Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands
- Category : Notable-Famous-Royal-family
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Planning 3
Dutch royal family, the daughter of William III and his second wife. He had two sons by his first marriage and was widowed; both boys died before their dad on 11/23/1890. Her father's death made her Queen of the Netherlands when she was age ten and she began her rule under the regency of the Queen Mother. At the age of 18, on 9/06/1898, she was inaugurated at Amsterdam. Wilhelmina abdicated the throne to daughter, Juliana, in 1948.
Wilhelmina was brought up to be a queen. She did not have a happy childhood, as she was not allowed to have playmates and was put through a rigorous course of studies. At 16 she spoke German, French and English and was learning military and naval strategy from generals and admirals. Her economics lessons were so practical that she managed her own estate, reported to bring in $5,000,000 per year.
In 1898 when she was crowned in the New Church at Amsterdam, Wilhelmina characteristically refused to allow her Prime Minister to write her first public speech. One year later she began her peace and neutrality offensive by offering her palace at The Hague for the first International Peace Conference, at which many of the conventions governing war and arbitration were laid down. Wilhelmina was influential in maintaining The Netherlands’ neutrality.
Two years after her coronation, she married a young lieutenant, Henry Wladimir Albert Ernst, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Parliament steadfastly refused to grant him funds or to make him Prince of the Netherlands and his duties were limited to being the president of the Dutch Red Cross. He died in 1934.
Wilhelmina led an exemplary private life, causing the court at The Hague to be called the dullest in Europe. She enjoyed being a housewife as well as a leader. She gardened and painted in her free time for relaxation. Under Wilhelmina, the Netherlands progressed socially and materially.
Juliana, the only child of Henry and Wilhelmina, was born in 1909. Unlike her mother, she was allowed to have friends, attend camp, and go to the University of Leyden for a degree in constitutional law. In 1937, Princess Juliana married Prince Bernhard zu Lippe-Biesterfeld. At their wedding, Queen Wilhelmina had a run-in with Adolf Hitler when the Nazis confiscated the passports of the German bridesmaids and guests. She told him firmly, "This is the marriage of my daughter to the man she loves…this is not the marriage of the Netherlands to Germany." The passports were returned. Juliana and Bernhard have two daughters, Beatrix and Irene.
The younger princesses were sent to Canada with their mother, Juliana, during part of the war, while Bernhard remained in London in a military capacity. On 05/13/1940 Wilhelmina, Princess Juliana and the two girls traveled to London on the advice of her Cabinet. The next day, the Dutch surrendered to the invading German forces under a "flaming protest." Wilhelmina continued to work from London for peace and to secure the livelihood of her country under the occupation. Throughout the war she exhorted her people over Radio Orange to maintain their spirit until the nation was liberated. She was welcomed back enthusiastically when the German takeover ended in 1945.
Due to poor health, Wilhelmina abdicated the throne to Juliana on 09/04/1948. She retired to her palace, Het Loo, near Apeldoorn. Her memoirs, "Lonely but Not Alone," 1960, reveal the deep religious feeling that dominated her life. Queen Wilhelmina died on 11/28/1962 at Het Loo. Her state funeral was held on 12/08/1962.