Wilhelmina

Wilhelmina (vĭlˌhĕlmēˈnä) [key], 1880–1962, queen of the Netherlands (1890–1948), daughter and successor of William III. Her mother, Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont, was regent until 1898. Wilhelmina married (1901) Prince Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (d. 1934), who played no active part in the government. The Salic law then having application in Luxembourg, the personal union of that grand duchy with the Netherlands was abrogated at her accession. The queen probably had a large share in the maintenance of Dutch neutrality in World War I and in the granting of asylum to William II of Germany after the war. When the Netherlands was invaded (May, 1940) by the Germans in World War II, Wilhelmina fled to England with her government; she made her formal return to the Netherlands in May, 1945. In 1948, after celebrating the 50th anniversary of her reign amid rejoicings that reflected her great popularity, Wilhelmina abdicated in favor of her daughter, Queen Juliana.

See her autobiography (tr. 1960).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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