Amalia of Solms-Braunfels


Amalia of Solms-Braunfels

Amalia of Solms-Braunfels (31 August 1602 – 8 September 1675), Countess of Solms-Braunfels, was the wife of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. She was the daughter of Johan Albrecht I of Solms-Braunfels and Agnes of Sayn-Wittgenstein.

Biography

Childhood

Amalia spent her childhood at the parental castle at Braunfels. She became part of the train of Elizabeth, wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, the "Winter King" of Bohemia. After imperial forces defeated Frederick V, she fled with the pregnant queen to the west. Shelter was denied to them because the emperor forbade it. Elizabeth went into labor during their flight and Amalia helped her with her delivery.

The end of their journey was The Hague, where stadtholder Maurice of Nassau gave them asylum. They often appeared at his court, where Maurice's younger half-brother Frederick Henry became infatuated with Amalia. She refused to become his lover and held out for marriage.

Marriage and Children

When Maurice of Nassau died, he made his half-brother Frederick Henry promise to wed. Frederick married Amalia on 4 April 1625.

Their marriage produced five children who lived to adulthood, and four who died young:
* Stadtholder William II (1626-1650), married Mary, The Princess Royal
* Luise Henriette of Nassau (1627-1667), married Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
* Henriette Amalia of Nassau (1628)
* Elisabeth of Nassau (1630)
* Isabella Charlotte of Nassau (1632-1642)
* Albertine Agnes of Nassau (1634-1696), married William Frederick, Count of Nassau-Dietz
* Henriette Catharina of Nassau (1637-1708), married John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
* Hendrik Lodewijk of Nassau (1639)
* Maria of Nassau (1642-1688), married Prince Maurice of the Palatine-Simmern, son of Louis Philip of Palatine-Simmern-Kaiserslautern

Wife to the Stadtholder

When Frederick Henry became stadtholder after the death of his half-brother Prince Maurice, his influence grew substantially, as did Amalia's. Together Frederick Henry and Amalia succeeded in expanding court life in The Hague. They had a number of palaces built, including Huis ten Bosch. Amalia was the prime mover of a number of royal marriages, including that of her son William II to Mary, Princess Royal of England and Scotland (daughter of King Charles I of England) and of their daughters with a number of German princes. After the death of her son William II she became the main guardian of her grandson William III (Prince William III of Orange and later also King William III of England).

King Philip IV of Spain granted her the area around Turnhout in 1649.

External links

*County of Solms in German Wikipedia


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