Wilhelmina file photo [1061]


Given NameWilhelmina
Born31 Aug 1880
Died28 Nov 1962


ww2dbaseBorn Princess Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Marie of Orange-Nassau to King William III, Queen Wilhelmina became the ruling queen of the Netherlands at the age of 10 upon the death of her father, with her mother ruling as the regent. She was inaugurated on 6 Sep 1898, days after her 18th birthday. She was known as a determined and strong-willed monarch who enjoyed much support from her subjects. During WW1, though officially neutral, the Netherlands were linked closer to Germany for trade reasons. That did not take away Wilhelmina's suspicion of the powerful neighbor to the east, however; she constantly insisted on a high standard for the Dutch forces, which was another source of her widespread support in the Netherlands. In 1928, Amsterdam hosted the Olympics, which brought American Olympic Committee President General Douglas MacArthur to her country. MacArthur noted her as an "extraordinary woman, her grasp of world affairs was complete and her prophetic vision foresaw much of the momentous changes about to take place." MacArthur also praised her efforts to bring liberal ideals to her colonial domains in the Pacific Ocean. In 1939, she was rumored to have influenced the collapse of Prime Minister Hendrik Colijn's government via a vote of no confidence so that she could assert more personal influence in ruling her country through the new government that had closer ties to her.

ww2dbaseOn 13 May 1940, three days after the German invasion, Queen Wilhelmina fled to London much against her initial decision to remain and coordinate defenses. She named Pieter Gerbrandy the Prime Minister of the Dutch government-in-exile and established the London-based government-in-exile as the head of the Dutch resistance. Sending messages from Britain into the Netherlands with Radio Oranje, she called Adolf Hitler "the archenemy of mankind" and rallied her people. Her determination and love for her people earned praises from European leaders.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Queen Wilhelmina's popularity declined as she was unable to halt the revolutions that took place in the Dutch East Indies. As a result, she abdicated on 4 Sep 1948, passing the crown to her daughter Juliana. She passed away in 1962 and was buried at the Nieuwe Kerk church in Delft in the Netherlands.

Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences

Last Major Revision: Aug 2006

Wilhelmina Interactive Map


King George VI of the United Kingdom hosting a gathering of royal families in exile during World War II, early 1940s.Portrait of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, circa 1942

Wilhelmina Timeline

31 Aug 1880 Princess Pauline of Orange-Nassau was born at Noordeinde Palace in the Hague, Netherlands.
23 Nov 1890 Princess Pauline was made Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands upon the death of her father King William III.
6 Sep 1898 Queen Wilhelmina was inaugurated at the Nieuwe Kerk church in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
7 Feb 1901 Queen Wilhelmina married Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in the Hague, Netherlands.
9 Nov 1901 Queen Wilhelmina suffered a miscarriage.
4 May 1902 Queen Wilhelmina gave birth to a stillborn son.
23 Jul 1906 Queen Wilhelmina suffered a miscarriage.
30 Apr 1909 Queen Wilhelmina gave birth to Princess Juliana at Noordeinde Palace in the Hague, Netherlands.
23 Jan 1912 Queen Wilhelmina suffered a miscarriage.
20 Oct 1912 Queen Wilhelmina suffered a miscarriage.
13 May 1940 Queen Wilhelmina departed the Netherlands at 1200 hours aboard HMS Hereward, arriving in England, United Kingdom later on the same day.
24 Jun 1942 Queen Wilhelmina arrived in the United States.
5 Aug 1942 Queen Wilhelmina addressed the United States Congress in Washington DC, United States.
11 Aug 1942 Queen Wilhelmina departed the United States.
29 Jun 1943 Queen Wilhelmina attended the christening of her grandchild Princess Margriet in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
2 May 1945 Queen Wilhelmina returned to the Netherlands.
14 Oct 1947 Queen Wilhelmina passed her monarchial duties to Princess Juliana due to health issues.
1 Dec 1947 Princess Juliana returned monarchial duties to Queen Wilhelmina as the queen's health improved.
12 May 1948 Queen Wilhelmina passed her monarchial duties to Princess Juliana due to health issues.
4 Sep 1948 Queen Wilhelmina abdicated the throne of the Netherlands due to health issues.
28 Nov 1962 Princess Wilhelmina, the former Queen of the Netherlands, passed away at the Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
8 Dec 1962 Princess Wilhelmina, the former Queen of the Netherlands, was buried at the Dutch Royal Family crypt at the Nieuwe Kerk (church) in Delft, the Netherlands.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
14 Mar 2018 10:43:36 PM

the timeline is actually so bad. literally, it's when she was born, and when she died. I don't even know why this website exists

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Wilhelmina Photo Gallery
King George VI of the United Kingdom hosting a gathering of royal families in exile during World War II, early 1940s.
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