Queen Wilhelmina – A third tragedy

Wilhelmina in 1906 (public domain)

With Wilhelmina’s marriage to Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 7 February 1901, she and her mother both fervently prayed for healthy children to continue their line. Tragically, Wilhelmina would go on to suffer five miscarriages and only one healthy child was born to Wilhelmina and Henry.

In the spring of 1906, Wilhelmina was pregnant for the third time. Her first pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage at the end of 1901. Her second pregnancy ended in the stillbirth of a son following a bout of typhoid fever in 1902. Wilhelmina kept her pregnancy a secret from anyone outside of the family and only wrote to her former nanny De Kock on 19 July 1906, “My enemies, the papers, have written a lot about me, long before they had a reason for it. I can tell you now, although they are way too early, that the rumour they are spreading is true.”1 On 4 July 1906, Wilhelmina wrote to her mother about the birth of a son to Crown Princess Cecilie of Germany (Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin) and Crown Prince Wilhelm. “Such a happiness for her, her husband, and the Emperor!” Cecilie had given birth just over a year of getting married.

Wilhelmina took to her bed following a garden party, and a “fausse couche”(miscarriage) took place on 23 July. On the 25th, newspapers reported, “A minor disposition of Her Majesty The Queen during some days has thwarted hopes that had been cherished for a while. The condition of Her Majesty does not give cause for concern.”2 Her private secretary reported that Wilhelmina was “very well and even cheerful.”3

Despite her cheerfulness, the pressure must have been getting to her. She had been married for five years and had suffered three losses. The prospect of a German Prince on the throne began to loom.

  1. Wilhelmina de jonge Koningin by Cees Fasseur p.278
  2. Nederlansche Staatscourant 25 July 1906
  3. Wilhelmina de jonge Koningin by Cees Fasseur p.278

About Moniek Bloks 2743 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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