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Painting by Johann Friedrich August Tischbein (1789)
Equestrian portrait of Wilhelmina by Tethart Philipp Christian Haag hangs in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia (1751–1820)

Wilhelmina of Prussia, born Frederika Sophia Wilhelmina, (7 August 1751 in Berlin – 9 June 1820 in Het Loo) , was the consort of William V of Orange and also the de facto leader of the dynastic party and contra revolution in the Netherlands. She was the daughter of Prince Augustus William of Prussia and Duchess Louise Amalie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.

Contents

Background

She was brought up with her grandmother. Her marriage took place in Berlin. On 4 October 1767 in Berlin, Wilhelmina was married to William V of Orange, the last Dutch Stadtholder. She received Frederick the Great in Het Loo in 1768. She was a proud person and very politically ambitious. Wilhelmina dominated her spouse and exerted influence on the politics of state.

The revolution

She was deeply involved in the revolutionary political conflicts in the Netherlands from 1781 and not only a supporter and partner, but the power behind the party of her spouse. She was recongized openly as the true leader of the dynastic stadtholder party, and their followers encourragged her to take the leading role. She held a large correspondence with foreign powers and used foreign supporters to influence Dutch policy. In 1785, her spouse was forced to leave Haag and put under a demand to abdicate. She persuaded him not to give in. She went to Friesland, officially to visit a jubilee but in reality to gain supporters in the ongoing political conflict. In 1786, the family mowed to Nijmegen. 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 in 1787; on 28 June she was stopped, waiting at Goejanverwellesluis for a decision and at the end of the day sent back to William in Nijmegen.

Leader of the counter revolution

After having returned to Nijmegen, she asked her brother for a military intervention. 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. She returned to Haag with support of foregin troops, and was celebrated by her followers as the true ruler of the Netherlands.

Exile and later life

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.

In 1802-1805 they lived in Germany. 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. She received Tsar Alexander in Haarlem in 1815.

Children

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

External links

Sources

  • This page is a translation of its Dutch equivalent.
Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia (1751–1820)
Born: 7 August 1751 Died: 9 June 1820
Dutch royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Anne, Princess Royal
Princess Consort of Orange
1767 – 1806
Succeeded by
Wilhelmine of Prussia
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