List of monarchs of the Netherlands

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Coat of arms of the Netherlands Royal Coat of Arms of the Netherlands.svg
Coat of arms of the Netherlands

This is a list of monarchs of the Netherlands (Dutch: Koningen der Nederlanden). By practical extension, the list includes the stadtholders of the House of Orange Nassau since 1556. However, they were voted into office by and were civil servants and generals of the semi-independent provinces of the Dutch Republic and cannot be seen as monarchs. From William IV they were the direct male line ancestors of later monarchs when the monarchy was established in 1813 (first as a Sovereign Principality, but in 1815 as a Kingdom).

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

Stadtholder title used in parts of Europe

In the Low Countries, stadtholder was an office of steward, designated a medieval official and then a national leader. The stadtholder was the replacement of the duke or earl of a province during the Burgundian and Habsburg period (1384–1581/1795).

Dutch Republic Republican predecessor state of the Netherlands from 1581 to 1795

The Dutch Republic, or the United Provinces, was a confederal republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first Dutch nation state.


Dutch Republic

The origin of the Dutch monarchy can be traced back to the appointment of William I, Prince of Orange as stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht in 1559 by Philip II of Spain. However, he was removed from office and became the leader of the Dutch Revolt. Consequently, the States-General appointed him as stadtholder of both rebelling provinces, Holland and Zeeland, in 1572. During the Dutch Revolt, most of the Dutch provinces declared their independence with the Act of Abjuration, signed on 26 July 1581 in The Hague in conformation with the decision made by the States-General. The representative function of the stadtholder became obsolete in the rebellious northern Netherlands – the feudal Lord himself having been abolished – but the office nevertheless continued in these provinces who now united themselves into the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. All stadtholders after William I were drawn from his descendants or the descendants of his brother, who were also the descendants of his granddaughter Albertina Agnes of Nassau-Orange.

William the Silent founder of the Dutch Republic, stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht, leader of the Dutch Revolt

William I, Prince of Orange, also known as William the Silent or William the Taciturn, or more commonly known as William of Orange, was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. Within the Netherlands he is also known as Father of the Fatherland.

County of Holland former State of the Holy Roman Empire and part of the Habsburg Netherlands

The County of Holland was a State of the Holy Roman Empire and from 1432 part of the Burgundian Netherlands, from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands and from 1581 onward the leading province of the Dutch Republic, of which it remained a part until the Batavian Revolution in 1795. The territory of the County of Holland corresponds roughly with the current provinces of North Holland and South Holland in the Netherlands.

Zeeland Province of the Netherlands

Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. Its area is about 2,930 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which almost 1,140 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of about 380,000.

In 1795 the Republic was overthrown by Napoleon and replaced with the Batavian Republic. In 1806 Napoleon abolished the new republic and made his brother King of Holland. However, in 1810 Napoleon invaded the Netherlands and annexed them to France. In 1813, Allied forces drove out the French. The Dutch called back William Frederick, the son of the last stadtholder, to head the new government. He was proclaimed "sovereign prince". In 1815, he raised the Netherlands to the status of a kingdom and proclaimed himself King William I. The kingdom was enlarged with the Southern Netherlands, now Belgium and Luxembourg, soon after.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Batavian Republic former country (1795-1806)

The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on 19 January 1795 and ended on 5 June 1806, with the accession of Louis I to the throne of Holland. From October 1801 onward, it was known as the Batavian Commonwealth. Both names refer to the Germanic tribe of the Batavi, representing both the Dutch ancestry and their ancient quest for liberty in their nationalistic lore.

William I of the Netherlands King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg 1815 - 1840

William I was a Prince of Orange and the first King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

Stadtholderate under the House of Orange-Nassau

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
William I
  • the Silent
  • Willem I
(1533-04-24)24 April 1533 – 10 July 1584(1584-07-10) (aged 51)26 July 158110 July 1584 Stadtholder [1] Orange-Nassau Antonio Moro - Willem I van Nassau.jpg
  • Maurits
(1567-11-14)14 November 1567 – 23 April 1625(1625-04-23) (aged 57)158523 April 1625Stadtholder, [2] son of William I Orange-Nassau Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt - Maurits van Nassau, prins van Oranje en Stadhouder.jpg
Frederick Henry
  • Frederik Hendrik
(1584-01-29)29 January 1584 – 14 March 1647(1647-03-14) (aged 63)23 April 162514 March 1647Stadtholder, [3] son of William I Orange-Nassau Frederik Hendrik by Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt.jpg
William II
  • Willem II
(1626-05-27)27 May 1626 – 6 November 1650(1650-11-06) (aged 24)14 March 16476 November 1650Stadtholder, [4] son of Frederick Henry Orange-Nassau Workshop of Gerard van Honthorst 001.jpg
William III
  • Willem III
(1650-11-04)4 November 1650 – 8 March 1702(1702-03-08) (aged 51)4 July 16728 March 1702Stadtholder, [5] son of William II also King of England, Scotland and Ireland Orange-Nassau King William III of England, (1650-1702) (lighter).jpg
William IV
  • Willem IV
(1711-09-01)1 September 1711 – 22 October 1751(1751-10-22) (aged 40)1 September 171122 October 1751First formally hereditary Stadtholder of the United Netherlands, [6] son of John William Friso Orange-Nassau Portret van Willem IV Rijksmuseum SK-A-6.jpeg
William V
  • Willem V
(1748-03-08)8 March 1748 – 9 April 1806(1806-04-09) (aged 58)22 October 175119 January 1795Hereditary Stadtholder of the United Netherlands, son of William IV, deposed by the Batavian Revolution Orange-Nassau Johann Georg Ziesenis - Willem V prins van Oranje-Nassau - c 1770.jpg

When William III died childless, the patrilineal ancestry of Orange-Nassau became extinct. In contrast to other provinces of the Dutch Republic, Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe had mostly drawn its stadtholders from the House of Nassau, that starting with John VI, the brother of William of Orange, and comprises in addition a matrilineal ancestry with the house of Orange-Nassau.

Friesland Province of the Netherlands

Friesland, also historically known as Frisia, is a province of the Netherlands located in the northern part of the country. It is situated west of Groningen, northwest of Drenthe and Overijssel, north of Flevoland, northeast of North Holland, and south of the Wadden Sea. In 2015, the province had a population of 646,092 and a total area of 5,100 km2 (2,000 sq mi).

Groningen City and municipality in Netherlands

Groningen is the main municipality as well as the capital city of the eponymous province in the Netherlands. It is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands and has approximately 230,000 inhabitants. The Groningen-Assen metropolitan area has about half a milion inhabitants. Groningen is an old city and was the regional power of the north of the Netherlands, a semi-independent city-state and member of the German Hanseatic League. Groningen is a university city, with an estimated 31,000 students at the University of Groningen, and an estimated 29,000 at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

Drenthe Province of the Netherlands

Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands located in the northeastern part of the country. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and Germany to the east. In January 2017, it had a population of 491,867 and a total area of 2,683 km2 (1,036 sq mi).

Stadtholderate under the House of Nassau

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
John VI
  • the Elder
  • Jan VI
(1536-11-22)22 November 1536 – 8 October 1606(1606-10-08) (aged 69)15781581Stadtholder, [7] brother of William I Nassau Jan de Oude.gif
William Louis
  • Our Father
  • Willem Lodewijk
(1560-03-13)13 March 1560 – 31 May 1620(1620-05-31) (aged 60)15841620Stadtholder, [8] son of John VI Nassau Willem Lodewijk van Nassau 1560-1620.jpg
Ernest Casimir I
  • Ernst Casimir I
(1573-12-22)22 December 1573 – 2 June 1632(1632-06-02) (aged 58)16201632Stadtholder, [9] son of John VI Nassau Portrait of Ernst Casimir van Nassau-Dietz (Wybrand de Geest, 1633).jpg
Henry Casimir I
  • Hendrik Casimir I
(1612-01-21)21 January 1612 – 13 July 1640(1640-07-13) (aged 28)16321640Stadtholder, [10] son of Ernest Casimir I Nassau Hendrik Casimir I van Nassau-Dietz.jpg
William Frederick
  • Willem Frederik
(1613-08-07)7 August 1613 – 31 October 1664(1664-10-31) (aged 51)16401664Stadtholder, [11] son of Ernest Casimir I Nassau Pieter Nason Wilhelm Friedrich (Nassau-Dietz) Governor of Frisia 1664.jpg
Henry Casimir II
  • Hendrik Casimir II
(1657-01-18)18 January 1657 – 25 March 1696(1696-03-25) (aged 39)18 January 166425 March 1696Hereditary Stadtholder, [12] son of William Frederick and maternal grandson of Frederick Henry Nassau Henry Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz.jpg
John William Friso
  • Johan Willem Friso
(1687-08-04)4 August 1687 – 14 July 1711(1711-07-14) (aged 23)25 March 169614 July 1711Hereditary Stadtholder, [13] son of Henry Casimir II, succeeded by his son William IV of Orange-Nassau, Hereditary Stadtholder of the United Netherlands Nassau Portrait of Johan Willem Friso van Nassau-Dietz (1687-1711) by Lancelot Volders.jpg

Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810)

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Louis I
  • the Good
  • Lodewijk I
(1778-09-02)2 September 1778 – 25 July 1846(1846-07-25) (aged 67)5 June 18061 July 1810Brother of Napoleon Bonaparte LouisBonaparte Holland.jpg
Louis II
  • Lodewijk II
(1804-10-11)11 October 1804 – 17 March 1831(1831-03-17) (aged 26)1 July 18109 July 1810Son of Louis I Bonaparte Cottrau - Napoleon-Louis Bonaparte (1804-1831).jpg

Principality of the Netherlands (1813–1815)

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
William Frederick
  • Willem Frederik
(1772-08-24)24 August 1772 – 12 December 1843(1843-12-12) (aged 71)6 December 181316 March 1815Son of the last Stadtholder William V, raised the Netherlands to a Kingdom status in 1815 Orange-Nassau Willem I (1772-1843), souverein vorst der Verenigde Nederlanden, later koning der Nederlanden Rijksmuseum SK-A-1519.jpeg

Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–present)

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
William I
  • Willem I
(1772-08-24)24 August 1772 – 12 December 1843(1843-12-12) (aged 71)16 March 18157 October 1840Son of the last Stadtholder William V

Orange-Nassau Willemi.jpg
William II
  • Willem II
(1792-12-06)6 December 1792 – 17 March 1849(1849-03-17) (aged 56)7 October 184017 March 1849Son of William I Orange-Nassau Koning Willem II portret.jpg
William III
  • Willem III
(1817-02-19)19 February 1817 – 23 November 1890(1890-11-23) (aged 73)17 March 184923 November 1890Son of William II Orange-Nassau Koningwillem3.JPG
Wilhelmina (1880-08-31)31 August 1880 – 28 November 1962(1962-11-28) (aged 82)23 November 18904 September 1948Daughter of William III

Orange-Nassau Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.jpg
Juliana (1909-04-30)30 April 1909 – 20 March 2004(2004-03-20) (aged 94)4 September 194830 April 1980Daughter of Wilhelmina

Orange-Nassau (Mecklenburg) Prinses Juliana 1981.jpg
Beatrix (1938-01-31) 31 January 1938 (age 80)30 April 198030 April 2013Daughter of Juliana

Orange-Nassau (Lippe) Prinses Beatrix.jpg
  • Willem-Alexander
(1967-04-27) 27 April 1967 (age 51)30 April 2013IncumbentSon of Beatrix Orange-Nassau (Amsberg) Koning-willem-alexander-okt-15-s.jpg

See also

Style of the Dutch sovereign

The style of the Dutch sovereign has changed many times since the establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands due to formations and dissolutions of personal unions, as well as due to marriages of female sovereigns and cognatic successions.

Regalia of the Netherlands

The regalia of the Netherlands consists of a number of items symbolising the Dutch monarch's authority and dignity. In comparison to many European monarchies' regalia, the Dutch regalia are relatively new: having been commissioned by King William II in 1840. An earlier, more modest set of regalia made of silver was commissioned by King William I in 1815.

Inauguration of the Dutch monarch

Upon his or her accession to the throne, the new Dutch monarch undergoes an inauguration ceremony as required by the constitution. The ceremony is taken as a joint session of the two houses of the States General, and is held at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

Related Research Articles

House of Orange-Nassau branch of the European House of Nassau

The House of Orange-Nassau, a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the politics and government of the Netherlands and Europe especially since William the Silent organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) led to an independent Dutch state.

William IV, Prince of Orange hereditary stadtholder of the Netherlands

William IV was Prince of Orange-Nassau and the first hereditary stadtholder of all the United Provinces.


  1. Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht (1559–1584), Stadtholder of Friesland and Overijssel (1580–1584)
  2. Stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland (1585–1625), Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel (1590–1625), Groningen (1620–1625)
  3. Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel (1620–1625), Groningen and Drenthe (1640–1647)
  4. Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel
  5. Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Overijssel (1672–1702), Guelders (1675–1702), Drenthe (1696–1702)
  6. Hereditary Stadtholder of Friesland (1711–1747), Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Overijssel (April/May 1747 – November 1747), Stadtholder of Groningen (1718–1747), Guelders and Drenthe (1722–1747), was formally voted the first Hereditary Stadtholder of the United Provinces (1747–1751)
  7. Stadtholder of Guelders (under Philip II), architect of the Union of Utrecht
  8. Stadtholder of Friesland (1584–1620), Groningen (1594–1620) and Drenthe (1596–1620)
  9. Stadtholder of Friesland (1620–1632), Groningen and Drenthe (1625–1632)
  10. Stadtholder of Friesland (1632–1640), Groningen and Drenthe (1632–1640)
  11. Stadtholder of Friesland (1640–1664), Groningen and Drenthe (1650–1664)
  12. In 1675 the State of Friesland voted to make the Stadtholdership hereditary in the house of Nassau-Dietz
  13. Hereditary Stadtholder of Friesland (1707–1711) and Groningen (1708–1711)