Wilhelmine of Prussia, Queen of the Netherlands

Friederike Luise Wilhelmine of Prussia (18 November 1774 – 12 October 1837) was the first wife of King William I of the Netherlands and so the first Queen consort of the Netherlands.

Wilhelmine of Prussia
Wilhelmina van Pruisen.jpg
Queen consort of the Netherlands
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Tenure15 March 1815 – 12 October 1837
Born(1774-11-18)18 November 1774
Potsdam, Prussia
Died12 October 1837(1837-10-12) (aged 62)
Noordeinde Palace, The Hague, Netherlands
SpouseWilliam I of the Netherlands
IssueWilliam II of the Netherlands
Prince Frederick
Princess Pauline
Princess Marianne
Full name
Friederike Luise Wilhelmine
FatherFrederick William II of Prussia
MotherFrederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt


Wilhelmine of Prussia (left) with her little sister Augusta (right) and niece Marie Frederica. Portrait by Friedrich Bury, circa 1809.
Queen Wilhelmine of the Netherlands in old age, by Jan Baptist van der Hulst, 1833.

Princess Wilhelmine was born in Potsdam. She was the fourth child of eight born to King Frederick William II of Prussia and Queen Frederica Louisa. Her upbringing was dominated by the strict regime of her great-uncle, Frederick the Great, but in general very little is known about her youth.

On 1 October 1791, she married her cousin William of the Netherlands, son of Stadtholder William V, Prince of Orange and Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia, in Berlin. The marriage was arranged as a part of an alliance between the House of Orange and Prussia, but it was also, in fact, a love match and became very happy. The young couple went to live at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. In 1795, the French invaded the Dutch Republic, and the princely family went into exile. They first stayed in England, and from 1796 in Berlin. In 1806, Wilhelmine was again forced to flee from the French army, and settled under difficult economic circumstances in Poland. The princess returned to The Hague in the beginning of 1814.

Princess Wilhelmine became Queen consort in 1815. At the time, the Netherlands included the present-day country of Belgium. Queen Wilhelmine was modest and stayed in the background, and she did not play any dominant role as queen. She was not a popular queen, and was criticized for isolating the royal family; in the area of modern Belgium, she was criticized for her German style of dressing. She was interested in painting, attended exhibitions, and helped to protect museums and support artists. She was herself a student of art and regarded as a talented dilettante, ultimately being inducted as an honorary member to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Beginning in 1820, her health worsened, and after 1829, she was rarely seen in public. She died at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague in 1837, aged 62, and is entombed in the New Church in Delft.


Name Birth Death Notes
King William II of the Netherlands 6 December 1792 17 March 1849 married, 1816, Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia; had issue
Stillborn son 18 August 1795 18 August 1795  
Prince Frederick of the Netherlands 28 February 1797 8 September 1881 married, 1825, Princess Louise of Prussia; had issue
Princess Pauline of the Netherlands 1 March 1800 22 December 1806  
Stillborn son 30 August 1806 30 August 1806  
Princess Marianne of the Netherlands 9 May 1810 29 May 1883 married, 1830, Prince Albert of Prussia; had issue



External linksEdit

Wilhelmine of Prussia, Queen of the Netherlands
Born: 18 November 1774 Died: 12 October 1837
Royal titles
New title Queen consort of the Netherlands
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg

Title next held by
Anna Pavlovna of Russia