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Helena 11-06-2003 01:10 PM

Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962)
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One of the most extraordinairy dutch women ever is Queen Wilhelmina, grand mother of Queen 1888, after the death of her father, half-brothers and uncles the hope of the dutch nation rested on this 8 yo queen...after 58 years she abdicated in 1948, and was populairy known as 'mother of the fatherland' (The famous William the Silent -who was her example- was called Father of the a very special name!) I shall post some pics of her life, I try to do that in chronological order & I hope that you are also interested in this very special lady (and not ponly in the red suits of Maxima ;-) ...I shall not name the sources of theese pictures as I performed a search in google..and later in Corbis & I could not save the here we go...the first one, Wilhelmina (or 'Wimpie'as her parents affectionately called her, with a pony

Helena 11-06-2003 01:11 PM

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.as a girl, with hair down

Helena 11-06-2003 01:12 PM

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in 1888, in mourning for her fatehr King Willem III with her mother, Queen/ regentes Emma,

Helena 11-06-2003 01:12 PM

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on a horse

Helena 11-06-2003 04:19 PM

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Helena 11-06-2003 04:19 PM

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the year of her inhauguration, 1898

Helena 11-06-2003 04:20 PM

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this painting is exhibited at her favorite palace, now museam 'het loo' ...favorite retreat of stadfholder/king Willem III and Queen Mary II

Helena 11-06-2003 04:21 PM

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a very romantic picture...engaged with Duke Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Helena 11-06-2003 04:22 PM

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wedding ceremony in 1901

Helena 11-06-2003 04:23 PM

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queen wilhelmina in the first decade of the 20th century

Helena 11-06-2003 04:24 PM

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with her pride and joy...Juliana (Jula) and her husband

Helena 11-06-2003 04:26 PM

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with Juliana...during WWI

Helena 11-06-2003 04:32 PM

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another official portrait

Helena 11-06-2003 04:33 PM

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official visit to Groningen

Helena 11-06-2003 04:34 PM

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first radio broadcast to the dutch east indies

Helena 11-06-2003 04:35 PM

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a young wilhelmina and the other one...with her daughter Juliana (the original painting also shows her mother Emma

Helena 11-06-2003 04:37 PM

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her daughter marriews prince bernhard zu lippe-biesterfeld

Helena 11-06-2003 04:39 PM

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a pre-wedding concert...german relatives with a nazzi-salute...Wilhelmina and Juliana are looking horrified

Helena 11-06-2003 04:41 PM

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1938...40 years on the throne...she already had thoughts about abdicating but her ministers persuaded to postpone this due to the destabilized situation in europe

Helena 11-06-2003 04:42 PM

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book cover..wilhelmina in war-time

Helena 11-06-2003 04:43 PM

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a picture of wilhelmina in england..

hrhcp 11-06-2003 04:45 PM

I enjoy your presentation, Helena.
History has a way of coming alive with me, when I see pcitures.


Helena  Posted: Nov 6th, 2003 - 4:37 pm

her daughter marriews prince bernhard zu lippe-biesterfeld

Who is the other lady in this picture ?
Where is Wilhelmina's husband ? Prince Henrik ?

Also, was Juliana the only child ?

Helena 11-06-2003 04:46 PM

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wilhelmina holds a speech in war time...her ministers often tried to persauade her not to use such strong words...but Wilhelmina did not listen and told the dutch nation all about the 'moffen'....she helped the moral of the dutch and became the symbol of resistance (and she was also called mother of the resistance-movement or mother of the fatherland during these years)

Helena 11-06-2003 04:48 PM


Who is the other lady in this picture ?
Where is Wilhelmina's husband ?

her husband (and her mother) died in 1933.....the other lady is bernhards mother...Princess Armgard (who went under the nickname 'Tolle Lola' as she was a party girl to put it nicely.....two total different personalities

Helena 11-06-2003 04:52 PM

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in the US..during the war..she cared less and less for clothes (she did not care much for ythem before the war either...untill her marriagae for example Juliana was forbidden to wear make up...when she had to appear on television and somebody asked the princess if she would use some make-up,m the queen replied sharply: 'the princess will appear as God and I have made her!') ..the queen wears a daisy....symbol of the resistance..and her grand daughter was named after this flower (Margriet)

Helena 11-06-2003 04:55 PM

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an emotional moment...a frail Wilhelmina crosses the dutch/ belgian border in 1944.....with tears in her eyes..and in the eyes of most of the on-lookers as well...

Helena 11-06-2003 04:58 PM

in the US with the 'Roosevelts'..Wilhelmina was the first foreign head of state to speak to the parlaiment.....and FDR insisted that he should stand up, out of his wheelchair for 'his' queen

Helena 11-06-2003 05:00 PM

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after the qqueen returned she refused to live in her palaces, because the germans had lived there as well, she renamed the japanese porcelain the chinese porcelain, she broke of contact with many german relations etc etc...and she wanted to break out of the 'golden cage' we see her on a bike......her ministers could persuade her that the people did not wwant her to live in a mere after a few months she returned to the palaces...

Helena 11-06-2003 05:03 PM

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the queen abdicated in 1948.......the pictures I tried to post about this (and many others....were with an error , so I could not post them :-( a nice painting of an old Wilhelmina

Helena 11-06-2003 05:05 PM

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her funeral, in white

Poppy 12-18-2003 09:11 AM

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Queen Wilhelmina, though was not a beauty, but I think she was pleasant looking, natrually-poised and elegant when she was in her youth.

When she was 15 years of age, she visted Queen Victoria in London with her mother the Queen-Regeant, Queen Victoria wrote in her diary about how nice the young queen looked and how elegant she was. Queen Victoria wrote that the young queen also looked very dignified but not snobbish and she had very pleasant manners, very ladylike.

When I saw her picture taken when she was fifteen, I really thought she, though not infatuating, but was extremely charming. From her pictures when she was still young, it seems to me that she got good taste in clothing.

When she was fifteen.

Poppy 12-18-2003 09:14 AM

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As a young queen.

Poppy 12-18-2003 09:16 AM

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As a young queen.

Poppy 12-18-2003 09:32 AM

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As a young queen

Poppy 12-21-2003 07:34 AM

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Queen Wilhelmina

Poppy 12-21-2003 07:39 AM

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Queen Wilhelmina

Poppy 12-21-2003 07:45 AM

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Queen Wilhelmina when probably only 17.

Josefine 12-21-2003 07:49 AM

Great to see all the picture of the queen

Josefine 12-21-2003 07:50 AM

could some post some facts or history about the queen?

Poppy 12-21-2003 07:50 AM

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Poppy 12-21-2003 07:59 AM

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Queen Wilhelmina

Poppy 12-21-2003 08:05 AM

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Poppy 12-21-2003 08:14 AM

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Effectionate photo

With mother, Queen Emma.

Poppy 12-21-2003 08:23 AM

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On her pony. She loved this pony very much.
With her mother, Queen Emma.
She was truely a beautiful and elegant girl.

Helena 12-24-2003 12:52 PM


could some post some facts or history about the queen?
well Josephine, I could post a lot...I have read the recent bio of Wilhelmina by prof. Fasseur (it is huge)...and to me she is one of the most interesting and great oranjes. So what is it you want to know?

she is the only daughter of her father, King Willem III. From his first (unhappy) marriage to his cousin Sophie of Wurttemberg he got 3 sons, who all died without issue & marriage. After the death of Sophie the King decided to marry again, to Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont (after his sister, the garnd-duchess of Saxe-Weimar, discretely told him that her daughters were out of the question, but there were some very sweet Princesses in Arolsen), sister of the duchess of Albany. He was old enough to be her father, the age-difference was over 40 years! Anyway, this marriage proved to be a happy union 9for the king at least), Emma knew how to handle him. In 1880 a girl was born. After the deaths of her uncle prince hendrik & her great uncle, prince frederik and her half-brother, in 1884 she became the heir to the throne. Her father simply adored her (which he did not do with his sons....they loathed their father)...but in 1890 the old king died. Emma became regent till Wilhelmina came of age. Emma knew she had to do something to make the monarchy popular again, and what is more adorable for the public than a wise widow and her innocent daughter? she toured the country & abolished french ass court-language & introduced dutch etc etc...and the monarchy became strong & popular again.

Wilhelmina had a VERY strict upbrining. She was all alone in a class room, did not know any people of her age....only her dolls. After her 12th? birthday Emma decided that Wilhelmina was to old for dolls & she locked them up...Wilhelmina cried for a long time as they were her only 'friends'. She was tutored by mr. gediking & mrs Saxon-Winter...a lady to which she remained affectionate all her life long...she even visited her old nanny in england in the 20-ties or 30-ties. BTW this mrs Saxo-Winter is the same one who was later hired by Elisabeth of Roumania for her cousins, Missy's children. But after a while Missy got her fired because she thought her far to strict.

In 1898 Wilhelmina came of age and was inhaugurated as Queen of the Netherlands. At the wedding of her cousin Pauline of Wurttemberg 98daughter of Emma's eldest sister) it became clear that SHE was to be married soon as well. An english prince was out of the question, as the Boer-war was going on &^england put the Afrikaners, who were from dutch background, in concentrationcamps etc.
The Kaiser is quoted as saying 'nur ein deutscher darf sie bekommen'...and a german it was...after she turned down Friedrich-Wilhelm (I believe this was his name) of Prussia (related to her by her great-aunt , the rebel-princess Marianne of the Netherlands who married Albrecht of Prussia) she chose Duke Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who was unaffected by courtlife.....well....the marriage was good in the first years, but turned out to be a disaster. The Prince had nothing to do & was bored, made children everywhere etcx. On top of it all, Wilhelmina did not get any children!@!!! The country was becoming desperate & a couple of Princes of Reuss visited the Netherlands to 'get aquinted'....they would be the next in the line of the throne. On top of it all, Wilhelmina miscarried a couple of times, many say that Prince Hendriks sexual diseases were the cause of this. The coutry was relieved & thanked God (literally) when in 1909 Princess Juliana was born. Mother and daughter had a special relationship....W simply adored her daughter.

In 1914 the world was in for WWI......during the years of her goverment W had several fights with (prime)-ministers about the costs of the army etc. W thought that the army was neglected & kept on stressing the importance of it all again & again. After WWI things between Hendrik & Wilhelmina got worse. President Roosevelt (Teddy) of the US who visited the couple at Palace het Loo told a story about a red Queen Wilhelmina who was stamping on the floor while she was angry with her (dumb) husband for not hearing what she said. .....The queen (and her husband) eventually found each other in their religion...but that was just before Hendrik died...

In 1934 both Queen Emma & Prince Hendrik died, and the dutch royal family exsisted out of to women only, Wilhelmina & Juliana. It became evident that Juliana had to marry as soon as possible (especially after Wilhelmina knew about the tragic accident of Queen Astrid, W like Leopold & Astrid very much!)...well....the drama's of finding a husband for almost seems like a comedy if you read it............and the dutrch ambassadors had night mairs.....the durch ambassador in England even had to remain in bed for a few days after Juliana visited the Kent-wedding & he hoped to link her with Karl of Sweden. Juliana behaved hostile towards him & showed more interest in Paul & Peter of Greece...Paul was out of the question as he was a crownprince & Peter because his great grandfather had a casino in Monte-Carlo & was greek-catholic. The ambassadot blamed Queen Maud for the failing union between Juliana & Karl btw & saw it as a greek-danish-norwegian conspiracy against the Bernadottes....well even more theories were heard...the belgians would have liked J to marry Karel of Sweden so discouraged Astrids brother Karl as well, etc etc.....after a long search, which lasted for years..Juliana met a certain Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld during her winter-holiday in Switzerland...and got married!

When W celebrated her 40th aneversary of her reign she told her daughter she wanted to retire...Bernhard & Juliana could prevent that for they fought that the unstable situation in Europe was not the right time for a change of reign in the Netherlands (and they were just building a family). Already in the early 30-ties Wilhelmina showed her ministers the dangers of Mr. Hitler & the Nazi's...but they would not listen.....The Netherlands was in war from 1940-1945. W went to england and became the symbol of the nation & spoke to her people through the radio. Winston Churchill called her the only man in the dutch goverment. ....afterb returning she wanted a new netherlands, more united & was dissapointed. She retired in 1948 and declared that she was dead from no w on & reprimanded everybody who dared to call her queen. She lived quietly, wrote her memoirs (lonely but not alone) and busied herself with painting & religion. In 1962 she died ...with the honoury name, mother of the fatherland or mother of the resistance!...a great queen!!!!

Helena 12-24-2003 01:45 PM


...the belgians would have liked J to marry Karel of Sweden so discouraged Astrids brother Karl as well, etc etc...
the belgians were said to wanted Juliana to maarry Leopolds brother Karel of Belgium, instead of Astrids brother Karl of Sweden...very confusing, those Kar(e)ls.;)

pdas1201 07-15-2005 02:51 AM

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Wilhemina and Henrik Wedding, February 7, 1901

wymanda 02-04-2006 08:34 PM

Help - Queen Wilhelmina
I live in Western Australia and we had a collector here (now deceased) who had a horse drawn vehicle which was known as "Queen Whilemena's coach". Unfortunately the history of the vehicle was held in the mans head and non of us know how it was connected with the dutch Queen. Can anyone shed any light on this or suggest anywhere I could find out? :) :)

wymanda 02-14-2006 07:49 AM

I have discovered that the carriage was last used in Copenhagen in 1922 - Can anyone shed any light on what occasion took place in Denmark at this time?

Marengo 02-15-2006 06:09 AM

Probably the state visit to Denmark (Wilhelmina went to Norway and Sweden as well that year). I wonder if she would bring her own coach to Denmark though, seems more logical to me if the danish would provide one :)

wymanda 02-16-2006 06:14 AM


Originally Posted by Marengo
Probably the state visit to Denmark (Wilhelmina went to Norway and Sweden as well that year). I wonder if she would bring her own coach to Denmark though, seems more logical to me if the danish would provide one :)

Thanks Marengo. Do you know if there are any pictures of this visit?

Marengo 02-27-2006 02:32 PM

I just posted this information on the glittering royal events message board, so I thought, why not in this thread? A poster there wondered about the visits Queen Wilhelmina paid to the UK. I responded that she paid one in 1895 and one in 1923, and that the last visit was very strained:

I freely quote from the official biography of Wilhelmina, leaving out passages if I didn't find them necessary:

Wilhelmina hoped to merge the agreable (the holdidays in Scotland) with the usefull by meeting the british monarchs. Wilhelmina hadn't been in Great-Britain since 1895 and after Queen Victoria she never again met a reigning member of the british RF. The scars of the Boer war remained visible for a long time. After that heated effords to 'get' King George V to pay a statevisit to the Netherlands soon after WWI had failed. The Netherlands were 'non grata' in english eyes for lending their hospitality to the german ex-emperor Wilhelm II in Doorn.Even cousin Alice postponed her visits to The Netherlands after WWI, because the british press would undoubtably blame that 'I was going to see my abdominable cousin', as she described Wilhelmina ironically in 1919. Queen Emma tried to 'use'* her relatives at the swedish court to ease the tension with the british, as the swedish RF was related to the british.The dutch envoy in London, jhr. R. de Marees van Swinderen was pessimistic nontheless. Wilhelmina's suggestion that the british monarchs could pay her a visit at Windemere was a 'salva maxima reverentia illness of the mind'. Prince Hendrik could forget an invetation to a deerhunt in Scotland: 'the King (George V) will have none of it'. In the end all the diplomatic troubles led to a quick greeting by George and Mary on Victoria Station at Wilhelmina's arrival. 'I babbled with the power of desperation' wrote Wilhelmina to her mother on the 27th of june (1923). The meeting lasted 15 minutes, which was enough for Princes Alice to tell her cousin with a pityfull smile that she had shaken up this morning quite a bit. Two weeks later a quick counter-visit took place from Wilhelmina to the royal couple, this time in Carlisle where the royal train to Balmoral stopped for 10 minutes.

* =(they use another word in dutch which is less strong, but I do not know how to translate that one in english)
The quote comes from Wilhelmina, krijgshaftig in een vormeloze jas, by Prof. C. Fasseur.
Considering that King George V was quite pleased that his cousin Wilhelm was 'saved' from a public trial by the americans/english, I think this shows his opportunism, a bit in the same style as his refusal to give refuge to his Russian relatives.

Iain 02-28-2006 03:06 AM

[quote=Marengo]Wilhelmina hoped to merge the agreable (the holdidays in Scotland) with the usefull by meeting the british monarchs.

A lady once told me that she remembered Queen Wilhelmina staying in Crieff in Perthshire. She used to "go the messages" (Scots for do the shopping) for the house and one day she was in the butchers shop. A coach load of tourists from London where in town and found out that the Queen was in the shop. They were congregating outside trying to see her and the butcher took the Queen by the arm and said to her "come away my dear and I'll let you out the back door." The Queen managed to escape the crowd.

The lady told me that the Queen looked "just like any wee Scots wuman" and the Scots loved her for that. So much so that throughout Scotland the spelling of the name Williamina changed to Wilhelmina in her honour.

Iain 03-06-2006 11:27 AM

For some reason my last post (above) didn't register and it looks like Marengo was the last post. This is just to let you know that something else was posted.

Squidgy 03-06-2006 04:22 PM


Originally Posted by Marengo
Wilhelmina hoped to merge the agreable (the holdidays in Scotland) with the usefull by meeting the british monarchs.

A lady once told me that she remembered Queen Wilhelmina staying in Crieff in Perthshire. She used to "go the messages" (Scots for do the shopping) for the house and one day she was in the butchers shop. A coach load of tourists from London where in town and found out that the Queen was in the shop. They were congregating outside trying to see her and the butcher took the Queen by the arm and said to her "come away my dear and I'll let you out the back door." The Queen managed to escape the crowd.

The lady told me that the Queen looked "just like any wee Scots wuman" and the Scots loved her for that. So much so that throughout Scotland the spelling of the name Williamina changed to Wilhelmina in her honour.

Great story Iain!! Sounds like the Queen made quite an impression on the Scots!

Marengo 03-06-2006 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by Iain

A lady once told me that she remembered Queen Wilhelmina staying in Crieff in Perthshire. She used to "go the messages" (Scots for do the shopping) for the house and one day she was in the butchers shop. A coach load of tourists from London where in town and found out that the Queen was in the shop. They were congregating outside trying to see her and the butcher took the Queen by the arm and said to her "come away my dear and I'll let you out the back door." The Queen managed to escape the crowd.

The lady told me that the Queen looked "just like any wee Scots wuman" and the Scots loved her for that. So much so that throughout Scotland the spelling of the name Williamina changed to Wilhelmina in her honour.

Thanks Iain!!! I never heard that story before and it would have been so nice to add in her biography! It made me laugh out loud, just imagening Wilhelmina escorted by the butcher. I am sure she must have enjoyed it thoroughly btw, she always longed for closer contact to 'normal' people and always tried to escape the 'golden cage'. During the war this lead to funny situations btw, she usually received all the brave dutchmen who escaped the country with a small boat (very risky) and went to England to fight the germans, for tea. As these men weren't pre-selected and as she insisted to meet all of them it happened more then once that a nervous secretairy had to explain words from dutch slang to the Queen. I even believe she used one of them. In her speeches she often furiously referred to germans as 'moffen', which gave her ministers some headachess.

Another anecdote about an english lady who gets a ride during WW2, from the Queen (everybody had to save gas/oil), and in the car, the lady goes on and on talking about the dutch Queen to Wilhelmina. Of course she doesn't know that it is the Queen herself who is sitting next to her. The lady had a shop in something and was telling Wilhelmina that she didn't suppose the dutch Queen would come over and buy something there, considering her reputation. Wilhelmina of course didn't move a muscle and only replied something like 'I don't suppose she would, she is known to be very frugal'. Only afterwards the lady realised her mistake!

Warren 03-07-2006 12:05 AM


Originally Posted by Marengo
... a nervous secretairy had to explain words from dtch slang to the Queen. I even believe she used one of them. In her speeches she often furiously referred to germans as 'moffen', which gave her ministers some headachess.

Translation of "moffen" please. :)

Australian 03-07-2006 02:17 AM


Originally Posted by Warren
Translation of "moffen" please. :)

I think it means "jerries" which i think means Germans or German soldiers in particular.

Warren 03-07-2006 03:50 AM


Originally Posted by Australian
I think it means "jerries" which i think means Germans or German soldiers in particular.

That's not too bad, she could have called them 'Huns'. This word was used in Britain and Australia and probably elsewhere until well after the War. It wasn't a term of affection.

Maxie 03-07-2006 04:42 AM


Originally Posted by Warren
That's not too bad, she could have called them 'Huns'. This word was used in Britain and Australia and probably elsewhere until well after the War. It wasn't a term of affection.

'Moffen' is much stronger than 'jerries'. I think 'Huns' (as you describe it, Warren) covers up the meaning of 'Moffen'. There wasn't any affection left for a German when he was called a 'Mof' by a Dutchman, you can be sure of that... :o

Iain 03-08-2006 07:44 AM


Originally Posted by Iain

Great story Iain!! Sounds like the Queen made quite an impression on the Scots!

Yes she did, and I think that's why to this day most Scots adore the Dutch royals.

Iain 03-08-2006 07:59 AM


Originally Posted by Marengo
Another anecdote about an english lady who gets a ride during WW2, from the Queen (everybody had to save gas/oil), and in the car, the lady goes on and on talking about the dutch Queen to Wilhelmina. Of course she doesn't know that it is the Queen herself who is sitting next to her. The lady had a shop in something and was telling Wilhelmina that she didn't suppose the dutch Queen would come over and buy something there, considering her reputation. Wilhelmina of course didn't move a muscle and only replied something like 'I don't suppose she would, she is known to be very frugal'. Only afterwards the lady realised her mistake!

This reminds me of Tony Blairs first meeting with Queen Beatrix. He was at some conference or the like in the Netherlands and during the lunch break Beatrix went to speak to him. She asked his name (this was before he was
(in)famous) and what he done for a living. After He had told her he said "And you, what's your name?" "Beatrix" came the reply. "and Beatrix", he asked, "what do you do for a living?" "well actually, I'm the queen around here" she replied. He was once asked during an interview if it was true he had once failed to recognise the Queen of the Netherlands and he admitted it was true. One of the other delegates was reported as saying "thank God it was
Queen Beatrix because she saw the funny side, Queen Elizabeth would have had his head."

Alexandria 03-08-2006 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by Iain
This reminds me of Tony Blairs first meeting with Queen Beatrix. He was at some conference or the like in the Netherlands and during the lunch break Beatrix went to speak to him. She asked his name (this was before he was
(in)famous) and what he done for a living. After He had told her he said "And you, what's your name?" "Beatrix" came the reply. "and Beatrix", he asked, "what do you do for a living?" "well actually, I'm the queen around here" she replied. He was once asked during an interview if it was true he had once failed to recognise the Queen of the Netherlands and he admitted it was true. One of the other delegates was reported as saying "thank God it was
Queen Beatrix because she saw the funny side, Queen Elizabeth would have had his head."

That's a funny story Iain. It sort of speaks poorly that Tony Blair wasn't prepped by his staff in advance however. But it speaks wonderfully of Queen Beatrix who took it all in stride. Hard to be big on yourself, even if you're the queen, isn't it?! :p

JohnRaven 04-28-2006 01:50 AM

Small correction: Wilhelmina, born in 1880, became Queen in 1890 at the age of 10, when her father died. It was not untill 1898 that she was invested as Reigning Queen of the Netherlands. Her mother Queen Dowager Emma acted as Queen Regent for the minor Queen between 1890 and 1898.
And did you know that Wilhelmina was called Prinses Pauline (Paulientje) untill 1890.

Marengo 04-28-2006 05:11 AM

I didn't know that, I can't recall they mentioned it in the official biography. But who called her that? The public or her parents? I always heard that the King and Queen Emma referred to her as 'Wimpie'.
Anyway, Pauline is a nice name as well, and it was customary for the dutch princess and princesses to have Willem/Wilhelmina as the first name (their list of names ALL started with that), but use the 2nd or a 3rd in real life.

Marengo 11-10-2006 09:29 AM

Two pictures of Wilhelmina with her husband, mother and daughter:

Pics from, free of copyrights.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:20 AM

Lucien wrote a rather interesting article about Wihelmina on the Alexanderpalace forums. As I think some people here will be interested as well I asked his permission to repost the information here, which he kindly allowed. So I hope you enjoy reading:

The death of Queen Wilhelmina in 1962 marked the end of an era,and that is not just a popular phrase.

During her life,1880 - 1962,she witnessed more than anyone could/can comprehend.Born in the age that Queen Victoria ruled dear Britain,the Hohenzollerns were high and mighty,and the Romanovs ruled supreme in dear Imperial Russia,all previous three,along with others,the subject on numerous threads here in this Forum,just try to imagine.To do justice to her one really has to transfer into that era.

The only daughter of HM King Willem III and Queen Emma,Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria was born at Nooreinde Palace,The Hague on august 31st 1880.

At the time of her birth,her brother Alexander was Heir to the Throne,but he died on june 21st of 1884,and from that moment on the little Princess was Heir Presumptive.Wilhelmina and Alexander never met,as the latter was alienated from his father the King.

Home to Wilhelmina was Het Loo Palace,Apeldoorn,and that remained so for the rest of her life.She was quite lonely and most of her "company"consisted of Courtiers of considerable age.On rare occasions children,and grandchildren of the most prominent courtiers were invited to play.

From the age of 7,a gouverness was appointed,Miss Saxton Winter,as well as a "supervisor"to the upbringing of the little Princess,Miss van de Poll.A teacher was appointed,Mr.Gedeking,and those three "molded"the Princess.Mother Emma often attended classes of her daughter as well,it was,at times,difficult to Wilhelmina to have her mother watching over her shoulder,as one can well imagine.Queen Emma,from a very early age "impregnated" Wilhelmina with not just the word,but more the meaning of Duty.

Wilhelmina was strongwilled,and from time to time collided with her tutor.Things really changed in 1890 as her father died,and from that moment on Wilhelmina was Queen of the Netherlands.Anything and everything was set in force to educate the young Queen as she would ascend the Throne by the age of 18.In 1896,at the age of 16 the young Queen visited her "dear Sister Queen Victoria at Windsor,(QV spoke quite favorably of her,at that time)....
September 6th 1898 saw the Inthronisation of Queen Wilhelmina in the Nieuwe Kerk,Amsterdam.(The venue, as stated in our Constitution,for the Inthronisation of all Dutch Monarchs.

That Queen Wilhelmina was strongwilled was shown not long after that.South Africa,and thus the British Empire,was involved in the Boer war.The Boers,originating from the Netherlands,and more so it's leader Paul Kruger,had to sympathy of Her Majesty.She send a navy destroyer to SA to fetch Mr.Kruger,an act that was more then frowned upon by not just "Her dear Sister Queen Victoria"only.Nonetheless it was obvious to all that this young Queen was a person to be reckoned with.
The young Queen was not married,and a suitor was not in sight,allthough before the Boer war,eyes were directed to Britain as find a possible suitor,that all seized to be the case due to the Boer War and the Queens actions.Germany was focused upon,much to the delight of the Kaiser,as he "saw"maybe one of his sons being the Queens future spouse.But eventually,on october 12th 1900 the young Queen was engaged to Heinrich of Mecklenburg Schwerin,and married on february 7th 1901 at the Grote Kerk,The Hague.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:21 AM

This choice(Prince Hendrik)was seen as "harmless".It was important that the choice of the future husband of Wilhelmina wouldn't interfere with the policy of strict neutrality of the Dutch government.So a Hohenzollern was out of the question,as that might be looked upon as snuggling up to Germany.Prussia had provided candidates here there and everywhere in that era.

Moreover the Kaiser wasn't particurarely liked,to put it mildly.In his letters to Queen Wilhelmina he referred to her as "mein lieber cousine",meanwhile his lieber cousine did everything to keep him at arms lenght and more,as did Queen Mother Emma.The latter disliked the Hohenzollerns for more then one reason,one of them being that her uncle had chosen the wrong side during the last Prussian-Austrian War and was "punished"by Wilhelm I by loosing his Dukedom,Emma never forgave.

There is a remarkeble correspondence dating from march 1900 in which Wilhelmina requested the Kaiser to be a mediator in order to end the Boer War.His reply came swift and he stated:"Heavens revenge would befall upon England some day",and announced the build up of a strong naval fleet,preferably manned by men of the Dutch-Frisian race under the mutual banner of Orange and Brandenburg.(Willy's megalomania must have gotten the better of him),anyway,that was too much for Wilhelmina's liking,and she refrained from going further on the issue.

The honeymoon of Wilhelmina and Hendrik,at Het Loo Palace didn't last too long,just a few days,until duty called upon Wilhelmina.The dutch government didn't give in to her request for an allowance for Prince Hendrik as Prince Hendrik as Prince Consort was entitled to in her opinion.That,eventually,proved to be penny wise and pound foolish.Hendrik had a(small) allowance from the Mecklenburgs,and depended for the rest on Wilhelmina's purse,and she wasn't known to throw it by the bucket,so most of the time Hendrik was without funds.

One year after their wedding Queen Wilhelmina gave birth to a stillborn son,followed by several miscarriages in the next years,until finally on april 30th 1909 a daughter was born,Princess Juliana.

The marriage at that time was already deteriorating beyond repair,and it got worse.Prince Hendrik hadn't much to do besides promoting sport for youngsters and scouting.He took a different approach to "scouting"as he became involved with several ladies,and an entourage of friends that left him with debts.Wilhelmina,nonetheless took "care of that",but eventually both didn't speak anymore,nothing,for a long time.

Wilhelmina had a strong sympathy for the military,and from very early on in her Reign interfeared with politics,specially the Defence as she was aware long before it happened that war in Europe was inevitible.
Time after time she stepped beyond the border of what is expected of a Constitutional Monarch,and thus instead of standing above parties,became one herself.And she was a force to be reckond with,Wilhelmina wished very much to be a "soldier Queen"both in times of peace and war.Her examples par excellence were her ancestors Willem The Silent and the King-Stadtholder William III.She got her way,eventually(1908),with modernising the dutch forces as she was convinced that a strong defence was important to the nations independence.

The Netherlands remained strictly neutral towards both sides in WWI.

Being a granddaughter of Queen Anna Paulowna,néé GrandDuchess of Russia,as well as a Monarch,Wilhelmina was appalled and deeply shocked by the murder of the Tsar and his Family,as was she as the Thrones of Europe tumbled down.It left a deep impression on her,Monarchie wasn't taken for granted after WWI anymore,and instead of a rule became an exception.

As the Kaiser arrived by train in the southern dutch town of Eysden requesting asylum,she granted it.Throughout his stay here she kept a distance towards him,and she never understood why the Kaiser fled his country as that was in total contradiction of Wilhelmina's sence of duty,courage and love for the nation a Monarch is due.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:23 AM

Except for some well wishings on occasion of both their birthdays,there hardly ever was contact,let alone that they(Wilhelmina and Wilhelm II) ever met.Granting asylum was one thing.Out of courtesy however,Wilhelmina did send flowers on occasion of the Kaisers marriage to Hermine Reuss.The Allies requested time after time for Wilhelm,but Wilhelmina never gave in.

She really deeply felt she was Wilhelmina Helena Pauline,by The Grace of God,Queen of The Netherlands,Princess of Orange Nassau etc etc...
Gods choosen one,and just one little step down from that,she was very much aware she descended from a long line of illustriuous ancestors,Willem The Silent and King-Stadtholder Willem III,her examples par excellence as how to lead a Nation.She wished her Reign to be as glorious as theirs.The country barely survived its strict neutrality policy,the pressure on her must have been immense,not the pressure from others,but that that was within her.Wilhelmina's character was quite complex.

It is difficult to define her,many have tryed and still couldn't really get "around her",let alone that I can.
During WW I there was the Wilhelmina that time and time again inspected her troops,often at the most untimely hours,and preferebly unannounced,even when not at war but High alert just in case,she was among her soldiers.The Officers in command were questioned into every detail,and they better came up with a plausible answer,if not,Wilhelmina "showed her temper"there and then".She was notorious for her temper,she herself referring to her Russian blood as being the cause,....while grinning.....

There was one "little incident"during the war.Prince Hendrik got notion that his brother served with his regiment just across the Dutch/Belgian border.Naive,but nonetheless enthousiastic the Prince thought it a wonderfull idea to go meet his brother,paying him a visit.And he set off.Hendrik was already near the border by the time Wilhelmina got wind of it,and Commanded/ordered his immediate return.Hendrik didn't think much of it,he just wanted to see his brother,but obeyed his wife.There's nothing on record as to their "conversation"afterwards,as one can well imagine.Conversation could be to much for a word,as they communicated by little notes.

The Kingdom of The Netherlands at that time was not only the little spot in the North of Europe,but was extended to the Dutch Antilles(caribbean),Suriname(south-america)and last but certainly not least the Dutch East Indies,present day Indonesia as well as New-Guinea. In the latter,Queen Wilhelmina was represented by the Resident(Governor-General) in Batavia(present day Djakarta).

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:24 AM

Queen Wilhelmina was quite good at painting,her favorite subject being landscapes in (especially)Norway and
its fjords and Scotland.Another two favorite venues for painting were the roof(the center wing) of the Royal Palace,
Amsterdam,she could sit there,unnoticed,while painting the skies over Amsterdam.The other venue being a small "cart"
(still at Het Loo Palace)which she(and the mule) drove herself in any season,through the grounds of the Royal Domain and the
grounds of Het Loo Palace,or the dunes near The Hague,as she had a summer residence"De Ruygenhoeck" build
there,now gone.

The Ruygenhoeck was Wilhelmina's design,to her it was "heaven",but visitors had a slightly different idea of heaven.If it rained,there was always a drip of a drop inside here or there,in winter it was cold.Not that Wilhelmina noticed it that much,she liked it,and with plaids around the royal landinggear,it was cosy and warm,to her.But its setting was beautifull,in the dunes near the Northsea,she loved to ride her horses there as well(as her granddaughter Queen Beatrix still does to this day,solo or with other members of the RF).

Her paintings are quite dramatic,but,unfortunately,very rarely to be seen,most are with the RF still,imagine,in those days,paintings of The Queen for sale,just not done,so Wilhelmina.She used to give her own work to family members,as birthday gifts accompanied with a bouquet of daisies,as they were plentyfull around her house.Besides,after all,Queen Wilhelmina wasn't known for throwing her finances by the bucket.

There is the dramatic story of how and why Het Loo Palace was enlarged in 1911.The then government wished to add a (gala-)dining room as well as an additional floor to Het Loo.Reason,the many official guests Wilhelmina entertained at the Palace and the lack of space,not for the guests but more for their entourage.A floor was added as well as the dining room,much to Wilhelmina's dismay.Wilhelmina was for some years planning to restore the Palace to its original,as build by King-Stadtholder William III and Queen Mary.Now that plan went out of the window.Who pushed the plans around Wilhelmina must have been an incredible guy,but she accepted,dismayed and all.At present ofcourse,the Palace is back to its original,but I would be running ahead decades by going any further on that now.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:25 AM

As there are often two sides to each story,maybe its usefull to give a summary of who Prince Hendrik was as a person and Prince Consort.

Prince Hendrik,néé Duke Heinrich Wladimir Albrecht Ernst of Mecklenburgh-Schwerin appeared to be the ideal son-in-law in the summer of 1900,according to Queen Mother Emma and Hendriks grandmother,the Princess zu Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.So a meeting was arranged between the then 19 old Queen Wilhelmina and the Duke.Emma had her mind set on a future son-in-law that was:
1 Aristocrat
2wouldn't interfere with Affairs of State

Hendrik seemed to be the most suitable.The first meeting between Hendrik and Wilhelmina took place at the residence of Emma's cousin the Count of Erbach at the Schloss of Bad König.Wilhelmina was quite taken by/with this Hendrik.Hendrik's brother Adolf had been invited too(was seen as yet another possible(more handsome!)suitor,but he cancelled the trip,which turned out to be half as bad later,as this Adolf became a fanatic nazi,and main reason Wilhelmina broke of all relations with the Mecklenburghs later...)

During the first meetings Wilhelmina and Hendrik were chaparoned either by Emma or Ladies-in-Waiting,or both.

Mind you,even in that time,there were rumours and speculation going round as to likely candidates to HM Queen Wilhelmina,and Hendrik was already mentioned as one of them.(Just to "show"rags and reporters are not a recent 'nuisance')..

But on the 12th of October 1900,the two were allowed some minutes entre nous,and it wasn't before long both Wilhelmina and Hendrik appeared again,proudly announcing their engagement.

There's little doubt that Queen Wilhelmina wasn't in love,she was and very much so,according letters to some of her confidantes,and....Ladies in Waiting.But if that was entirely mutual vice versa and the other way 'round with Hendrik?Hendrik seemed to have had second thoughts about the whole matter.He would have to give up his Vaterland,his carefree life of leisure as a Prussian Junker,and what would be ahead of him,besides an avalance of restrictions and duties.Well,a very wealthy spouse,maybe even the wealthiest of Europe(as was thought at the time).

A State income was promised during the negotiations but that never materialized due to the stubbornness of the then dutch government.So,Wilhelmina payed an annual allowance of then 100.000 dutch guilders(equivalent of todays Euro 2.3 million,quite a handsome sum for that day and age,but it was never adjusted,not even after WW I as the value of the money dropped by over halve of it due to inflation),and that,proved to be almost disasterous.To the Monarchy.

Mistakes have been made with the then arrangements,resulting in Prince Hendrik's lack of funds later on,his many debts,and it was proven to be even worse that Hendrik didn't have any function of stature,wasn't allowed one.He didn't get a function within the forces as that could be seen as a breach of neutrality,a German in the Royal Dutch Forces?Result in the end,the Prince became intensly bored.Hendrik never had much,if any,interest in political issues nor State Affairs,he was kept far from that anyway,by Queen Wilhelmina. To be continued.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:25 AM

According to dutch historians,the marriage was reasonably happy until 1914.There had been separate bedrooms for a while by that time,and it seemed that the only common love was directed towards their little daughter Princess Juliana.Hendrik's favorite pastime with his little girl consisted of putting jig-saw puzzles together,he had hundreds of them.....

Wilhelmina and Hendrik quickly grew apart,not just because of his affairs,but more because of his debts.It is proven that the Prince had several children outside wedlock,so to speak,and that he supported the mothers financially.Not very unusual in his circles those days,or now.If at that time,a demi-mondaine,as they were called,had a child she often got hold of the wealthiest guy she could get hold on.Quite often that turned out to be Prince Hendrik,he was easy prey,and couldn't proof NOT to be the father.DNA was unheard of at the time,and so there were claims,and stories about claims.But proven was very little.

What wasn't as "little"were his debts.His flipping with money he didn't have frustrated Queen Wilhelmina a great deal during the 1920's.Between 1922 and 1934,the year of his death,he had debts as large as then 2 million guilders,at a present day rate the equivelent of Euro 30 million.How that could happen even as Queen Wilhelmina had taken "measures"to prevent it?Quite an accomplishment for the Prince -Consort.

Queen Wilhelmina,largely frustrated by it all,appointed the Chief of police of The Hague,Francois van "t Sant,to take care of Hendrik's business,the debts and the claims.As of then,Hendrik was permanently shadowed and prevented from making more debts.Well,....that was the intention of it..........

By 1931 van 't Sant arranged for a adjutant thesaurier to be appointed.Mr.Schmidt.A kind man who largely offered the Prince a home from home.With The Queen staying at Het Loo,and Hendrik at Noordeinde Palace,the Palace kitchens were closed,wouldn't open for one person only,orders Wilhelmina.So Hendrik was often a guest at dinner at the Schmidts,along with other guests,who then invited the Prince and that's how he got through.But the debts didn't disappear,actually,Mr.Schmidt couldn't say NO either,and he and Hendrik became good friends,travelling together with other friends and such to Kurort Karlsbad and Hendriks friends and relatives in Germany in and around Schwerin.That proved to be quite costly.

Hendrik was the youngest of 11,most of his family lost nearly or all after 1918,and some handled money the same way little Heinrich did.They seemed to be born with a hole in their hand.As it turned out,the bulk of Hendriks debts were due to his family highly depending on him for funds.Wilhelmina could do little else then just pay and adjust to it all.The fact that Wilhelmina used her own funds,not just for the annual income of Hendrik,but to clear all of his debts,prevented this echec from becoming a State Affair.
All of this ended abruptly in July 1934 as Prince Hendrik died suddenly of a heart attack at Noordeinde Palace.
Prince Hendrik was a kind man at heart,but a tad naive.Wilhelmina later came to see him in a different light,acknowledging how lonely he must have been.His funeral was unprecedented as it was all in white.To Hendrik that was the colour of the resurrection,death was not to be mourned,but rejoiced.Later,much later Queen Wilhelmina followed his example.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:34 AM

The revolutions in Europe as well as the social unrest were a sign of time to the Dutch socialist party at that time as well.It's leader,Troelstra,saw the time fit to proclaim a republic in The Netherlands as well.On the 12th of november he delivered a speach in the Tweede Kamer(House of Commons)and attacked the Queen directly for interfering with government policies and her strong military influence.That,ofcourse,quite upset the Court.The treath was felt there.Moreover as demonstrations spread all over the country,and the Nooreinde Palace was under protection of the Forces from november 13th.Measurements were taken in case of an emergency.

The attempt for a revolution,9 days of revolts from november 9th till november 18th 1918,went out like a candle,fortunately,in fact that "revolution"died quietly before it was well started off.

(Glad it did if it was just that I detest the word,let alone the act in the context of all that happened at that time)

On the 18th of november 1918 a gathering was staged at the Malieveld,The Hague,thousands and thousands attended,and so did Queen Wilhelmina and her 9 year old daughter Princess Juliana.The crowds cheered Wilhelmina and Juliana and pledged its allegiance to Her.
here's a pic:

The horses were set apart from Wilhelmina's carriage and that was then pulled by as many as could get their hands on it back to the Palace,with a triumphant Queen.
After that by order of the Queen the Court "shrunk"to a much smaller size and Court protocol was simplyfied,she adjusted to the changing times.Her interference with the countries politics almost ceased to be,almost,not always.

The twenties saw many reforms in all fields,and from time to time,if things didn't go quite-or quite as speedy- as Wilhelmina wished,she still pulled the plug and "flushed"a minister,fe,by refusing to sign a bill/law,or by treathening to abdicate.The economic crisis of the roaring twenties didn't leave the Netherlands out of its spectrum,and the Dutch RF,all four of them,Emma,Wilhelmina,Hendrik and Juliana were all over the country visiting here,speeching there,heading aidfunds as their Chair etc etc .

The Netherlands were a colonial force,at that time,and trade was our main force,it stil is.The East Indies provided a large part of the Bnp,and dutch multinationals were on the rise,Philips,Royal Dutch(Shell) and the ancestor of Unilever(dutch).There were voices in the Indies calling for independence,but Wilhelmina was strongly opposed.Why?She had sworn to protect and maintain The Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1898,and wouldn't want to hear a word about having to give up a part of it.On occasion the Princes/Sultans would come over to pay tribute to her,and especially Juliana developed what could be called friendly terms with some.She already saw the sign of time.

In march 1934 Queen Mother Emma died,followed in July by Prince Hendrik,that,was a terrible blow,by any standart.Wilhelmina didn't expect any of them to end their lives so abrupt.Her mother suffered from bronchitis,sure,but that it was that severe she never had a clue.Hendrik died of a heart attack while in his office at Noordeinde Palace.Their relationship wasn't/had not been happy,but Wilhelmina was shocked nonetheless.Later,much later,she adjusted her view on him,while Juliana always spoke about the good man her father was.

The Dutch Royal Family was decimated to two.Their had been suitors for Princess Juliana,one of them being Prince Carl of Sweden but that didn't last.By order of Wilhelmina dutch embassies were on the "look out"for a fitting suitor.The embassy in Paris found one,Bernhard zu Lippe-Biesterfeld.A meeting was arranged at Garmisch Partenkirchen during the 1936 winter Olympics,and Bernhard visited Het Loo Palace several times after that,untill their engagement was announced in 1936.The wedding took place on january 7th 1937 at The Hague.Wilhelmina was delighted.

The couple went on a honeymoon that took them to Poland(wintersports)Austria,Italy,Monaco and Paris.It lasted 4 months,while Wilhelmina started to contact them within a month asking when they would return.Her daughter had left not quite the fashion symbol,but returned in couture from Paris,and smoking.Wilhelmina took it all,with a frown,but she was happy "her children"were back.A year later Wilhelmina became a grandmother,Princess Beatrix was born(our present Queen)

followed on august the 5th 1939 by Princess Irene,a name specially choosen,Peace.

Dark clouds gathered over Europe at that time and in that same year,1939,on august 29 and november 7th,Queen Wilhelmina and King Leopold of Belgium jointly offered to act as mediators to maintain peace.Wilhelmina had paid a State Visit to Belgium in may of the same year,no doubt discussing the details.But it was all in vain,as we all know.

In the early morning of may 10th 1940 german troops invaded The Netherlands.The RF was at Noordeinde Palace,The Hague since a while as it was the seat of government and thus more adequate a residence in this time.Wilhelmina ordered both her daughter and Bernhard to leave immediatly for England with their chidren.Wilhelmina refused to leave her country and people point blanc,and delivered a speech on the radio fulminating against the Germans,and Hitler mostly.She was to set off to the dutch front herself,wanted to be with her boys there,die there if necessary.Only with the greatest effort she was kept from actually going there,and she never forgave the guy that got her not too,a general.Juliana had left from the port of IJmuiden to Harwich,Beatrix on her arm,Irene in a cradle,along with all the Royal Jewels,parures,the lot of it.Wilhelmina remained in the shelter in the garden of Noordeinde Palace,together with Prince bernhard,who had returned from safely delivering his wife and children.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:35 AM

The situation deteriorated fast,and Queen Wilhelmina was urged to flee the country.That idea alone was out of the question to her.A monarch was to stay with the people in times like this,and fleeing would be cowardice.She didn't want to become a second Wilhelm II.German para's were dropped in The Hague.Queen Wilhelmina was advised to leave The Hague for Zeeland by boat from Hook of Holland,as the Province of Zeeland was relatively safe at that point.

Queen Wilhelmina gave in on the 13th,and she was let to believe she would actually go to Zeeland.She said,whatever I do now will be judged wrong,if I stay it will be wrong and likewise if I go.For a person,Monarch,like Wilhelmina this decision was extraordinary difficult.Finally,the royal procession set off to Hoek van Holland and was awaited there by the British destroyer HMS Hereward.While at sea Wilhelmina was notified that due to the dangerous situation she was not to go to Zeeland,but to Great Britain.That devastated her,tremendously.Queen Wilhelmina arrived in Great Britain that evening,and was welcomed upon arrival by King George VI and Queen Elisabeth.
The only comfort being that she was reunited with her daughter and granddaughters,Wilhelmina stayed at Buckingham Palace as guest of George and Elisabeth.

It was there she learned about the bombing of Rotterdam,and the capitulation of the dutch forces to the germans,it left her devastated once again.

Most of HM government fled to GB as well,but soon after arrival the then dutch PM advised Wilhelmina to start negotiations with Berlin.Wilhelmina was appalled,and she was instrumental in the PM resigning that august.

The situation had changed,there was no parliament to "controle",Wilhelmina,gradually,took over controle almost completely,going way beyond the borders of what a Constitutional Monarch is to do.She detested the weakness of some of the government(in exile) members,and made that known to them.

Meanwhile HM took up residence at 82 Eaton Square,gratefull as she was by their British Majesties hospitality,she didn't wish to be a burden.But she only stayed at her new residence for a month,as London was bombed and the Battle of Britain was at hand,she moved to Roehampton,134 Priory Lane at "Roe cottage" untill october that year,and after that finally found a residence that was "safe"enough Stubbings House,Maidenhead,she remained there untill 1944.

From july the 28th 1940 onwards,Queen Wilhelmina started to deliver speeches,by wireless,on Radio Oranje,calling for the Dutch to resist the germans in every possible way.As radio's were prohibited by the enemy,one had to go about in secrecy.Her speeches were like thunder,Wilhelmina thought she had to "scream"to get her message across the North Sea,and she was advised to speak a little less loud,her reply;"But what if there's a storm over the North Sea,I want my poor people to hear what I say"......

Soon after her arrival in GB,the situation was becoming more and more dangerous,due to the bombings ao,Princess Juliana and the children,Beatrix and Irene(who was baptised at Buckingham Palace shortly before)were send to Canada,yet another,but nescessary blow,to Queen Wilhelmina.Son-in-law Prince Bernhard remained with the Queen as adviser,and secretly,started training with the RAF.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:35 AM

The second WW,however awfull,to say the least,it was,turned out to become Queen Wilhelmina's finest hour.She who deeply respected and admired her ancestors Willem the Silent and the King-Stadtholder,felt she was to prove her worth in these immensily difficult times.This was the Wilhelmina who had seriously thought about abdicating in 1938,as she felt tired,very tired,but was only kept from doing so by Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard asking to please give them some more time to prepare as well as for the sake of the children.This Wilhelmina grew out to be tireless and on guard,always,throughout the war.

Her ministers were a different matter,only those agreeing with her in fiercely opposing the invaders as well adjusting to the idea for new Constitutional prerogatives after the war,were favorable to her.She detested defeat,and wouldn't allow even the slidest thought of it.That made her feel,convinced,she was the hope for her people in a changed Netherlands after the war.Meanwhile she remained instrumental in politics to a degree never seen before,unless during the times of absolute Monarchies.But she got away with it.No one was man enough to oppose her ideas,without getting sacked,or removed from her entourage.Early on in the war,there were dutch men and women that fled to GB,Engelandvaarders,as they were called.Queen Wilhelmina was notified each and every time one of them had arrived in GB,and all were invited for dinner or tea or both,with Wilhelmina asking everything that was news about the situation in The Netherlands.

These Engelandvaarders came from all walks in life,so Wilhelmina was to hear expressions quite unfamiliar to her before,to say the least......Wilhelmina never even frowned,she grinned,whatever their background,they were all hero's to her,and never called upon her,or Bernhard in vain,for the remainder of their lives.Many were send back to The Netherlands on secret missions to sabotage,or organise resistence groups,many of them were also captured,tortured and killed,to Wilhelmina that was a blow each time,as she had come to regard them as her extended family,her boys,her girls.

She felt she was lucky to have her son-in-law Bernhard with her in GB,he regurarly flew over to Canada to see Juliana and the children,Wilhelmina finally went to see them as well,hiding her fear of flying,from the 16th of june 1942 till august 25th.She visited Canada first,and learned how free and uncomplicated her grandchildren were,much to her delight.She went on to visit the US and delivered a speech to Congress,and stayed with the Roosevelts,they were to remain dear friends to the RF.

She once again returned to both Canada and the US in may 1943,as Juliana had given birth to yet another Princess,Margriet,on january 19th that year,in Ottawa.The room at the hospital was declared Dutch Territory by the Canadian government on the occasion.Pictures were taken during this visit,later to be dropped over our country.The Dutch,started to wear daisies,margriet=daisy,as a sign of allegiance to the RF.

Back in London,or Maidenhead,Wilhelmina was her ever forcefull self again,and announced the reforms in relation to The Dutch East Indies(at that time occupied by the Japanese)after the war,as well as reforms to change dutch society,to do away with the old political system of the many many parties,she wished to renew all and everything.Surely,she was convinced,the war had enabled a new view by all who lived through it,for a new society.As she discussed these plans with her daughter Juliana,the latter was perplex,asking her mother,but that would be more the idea of an absolute Monarchie.The frustration of seeing her people suffer,both in Europe and in the East was one of the initial reasons that changed Wilhelmina,the other being,no doubt,she hardly had any opposition by any in her government nor entourage.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:35 AM

Surely,the many contacts she had with the Engelandvaarders had been a revelation to her,she'd never before been so close,on a day to day basis,with the "ordinary"people.Their stories of what happened in her country,and the many personal stories and views,molded her ideas for another,new Netherlands,convinced as she was that that was what everyone wished.

One other wish of her was not to live in a Palace again after the war,a "normal'house would be good enough,she couldn't bare the thought she was to live on in Palaces while her people went through so much deprevation and dispare.

After D-Day,1944,hopes were rising fast and as the allies kicked the germans out of the south of The Netherlands,she wanted to fly over immediatly,but wasn't allowed as it was still considered dangerous.That,she said,was bullocks,had not George VI and Bernhard flown over already and returned safe?They had,but still,Wilhelmina had to wait.One of the most horendous episodes was about to start.The Batlle of Arnhem in september 1944,the unnescesary loss of so many allies,due to the stubborness and arrogance of (british Monty)command.They had been warned time and time again,nonetheless it went off,causing the deaths of many thousands of both military and civilians and the "Hunger winter".Deprived of anything,people were eating grass,tulipbulbs,roots of plants on top of that it was the worst winter since long.

It was not until march 13th 1945 that Wilhelmina was to set foot again on Dutch soil,in the town of Eede,Zeeland.She,and her daughter took up residence at the Villa "Anneville'just outside Breda.Juliana later returned to England to pick up her children who had also been flown there from Canada.She lived there untill it was safe enough to go to the north in may,as that was still occupied territory.Finally,she set off for Apeldoorn again,Het Loo Palace or...?She quickly learned Berhard had installed Allied Headquarters in the Palace,without her permission(that later got Bernhard in fits of laughter,as he did ask permission for it),she took up residence,shortly,near the old palace,and then moved to The Hague,Scheveningen rather,to take up residence in a semi-detached house at the Nieuwe Parklaan there from september 1945 till 1946.(The house still exists and has a plaque at the front commemorating it's illustrious resident)

The Noordeinde Palace was still there,Wilhelmina strongly disliked it,and said upon visiting it for the first time again,hmm,couldn't they have bombed it too.....

Ofcourse it proved an almost impossible situation,the Queen living in a semi-detached house,thinking her people wanted her to live as "normal"as possible.She was informed by the PM,that this was not what the people wanted from her at all.So Wilhelmina,eventually,returned to her old childhood home,Het Loo Palace.

She might have moved back to her old home,she wasn't to move back to the old system,and idealised the new possibilities of a new Holland.That,as she learned quickly,was to be proven wrong.There was a parliament in place again,and all the political parties emerged again as well,to her frustration.She had changed her entourage at Court,most had been resistance fighters,but she couldn't change much else.This was to prove too much on her,desillusion after desillusion,as she felt it.The war years kicked in,and Wilhelmina was tired to a degree she no longer wished to reign,she felt unfit,and Juliana was installed as Regent twice,for short periods,before september 1948.

Queen Wilhelmina wished to avoid all official circomstance for a Golden Jubilee,and wished to abdicate before that time,the cost of it all alone she found too much in a country that was struggling its way up again post war.As she was informed that the people wished to pay tribute to her,she gave in and had a Golden Jubilee celebration.Her years during the wars,her relentless attacks on the invaders,her intense support of the resistence gave her a new title,one she was most proud of;Mother of the Resistance,Moeder des Vaderlands.

Marengo 12-12-2006 07:36 AM

Originally,Queen Wilhelmina had planned a quick transition of reigns,she was not just tired,but extremely tired,the war,the tension once home again with the East-Indies issue etc etc,besides she sufferd from bronchitis and ischia's,(gaute?).Bronchitis was why she couldn't deliver the Speech from the Throne in 1947.(Speech from the Throne,the formal State opening of Parliament).

On the 4th of september 1948,Queen Wilhelmina signed the Act of Abdication in favour of her daughter Queen Juliana.Queen Wilhelmina wished to be known as Princess Wilhelmina from that moment on.A title as Queen Mother was not desired by her,to her there was only one Queen Mother,Emma,her own mother.Thousands and thousands,many overcome with emotion,gathered at the square in front of the Royal Palace,Amsterdam.For generations Wilhelmina had been THE QUEEN,this era had come to an end.

Two days later september 6th saw the Inthronisation of Queen Juliana at the Nieuwe Kerk,Amsterdam.Wilhelmina,now Princess Wilhelmina attended the ceremony,but left soon after as she was exhausted.A car waited for her at the back of the Palace,that drove her to her home,Het Loo.During the ride there,she had a typical Wilhelmina "manouvre".She must have been overcome by all the events the previous days,and most by the Inthronisation of her child,but suddenly she became aware there was a man sitting on the passenger seat next to the driver.She asked her Lady in Waiting as to who that man was."But Your Royal Highness,he's a member of the security service"."Security service?But I'm not a Queen any longer,just a mere Princess,and Princesses don't need a security officer,stop the car".The car stopped,and Wilhelmina requested the poor man to get out of the car.Then and there.In the middle of nowhere.And off she drove....

She remained at Het Loo,only on rare occasions she appeared in public.The first was in 1948 as her daughter Queen Juliana's first Act as reigning Queen was the investiture of Princess Wilhelmina as Knight Militaire Willemsorde,the highest order for service to the Kingdom due to her lifelong service and especially her inspirational role during WW II for the resistance,and her people.

The second appearance was in the early days of february 1953 as large parts of The Netherlands were flooded by a combination of high tide and storm.Thousands lost their lives.Wilhelmina immediatly set off to visit and comfort those affected in the disaster area,as did her daughter The Queen,Prince Bernhard and eldest children.She remained in the area for days,listening to each that wished to talk to her,or was asked by her.She,later,invited children at Het Loo from the families affected,as did her daughter Juliana.The little Princesses,Beatrix and Irene offered drinks and food to the kids at Soestdijk Palace,residence of Queen Juliana.

In 1956 on january 31st,Princess Beatrix became 18 years old,and was appointed as member of the Council of State.On that occasion a Gala-dinner was offered by the government,Princess Wilhelmina attended a well.
Later that year saw the Hungarian uprising,the Hungarians tryed to free themselves from USSR/communist oppression and the uprising was brutally smashed down by soviet troops.Many Hungarians fled,ao,to the Netherlands.A commemoration/protest was staged throughout the country,the one in Amsterdam attended by all members of the Royal Family,including Princess Wilhelmina.She was appalled.

As said before, all this information is courtesy to Lucien and the Alexanderpalace forums. Here is a link for those who want to take a look to the pictures posted there as well:,4267.90.html

lucien 09-21-2007 03:48 AM


Originally Posted by Warren (Post 394943)
That's not too bad, she could have called them 'Huns'. This word was used in Britain and Australia and probably elsewhere until well after the War. It wasn't a term of affection.

Moffen,in this case(!!!),can be best translated to "Krauts" in the most forcefull negative.Think it surpasses Huns tho,knowing the vigour with which it was pronounced....

Marengo 09-22-2007 06:56 PM

And knowing the vigour with which her ministers tried to prevent it from being said/aired ;)


This was posted by Marianne on the Benelux Royals MB today:


A friend of mine recently informed me that a (very nice!) painting by Queen Wilhelmina would be up for sale soon, at Christie's Amsterdam.
And this 'royal rumour' seems to be very true, as it is now also mentioned in some papers:
One of the favourite spots of the old Queen was captured here (lake near Palace Het Loo) and the painting is sold by a descendant of the person who received it from the Queen.
Those who have been able to see the (excellent!) exhibition at Palace Het Loo with loads & loads of paintings by the old Queen will surely be envious of the lucky one who buys this beautiful item!

lucien 03-06-2008 12:09 PM


Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 670672)
And knowing the vigour with which her ministers tried to prevent it from being said/aired ;)

This was posted by Marianne on the Benelux Royals MB today:

[DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto

Courtesy Christies.

PssMarie-Elisabeth 06-05-2008 09:47 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Queen Wilhelmina & Princess Juliana - Wilhelmina when little ...:smile:

PssMarie-Elisabeth 06-06-2008 09:32 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Wilhelmina as a young Queen - Het Loo Palace

msrau 06-10-2008 05:11 PM

Searching for Artist of Painting of Queen Wilhelmina
3 Attachment(s)
I am trying to figure out the artist that painted this canvas. Name is illegable, but I am able to make out Paris. I also have a photograph that looks like may have been taken at the same time as the painting. Any help with the paitner would be reatly appreciated.

magnik 06-10-2008 05:36 PM

It looks like J. Junosza, Paris.

Marengo 07-30-2008 02:58 AM has a funny anecdote about Queen WIlhelmina and the 1928 Olympics. The Olympic Comitee had decided on the opningsdate for these Olympics in Amsterdam without consulting the court. The Queen took it as an insult and consequently the court told them that HM could not attend the opening since she was on a travel to Norway. The NOC tried to persuade HM to return early, but she refused and came back 3 days after the Olympics started.

Article in Dutch here.

lucien 09-16-2008 10:14 AM

HM Queen Wilhelmina's robe,Prinsjesdag 1938:

Het Koninklijk Huis

lucien 09-19-2008 06:03 AM

ANP Beeldbank

ANP Beeldbank

Three generations.

ANP Beeldbank

HM Queen Wilhelmina's Most Noble Order of The Garter:

ANP Beeldbank


ANP Beeldbank

ANP Beeldbank

Amsterdam,roof of the Palace

ANP Beeldbank


ANP Beeldbank


ANP Beeldbank


ANP Beeldbank


ANP Beeldbank

Fort Zeelandia,Paramaribo,Suriname

ANP Beeldbank

Stained Glass window monument commemorating Queen Wilhelmina's Inthronisation in 1898,Nieuwe Kerk,Amsterdam

lucien 02-04-2009 04:39 AM

Wilhelmina,Queen of The Netherlands and the Dominions Overseas:

(The Dutch Antilles,Surinam and the whole of present day Indonesia and New Guinea):

A life in pictures:

ANP Beeldbank

courtesy Royalimages.

lucien 02-09-2009 05:49 AM

`Happy Valentine`

News Summary Starbucks surprises with Dutch queen

courtesy hja :whistling:

Marengo 11-13-2009 06:40 AM

An 'In Memoriam' of the Queen, with a lot of film clips:

NOS - Koningshuis - Video -

Marengo 02-02-2010 07:11 AM

Queen Wilhelmina inspecting the militairy and attending a militairy parade, flanked by general Henri Winkelman, just before WWII started here:

YouTube - Hand In Hand, Kameraden! (Marche militaire néerlandaise/ Dutch military march)

The army on horses and bicycle's, they had one tank which was on a militairy exposition in Berlin at the time of the invasion. Queen Wilhelmina was very frustrated by the state of the army, and for over a decade pressed for more budget for tthe defence department, in vain.

arac 02-28-2010 04:27 AM

Helena can you please find information in regards to a knighthood presented by Queen Wilhelmina to a Dutch Gold Miner Piet Janssen.
thanks and kind regards

Marengo 03-04-2010 05:47 AM

I don't think that Queen Wilhelmina's reign anybody was ennobled. She did present orders, like knight of the Dutch Lion and such, but it will be hard to trace. Your best option might be to contact the ministery of general affairs.


Does anybody remember if prof. Fasseur is very detailed about how Wilhelmina reacted when kaiser Wilhelm II entered the Netherlands in 1918 and asked for asylum. I don't have the books with me, so I can't check but during a lecture my professor said that the Kaiser came here due to Queen Wilhelmina. I know that has been a popular opinion but isn't it a fasle one?

lucien 11-23-2010 02:58 AM

On this day,november 23rd 1890,King Willem III died and 10 year young Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of The Netherlands
and its Colonies,Suriname,The Antilles and the East-Indies,present day Indonesia.Mother Emma was Regent untill september
1898 shorly after the young Queen turned had 18.

lucien 11-28-2010 04:18 AM

November 28th 1962,in the early hours of the day Queen Wilhelmina died peacefully in her sleep at Het Loo Palace.

Marengo 04-23-2011 09:18 PM

A clip of Omroep Zeeland about the Queen arriving back to The Netherlands at the end of the war. She spent 4 days in a ruined proince of Zeeland:

YouTube - Trugkieke 40-45 afl. 18 december: Koningin Wilhelmina in Zeeland

She mostly wanted to talk to members of the resistance and to people who lost their loved ones. Three people are sharing their personal stories about the meeting (& their war experiences)

Arrival in The Hague, July 6th 1945:

An Ard Ri 11-28-2011 06:56 AM

28th of November 1962-Death of Wilhelmina of the Netherlands


Bijzetting Koningin Wilhelmina - YouTube

Marengo 11-05-2012 05:01 PM

This week a new book by Prof. Cees Fasseur about Queen Wilhelmina was published. The title is: 'A lady of Iron'. He mainly focusses on her political activities. The books title was chosen as 'Wilhelmina was known and respected among her ministers for her iron will and intellect'.

Nieuw boek Fasseur over Wilhelmina: Een dame van ijzer - Koninklijk huis - Reformatorisch Dagblad

Later this month the letters from Queen Wilhelmina to her former nanny Miss Saxon Winter will be published too.

In November also a specila exposition at palace 't Loo will be opened, showing the queen's dresses, pictures, film images etc.

On 28 November it will be 50 years since the Queen passed away.

An Ard Ri 11-05-2012 06:13 PM

The book sounds interesting,I wonder if it will get an English version (I'm assuming its in Dutch) .

lucien 11-28-2012 04:07 AM


Today,november 28th,is the 50th anniversary of the death of Queen Wilhelmina.

Her granddaughter Princess Margriet opened an exhibition on the life of the Queen after her abdication at Het Loo Palace yesterday.

PPE Agency

courtesy PPE

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