Princesses of Orange – Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands




catharina amalia
Photo by Moniek Bloks

After the death of his first wife, Sophie of Württemberg, King William III of the Netherlands remarried to Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, but he was already King of the Netherlands, and she immediately became Queen and was never known as Princess of Orange. After King William III, the title was subsequently held by his sons William and Alexander. William was denied marriage to a mere countess, Matilde of Limburg-Stirum. There were rumours that it was not her low birth that had caused King William III to block the marriage, but that it was because Matilde was possibly the result of an affair he had with her mother. William could not possibly marry his half-sister. He decided to live in Paris after a Russian Grand Duchess also turned down an offer of marriage. He lived a licentious life in Paris and probably died of a combination of liver disease, typhoid and exhaustion, after which his title passed to his brother Alexander.

Alexander had been sickly from birth. He never married, and he became quite lonely after the deaths of both his mother and brother. He lived to see the birth of his half-sister Wilhelmina but died four later in 1884 – still only 32 years old. The Prince of Orange title had always been limited to men. So, even though Wilhelmina was now the heiress, she never carried the title in her own right. Wilhelmina became Queen in 1890 when her father died. She was still only ten years old and her mother Emma acted as regent for her. After Alexander’s death, it would be another 96 years before the title Prince of Orange was used again.

The current King of the Netherlands was born on 27 April 1967, and he became the Prince of Orange on 30 April 1980, when his mother Beatrix succeeded her mother as Queen. When he married Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002, she did not become Princess of Orange due to a recent change in the law, which limited the title to the heir apparent alone. On her wedding day, she was granted the titles Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau with ‘Her Royal Highness’ as the style of address. They had three daughters together, Catharina-Amalia was born in 2003, Alexia was born in 2005 and Ariane was born in 2007. When Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother on 30 April 2013, his eldest child automatically became Princess of Orange as the title no longer differentiated between a male or female heir. Catharina-Amalia is the first woman to hold the title in her own right, despite the Netherlands having had three Queens regnant before her. Mary of Baux did hold the title as sovereign Prince of Orange from 1393 to 1417.

Catharina-Amalia was born on 7 December 2003 at 5.01 PM in the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague. She was baptised on 12 June 2004 with Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Baroness Rengers-Deane, Prince Constantijn, Martin Zorreguieta, Herman Tjeenk Willink and Marc ter Haar as godparents. Her full name is Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria. Catharina-Amalia and her sisters attend mayor functions, such as King’s Day and the press moments, but not much more. Catharina-Amalia’s first major function, as well as her sisters’, was their grandmother’s abdication and their father’s accession. Catharina-Amalia was just ten years old at the time. She has been attending a school like a regular child since 2007. She reportedly already speaks two languages, and she speaks some Spanish, no doubt taught to her by her mother! She will assume a seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State of the Netherlands upon reaching the age of majority at 18 and is expected to become Queen regnant someday.






About Moniek 1606 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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