


Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont Maternal grandfather:

George Victor of Waldeck and Pyrmont Maternal great-grandfather:

George II of Waldeck and Pyrmont Maternal great-great grandfather:

George I of Waldeck and Pyrmont

Maternal great-grandmother:

Augusta of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen 

Maternal great-grandmother:

Emma of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym Maternal great-great grandfather:

Victor II of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym

Maternal great-grandmother:

Amelia Nassau-Weilburg

Maternal grandmother:

Helen of Nassau Maternal great-grandfather:

William of Nassau Maternal great-great grandfather:

Frederick William of Nassau-Weilburg

Maternal great-grandmother:

Luisa Isabel of Kirchberg

Maternal great-grandmother:

Pauline of Württemberg Maternal great-great grandfather:

Paul Frederick of Württemberg

Maternal great-grandmother:

Charlotte of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Knights of the Order of the Garter


King of the Netherlands

Knights of the Order of the White Eagle

Ruling Queens

Buried in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft

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