Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962)

When King Willem III died in 1890, his only surviving child was too young to reign. His widow, Queen Emma, acted as regent for her daughter Wilhelmina until 1898

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Image: Paleis Het Loo Nationaal Museum
Queen Wilhelmina, 1898.

Queen Wilhelmina then reigned for 50 years, through two world wars and the decolonisation of Indonesia. She and her ministers spent the years from 1940 to 1945 in exile in London. Her steadfast resolve during the war years won her great respect, both in her homeland and abroad.

On 7 February 1901 she married Duke Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Their only child, Princess Juliana, was born in 1909. Prince Hendrik died in 1934. In 1948 Queen Wilhelmina abdicated, retiring to Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. Following her abdication she was once again addressed as ‘princess’, in accordance with her wishes.