Prince William II (1626-1650)

Prince William II was the only son of stadholder Prince Frederik Hendrik and his wife Amalia of Solms. In 1647 he succeeded his father as stadholder. He soon got involved in a bitter conflict with the States General over cuts to the armed forces, after a peace treaty was signed in 1648, bringing the Eighty Years’ War to an end.

Prince William II.

When William died of smallpox in 1650, Holland and most of the other provinces chose not to appoint a new stadholder to succeed him. This marked the beginning of the first stadholderless period.