William III of the Netherlands

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William III
Willem III (1817-90), koning der Nederlanden, Nicolaas Pieneman, 1856 - Rijksmuseum.jpg
King of the Netherlands
Reign17 March 1849 – 23 November 1890
Inauguration 12 May 1849
Predecessor William II
Successor Wilhelmina
Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Reign17 March 1849 – 23 November 1890
Predecessor William II
Successor Adolphe
Duke of Limburg
Reign17 March 1849 – 23 August 1866
Predecessor William II
Born(1817-02-19)19 February 1817
Palace of the Nation, Brussels, United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Died23 November 1890(1890-11-23) (aged 73)
Het Loo Palace, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Burial4 December 1890
Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands
Spouse
Issue
among others...
Full name
Willem Alexander Paul Frederik Lodewijk
House Orange-Nassau
Father William II of the Netherlands
Mother Anna Pavlovna of Russia
Religion Dutch Reformed Church

William III (Dutch: Willem Alexander Paul Frederik Lodewijk; English: William Alexander Paul Frederick Louis; 19 February 1817 – 23 November 1890) was King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg from 1849 until his death in 1890. He was also the Duke of Limburg from 1849 until the abolition of the duchy in 1866.

Dutch language A West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 24 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.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Contents

William was the son of King William II and Anna Pavlovna of Russia. On the abdication of his grandfather William I in 1840, he became the Prince of Orange. On the death of his father in 1849, he succeeded as king of the Netherlands.

William II of the Netherlands King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg 1840 - 1849

William II was King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Duke of Limburg.

Anna Pavlovna of Russia Queen consort of the netherlands

Anna Pavlovna of Russia was a queen consort of the Netherlands.

Prince of Orange Title originated from the Principality of Orange

Prince of Orange is a title originally associated with the sovereign Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. Under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, Frederick William I of Prussia ceded the Principality of Orange to King Louis XIV of France. After William III of England died without children, a dispute arose between Johan Willem Friso and Frederick I of Prussia, which was settled in the Treaty of Partition (1732); consequently, Friso's son, William IV had to share use of the title "Prince of Orange" with Frederick William I of Prussia. With the emergence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the title is traditionally borne by the heir apparent of the Dutch monarch. Originally only worn by men, since 1983 the title descends via absolute primogeniture, which means that the holder can be either Prince or Princess of Orange.

William married his cousin Sophie of Württemberg in 1839 and they had three sons, William, Maurice, and Alexander, all of whom predeceased him. After Sophie's death in 1877 he married Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont in 1879 and they had one daughter Wilhelmina, who succeeded William to the Dutch throne. Meanwhile, being the last agnatic dynastic descendant of Otto I, Count of Nassau, the throne of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg passed to his patrilineal seventeenth cousin once removed (and matrilineal third cousin), Adolphe. To date, he is the last Dutch monarch to die whilst on the throne.

Sophie of Württemberg Queen consort of the Netherlands

Sophie of Württemberg was Queen of the Netherlands as the first wife of King William III.

William, Prince of Orange Prince of Orange

William, Prince of Orange, was heir apparent to the Dutch throne as the eldest son of King William III from 17 March 1849 until his death.

Prince Maurice of the Netherlands Dutch prince

Prince Maurice of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, was the second son of King William III of the Netherlands and his first spouse, Sophie of Württemberg.

Early life

King William II and his family (1832) by Jan Baptist van der Hulst with William III on the far left Jan Baptist van der Hulst - Koning Willem II en familie.jpg
King William II and his family (1832) by Jan Baptist van der Hulst with William III on the far left

William was born on 19 February 1817 in the Palace of the Nation in Brussels, [1] which was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the time. He was the eldest son of the future king William II of the Netherlands and Anna Pavlovna of Russia. He had three brothers, one of whom died in infancy, and one sister. [2]

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

United Kingdom of the Netherlands kingdom in Western Europe between 1815–1830 (1839)

The United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name given to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as it existed between 1815 and 1839. The United Netherlands was created in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars through the fusion of territories that had belonged to the former Dutch Republic, Austrian Netherlands, and Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The polity was a constitutional monarchy, ruled by William I of the House of Orange-Nassau.

In 1827, at the age of ten, he was made an honorary colonel in the Royal Netherlands Army. In the 1830s, he served as lieutenant in the Grenadiers Regiment. In 1834, he was made honorary commander of the Grenadiers Regiment of Kiev nr. 5 in the Imperial Russian Army. [3]

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

Royal Netherlands Army

The Royal Netherlands Army is the land forces element of the military of the Netherlands.

A lieutenant is the junior most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police, and other organizations of many nations.

Portrait of Queen Sophie Queen sophieofnetherlands.jpg
Portrait of Queen Sophie

He married his first cousin, Sophie, daughter of King William I of Württemberg and Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, in Stuttgart on 18 June 1839. This marriage was unhappy and was characterized by struggles about their children. Sophie was a liberal intellectual, hating everything leaning toward dictatorship, such as the army. William was simpler, more conservative, and loved the military. He prohibited intellectual exercise at home, for which action Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, who corresponded with Princess Sophie, called him an uneducated farmer.[ citation needed ] His extramarital enthusiasms, however, led the New York Times to call him "the greatest debauchee of the age". [4] Another cause of marital tension (and later political tension) was his capriciousness; he could rage against someone one day, and be extremely polite the next.

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron". It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 634,830, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.8 million people live in the city's administrative region and 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed, and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Yellow is the political colour most commonly associated with liberalism.

William loathed the 1848 constitutional changes initiated by his father (William II) and Johan Rudolf Thorbecke. His father saw them as key to the monarchy's survival in changing times. Sophie, who was a liberal, also shared this view. William himself saw them as useless limitations of royal power, and would have preferred to govern as an enlightened despot in the mold of his grandfather, William I.

He considered relinquishing his right to the throne to his younger brother Henry and later to his older son. His mother convinced him to cancel this action. The Dutch constitution provided no way to relinquish one's claim to the throne.

On 17 March 1849 his father died and William succeeded to the throne of the Netherlands. He was at that moment a guest of the Duchess of Cleveland in Raby Castle. Representatives of the Dutch government traveled to London to meet their new king in London. William was reluctant to return, but he was convinced to do so. Upon arrival the new Queen welcomed her spouse with the question "did you accept?". The new king nodded, but he remained uncertain about the matter for some time. [5]

Reign

Netherlands-1850-proof.jpg
William III depicted on a 20 gulden proof gold coin (1850)
Portrait of King William III (1859) by Nicolaas Pieneman SA 1772-Portret van koning Willem III.jpg
Portrait of King William III (1859) by Nicolaas Pieneman

William repeatedly contemplated abdicating as soon as his eldest son William, Prince of Orange, turned eighteen. This occurred in 1858, but as William was uncomfortable making a decision he remained king. His first act was the inauguration of the parliamentary cabinet of Thorbecke, the liberal designer of the 1848 constitution, whom William loathed.[ citation needed ]

When the Roman Catholic hierarchy of bishops was restored in 1853 he found growing conservative support and a reason to dismiss Thorbecke. In the first two decades of his reign, he dismissed several cabinets and disbanded the States-General several times, installing royal cabinets which ruled as long as there was support in the elected second chamber of parliament.[ citation needed ]

In what became known as the "Luxembourg Coup of 1856", William unilaterally instituted a new, reactionary constitution for Luxembourg, which he ruled personally, separate from the Netherlands crown. [6]

In 1867, France offered to buy Luxembourg, leading to the Luxembourg Crisis, which almost precipitated war between Prussia and France. However, the subsequent Second Treaty of London re-established Luxembourg as a fully independent country.[ citation needed ]

During his reign, the king became more and more unpopular with his bourgeois-liberal subjects, his whims provoking their resistance and mockery, but remained quite popular with the common man. [7] [8]

The king was a man of immense stature and with a boisterous voice. He could be gentle and kind, then suddenly he could become intimidating and even violent. He kicked and hit his servants about. He was inclined to terrorize and humiliate his courtiers. The king was cruel to animals as well. His ministers were afraid of him. Most people around him agreed that he was, to some degree, insane. [5]

Queen Emma and King William III King William III and Queen Emma.jpg
Queen Emma and King William III

The king could be erratic, he ordered the dismissal and even the arrest and execution of those that he found in lack of respect, including a Mayor of The Hague. Orders like these were disregarded. The king who thought of himself as a specialist on all matters military frequently tried to take command of manoeuvres, creating chaos wherever he went. [5]

In 1877, Queen Sophie died and years of war in the palace came to an end. In the same year, King William announced his intention to marry Émilie Ambre, a French opera singer, whom he ennobled as countess d'Ambroise – without government consent. Under pressure from society and the government, he abandoned these marriage plans. [9] [10]

William remained eager to remarry. In 1878, he first proposed to his niece, Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar. He then considered marriage with Princess Pauline of Waldeck and Pyrmont, a small German principality, and Princess Thyra of Denmark, who had her own private scandalous history.[ citation needed ]

He finally decided to marry Pauline's younger sister Emma. Some politicians were quite angry, as she was 41 years the king's junior. Emma showed herself, however, as a cordial woman. William asked permission from parliament, this was easily granted. The couple were quickly married in Arolsen on 7 January 1879.[ citation needed ]

Emma had a relieving influence on William's capricious personality and the marriage was extremely happy. The last decade was without any doubt the best of his reign.[ citation needed ] The king had stopped interfering with most aspects of government. In 1880, Wilhelmina was born. She became heiress presumptive in 1884 after the death of the last remaining son from William's first marriage. Many potential male heirs had died between 1878 and 1884.[ citation needed ]

King William became seriously ill in 1887. He was suffering from a kidney-ailment. However, in 1888, he personally presented a gold medal of honor to the lifeboat hero Dorus Rijkers, for saving the lives of 20 people.[ citation needed ]

Funeral of William III in 1890 Willem3 begrafenis.jpg
Funeral of William III in 1890

In 1888 and 1889 the ailing king became increasingly demented. The Council of State and then Queen Emma became regents. [5] William III died in Het Loo in 1890. Because Wilhelmina had not yet reached adulthood, Emma became regent for her daughter. She would remain regent until Wilhelmina's eighteenth birthday in 1898.[ citation needed ]

Because the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg could only be inherited through the male Nassau line under the terms of the house-treaty of the House of Nassau, it went to William's 17th cousin once removed (and incidentally Emma's uncle on her mother's side), Adolphe, Duke of Nassau. His branch of the House of Nassau still governs the Grand Duchy.[ citation needed ]

Family and issue

Of William III's four legitimate children, three reached adulthood, two sons from his marriage to Queen Sophie and one daughter from his marriage to Queen Emma:

Standing at 6'5" (196 cm) he was an exceptionally large and strong man by the standards of his age. [11] William III was known to be a philanderer and had several dozen illegitimate children from various mistresses. [12] [13] Through one of his out-of-wedlock children, William III was a maternal ancestor of kickboxer Alistair Overeem. [14]

Titles

Royal Monogram Royal Monogram of William I-III of the Netherlands and Luxembourg.svg
Royal Monogram

Honours

Ancestry

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. (in Dutch) Z.M. (koning Willem III) Willem Alexander Paul Frederik Lodewijk, koning der Nederlanden, groothertog van Luxemburg, prins van Oranje-Nassau, Parlement & Politiek. Retrieved on 21 February 2015.
  2. (in Dutch) Z.M. (koning Willem II) koning Willem Frederik George Lodewijk , koning der Nederlanden, groothertog van Luxemburg, hertog van Limburg, prins van Oranje-Nassau, Parlement & Politiek. Retrieved on 21 February 2015.
  3. (in Dutch) Koninklijke ere-commando's en militaire erefuncties Archived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine , Nationaal Militair Museum. Retrieved on 21 February 2015.
  4. "Holland's Queen" - New York Times September 26, 1897
  5. 1 2 3 4 Dik van der Meulen, William III Biography 2013
  6. "Proposition de revision portant modification et nouvel ordonnancement de la constitution du Luxembourg" (PDF) (in French). Council of Europe. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  7. Elzinga, D. J., ed. (2007). The Dutch constitutional monarchy in a changing Europe. Kluwer. pp. 125 & 129. ISBN   978-90-13-04866-7.
  8. Janssens, A. L. J. (2008). Uitingsdelicten (in Dutch). Kluwer. p. 177. ISBN   978-90-13-04880-3.
  9. G.A.M. Beekelaar (1989). "Heeckeren tot Kell, Willem baron van (1815–1914)" (in Dutch). Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis. Retrieved 31 August 2009.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. van den Bergh, H.; Vinken, P.J. (2002). Klein republikeins handboek: honderd misverstanden over de monarchie (in Dutch). Uitgeverij Boom. pp. 58–59 . ISBN   90-5352-734-6.
  11. William III of the Netherlands "a very tall and strong man, he was initially seen as a father figure to most of his subjects, unaware of his tantrums and philandering ways"
  12. "Willem I en III hadden bastaarden". NOS. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  13. William III and his mistresses (Dutch)
  14. Alistair Overeem royal heritage
  15. "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  16. Le livre d'or de l'ordre de Léopold et de la croix de fer, Volume 1 /Ferdinand Veldekens
  17. Jørgen Pedersen (2009). Riddere af Elefantordenen, 1559–2009 (in Danish). Syddansk Universitetsforlag. p. 467. ISBN   978-87-7674-434-2.
  18. Boettger, T. F. "Chevaliers de la Toisón d'Or - Knights of the Golden Fleece". La Confrérie Amicale. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  19. Sveriges och Norges statskalender. Liberförlag. 1874. p. 468.
  20. Sveriges och Norges statskalender. Liberförlag. 1874. p. 703.
  21. Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 66
  22. Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1862), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 33
  23. Hof- und Staats-Handbuch ... Baden (1862), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 45
  24. Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Hannover (1865), "Königliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 37
  25. Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Hessen (1879), "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 44
  26. Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern: 1877. Landesamt. 1877. p. 8.
William III of the Netherlands
Born: 19 February 1817 Died: 23 November 1890
Regnal titles
Preceded by
William II
King of the Netherlands
1849–1890
Succeeded by
Wilhelmina
as Queen
Grand Duke of Luxembourg
1849–1890
Succeeded by
Adolphe
Duke of Limburg
1849–1866
Abolition
Dutch royalty
Preceded by
William
later became King William II
Prince of Orange
1840–1849
Succeeded by
William