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  #21  
Old 06-09-2013, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Princess Xenia View Post
Another reason is that he was not satisfied with his roles as the consort of the queen and to produce an heir
True, I had forgotten to mention that. He didn't really know what to do with his role as queen consort and so he largely went his own way (as far as possible). His wife/Queen Wilhelmina practically had no space for him.
Luckily he did have a very good bond with his daughter, then-Princess Juliana.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:17 PM
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Indeed, the main problem was that Wilhelmina kept him out of most things related to her work. He never had a clear role, or many things to do. Neither did he have his own appanage (he had to ask money from his wife), which became a bigger problem when the money from the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg also dried up and he had to support some relatives too. After that he always money problems and people actually were afraid to sit next to him with dinners as he would probably ask for a loan. This wasn't helped by his private conduct as he was an easy pray for blackmailers. It has been established that he had several children with Mien Abbo-Wenneker and the story goes that he went to (male) brothels and that the high society of The Hague kept their children home when they knew that Prince Hendrik visited the scouting organisation (of which he was a patron). It is also suspected that ueen Wilhelmina's miscarriages were probably caused by venerial diseases from Hendrik. All in all a sad life, he must have been a very unhappy man. He once commented about himself: 'ich bin nur das gepack', I am only the luggage.

At other courts the life at Dutch court under Wilhelmina was well known, which was one of the reasons why it was difficult to find a husband for Juliana. The Dutch prime minister at the time also saw the problem and didn't want to repeat the Hendrik scenario. Her husband Bernhard immidiately received his own money from the state and got a clear role. Sadly in the process they may have given him too much freedom though.

When he died some joked that the prince was like the colours of the flag. His hair was red, his funeral was white and he was as blue as a rabbit (the latter being an expression to refer to drunkards).

However, Queen Juliana always said that he was a wonderful father, and that they enjoyed being 'naughty' together. And that he and her mother allowed her a lot of things that many other parents would never allow. It is a pity that up to now nobody ever wrote a biography about the prince (or about Queen Emma for that matter).
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:33 PM
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Truly a very sad life.
But considering that queen Wilhelmina was one of the richest woman of her time couldn't she help him a little without asking the government for it. I mean solve the problem in the family and don't take it to the government, and stopping whatever the prince was desparately doing in order to earn some money.!!!
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:51 PM
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She could have done that, and did so when a creditor or blackmailer wanted to go public,but she was very, very frugal. The calvinistic/Dutch spirit that it is a sin to spend money was not wasted on her. One of the few times she splashed out was when she bought the aquamarine parure for her daughter. I believe that at one point she ordered cheapest wines from local Amsterdam grocery shops for state dinners, something that Bernhard changed immidiately after Juliana's accession to the throne.
When Juliana married her appanage was lowered to pay for Bernhard, the total amount did not change btw.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:08 PM
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Thank you for your explanation Marengo.
I've always admired queen Wilhelmina and I think she was a great monarch for her country based on what I've read. But obviously private life is completely different from social and public life and duties and unfortunately she wasn't good with the first one. Although I was aware of their unhappy marriage, I am truly touched by prince Henrik's struggles in his marriage and life .
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