Wilhelmina of Prussia, Princess of Orange


Wilhelmina of Prussia, Princess of Orange

Wilhelmina of Prussia, born Frederika Sophia Wilhelmina, (7 August, 1751 – 9 June, 1820) was the daughter of Augustus William, Prince of Prussia and Louise Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

Life account

On 4 October, 1767, Wilhelmina was married to William V of Orange, the last Dutch Stadtholder. She was a proud woman and very politically ambitious. When revolution broke out in the Netherlands and William moved his court to Guelders, she attempted to travel back to the capital at the Hague. On June, 28th she was stopped, waiting at Goejanverwellesluis for a decision and at the end of the day sent back to William in Nijmegen.

She and her royal brother, King Frederick William II of Prussia, only for a year in power, perceived this as an insult, and Frederick attacked the Dutch Republic on 13 September 1787. Many rebels had to flee to France, and William was restored to power. However, the Dutch patriots returned in 1795 with support from the French, and William fled to his ally, his cousin George III of England. The couple lived alternately in Kew, Nassau and Braunschweig, where William died.

When Wilhelmina and her daughter were both widowed in 1806, they lived together at various places in the Confederation of the Rhine.

Their son went with his father into exile, but returned in 1813 to eventually become King William I of the Netherlands, the founder of the present Dutch monarchy. Wilhelmina and her daughter returned to the Netherlands in 1814.

A striking equestrian portrait of Wilhelmina by Tethart Philipp Christian Haag hangs in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Children

Wilhelmina and William V of Orange were parents to five children:

*An unnamed son (23 March - 24 March, 1769).
*Frederika Luise Wilhelmine, Princess of Orange-Nassau (28 November, 1770 - 15 October, 1819). Married Karl Georg August, Prince of Brunswick-Luneburg, eldest son of Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg and Princess Augusta Charlotte of Wales.
*An unnamed son (born and deceased on 6 August, 1771).
*William I of the Netherlands (25 August, 1772 - December 12, 1843).
*William George Frederick, Prince of Orange-Nassau (15 February, 1774 - 6 January, 1799).


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