Author Topic: Identification,please  (Read 32486 times)

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Offline thijs

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Identification,please
« on: December 16, 2005, 10:55:52 AM »
Here is a portrait of the wedding of queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands with prince Henry of Mecklenburg Schwerin. I would like to identify the persons on this painting. Please feel free to help with this!


Offline Lucien

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2005, 01:04:43 AM »
The lady in lilac,is HM Queen Emma,the gentleman next to her the Grandduke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.The lady and gentleman standing in the middle,Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and a son.I will have "to dig"deeper into my library for all the names.
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Offline thijs

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2005, 05:48:10 AM »
Lucien, I knew I could count on your expertise! Great! When I read your postings I am amazed about your knowledge (and passion!) for the history of the Orange Nassau family. It is both your knowledge and your opinion and interpretation on historic events and facts that I highly appreciate. Thanks!

Offline Lucien

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2005, 04:45:48 PM »
You're much too kind Thijs,really.

Actually,to be quite honest,this wedding picture was not meant to be if history hadn't intervened.Queen-Regent Emma had another suitor in mind originally.Emma had wished
that Wilhelmina could have married Hendrik's brother Grandduke Friedrich,but unfortunately,
he died in 1897 as a Naval Officer during the maiden voyage on board a german fregat,but reportedly was/had been very brave/heroic and clever.So,Hendrik,poor chap,was second choice,with Emma hoping he would have his brothers qualities.
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Offline thijs

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2005, 06:38:26 AM »
Really, I didn`t know that! I will look if I can find a picture of him somewhere. Do you know why he was preferred over prince Henry? I know that there were a lot of candidates for Wilhelmina. The sons of princess Marie, the Prussian grandsons of princess Marianne (children of prince Albert and princess Marie), one of the (Teck) brothers of queen Mary of Great Britain. I read that princess Alice of Athlone criticised the choice of prince Henry as a poor choice. I don`t know if there were really not enough candidates at that time besides the above mentioned. There were a lot of princes and dukes at that time and Wilhelmina was in her early years a goodlooking woman.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by thijs »

Offline Marc

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2005, 07:19:25 AM »
I really like this painting Thijs-thanks for posting it!I am also wondering why there are no portraits of Prince Heinrich von Mecklenburg-Schwerin,since he was Queen's husband?

Offline thijs

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2005, 12:41:34 PM »
You are right Marc. I will scan later on some pictures of prince Henry.

Offline Lucien

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2005, 04:26:27 PM »
Quote
Really, I didn`t know that! I will look if I can find a picture of him somewhere. Do you know why he was preferred over prince Henry? I know that there were a lot of candidates for Wilhelmina. The sons of princess Marie, the Prussian grandsons of princess Marianne (children of prince Albert and princess Marie), one of the (Teck) brothers of queen Mary of Great Britain. I read that princess Alice of Athlone criticised the choice of prince Henry as a poor choice. I don`t know if there were really not enough candidates at that time besides the above mentioned. There were a lot of princes and dukes at that time and Wilhelmina was in her early years a goodlooking woman.


I believe at the time Hendrik wasn't even in the picture,that happened much later,his brother was maybe Emma's ideal,Wilhelmina was only 17 when he died.Hendrik came in the picture after the two ladies,Emma and Marie Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt,agreed that Hendrik was a safe choice.It met some opposition from "Berlin"but,allthough seen as rather "insignificant",Hendrik was approved of by Berlin(read,Willy)who would have given an arm and a leg to see one of his own land the match,but was kept at arms length by both Emma and Wilhelmina.A pushy blabbermouth.

Princess Alice spoke quite frankly about the match,leave it on the safe side and just say she wasn't taken by the Prince.She must have been clairvoyant in a way.

Marianne's children were no match,as Marianne was "seen as an outcast"due to her lifestyle and what good could be expected of her offspring?Marietjes children were not fit to marry a Queen in the eyes of Emma,nor the Tecks,"start-ups" at the time.

Whatever it was that made Emma decide that Hendrik,at that time,was the best and safest choice,remains largely a mistery.But she was a rather poor match-maker,a far cry from her mother,Grandma Waldeck as Princess Alice calls her,always busy with yet another illness,a hypochondriac avant la lettre,who would only leave her bed if she knew she could land her daughters into a "fitting marriage".

There,no doubt must have been lots of suitors,or those that wished so,but the British were ruled out,the Boer war was one reason,(Wilhelmina was strongly pro-Boer's),Willy would have disapproved the other.

Wilhelmina wasn't about good looks only,she was a Queen to be reckoned with from very early on,meaning,a suitor/husband had to keep far from State affairs,they were hers and hers alone,marriages,at that time,were seldom love matches,but ment to maintain the Status Quo between the various(often strongly family connected)States.

All that didn't keep young Wilhelmina from loving Hendrik to bits in,at least,the first decade of their marriage.
Je Maintiendrai

Offline thijs

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2005, 04:50:16 PM »
Thanks Lucien for putting this in history perspective. I did not realize that the feelings at those days were anti British because of the Boer War so that indeed leaves British candidates out.  A long time ago I read somewhere of a visit of Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Emma to Berlin. Wilhelm ll gave a dinner in honour of the queens and a (Dutch) lady in waiting (will look it up) wrote that the princess  Marie (zu Wied) was very annoyed that queen Wilhelmina only talked to one of the grandsons of princess Marianne.

You`re right about Emma having a bad hand in chosing suitors. Could be done better I guess allthough I wouldn`t know other candidates.

Offline Lucien

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2005, 05:06:15 PM »
Quote
Thanks Lucien for putting this in history perspective. I did not realize that the feelings at those days were anti British because of the Boer War so that indeed leaves British candidates out.  A long time ago I read somewhere of a visit of Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Emma to Berlin. Wilhelm ll gave a dinner in honour of the queens and a (Dutch) lady in waiting (will look it up) wrote that the princess  Marie (zu Wied) was very annoyed that queen Wilhelmina only talked to one of the grandsons of princess Marianne.

You`re right about Emma having a bad hand in chosing suitors. Could be done better I guess allthough I wouldn`t know other candidates.


That might have occurred during both TM visit to attend the baptism of Fritz and Pauline's first born in Berlin,Wilhelmina was the godmother,and,at that time Emma and Wilhelmina knew Marie would have been happy to see her son Wilhelm as a suitor and more to Wilhelmina,which didn't sit well with neither Majesties.So,to make this point clear.....they had poor Marie under their "ignore-button".Still,that didn't keep them from maintaining contact by both letters and visits afterwards.

And about Wilhelmina and the Boers,she send a navy destroyer to SA to pick-up Paul Kruger,the leader of the Boers,that didn't sit well at all with the British,nonetheless,Wilhelmina opposed their protests as she was in favour of what she saw as the descendants of the Dutch.He stayed here,at Het Loo Palace and at Des Indes in The Hague.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2005, 09:17:43 PM »
from another thread, I'll just quote Lucien since he's our resident Dutch expert  :)

Quote
As there are often two sides to each story,maybe its usefull to give a summary of who Prince Hendrik was as a person and Prince Consort.

Prince Hendrik,néé Duke Heinrich Wladimir Albrecht Ernst of Mecklenburgh-Schwerin appeared to be the ideal son-in-law in the summer of 1900,according to Queen Mother Emma and Hendriks grandmother,the Princess zu Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.So a meeting was arranged between the then 19 old Queen Wilhelmina and the Duke.Emma had her mind set on a future son-in-law that was:
1 Aristocrat
2wouldn't interfere with Affairs of State
3healthy

Hendrik seemed to be the most suitable.The first meeting between Hendrik and Wilhelmina took place at the residence of Emma's cousin the Count of Erbach at the Schloss of Bad König.Wilhelmina was quite taken by/with this Hendrik.Hendrik's brother Adolf had been invited too(was seen as yet another possible(more handsome!)suitor,but he cancelled the trip,which turned out to be half as bad later,as this Adolf became a fanatic nazi,and main reason Wilhelmina broke of all relations with the Mecklenburghs later...)

During the first meetings Wilhelmina and Hendrik were chaparoned either by Emma or Ladies-in-Waiting,or both.

Mind you,even in that time,there were rumours and speculation going round as to likely candidates to HM Queen Wilhelmina,and Hendrik was already mentioned as one of them.(Just to "show"rags and reporters are not a recent 'nuisance')..

But on the 12th of October 1900,the two were allowed some minutes entre nous,and it wasn't before long both Wilhelmina and Hendrik appeared again,proudly announcing their engagement.

There's little doubt that Queen Wilhelmina wasn't in love,she was and very much so,according letters to some of her confidantes,and....Ladies in Waiting.But if that was entirely mutual vice versa and the other way 'round with Hendrik?Hendrik seemed to have had second thoughts about the whole matter.He would have to give up his Vaterland,his carefree life of leisure as a Prussian Junker,and what would be ahead of him,besides an avalance of restrictions and duties.Well,a very wealthy spouse,maybe even the wealthiest of Europe(as was thought at the time).

A State income was promised during the negotiations but that never materialized due to the stubbornness of the then dutch government.So,Wilhelmina payed an annual allowance of then 100.000 dutch guilders(equivalent of todays Euro 2.3 million,quite a handsome sum for that day and age,but it was never adjusted,not even after WW I as the value of the money dropped by over halve of it due to inflation),and that,proved to be almost disasterous.To the Monarchy.

Mistakes have been made with the then arrangements,resulting in Prince Hendrik's lack of funds later on,his many debts,and it was proven to be even worse that Hendrik didn't have any function of stature,wasn't allowed one.He didn't get a function within the forces as that could be seen as a breach of neutrality,a German in the Royal Dutch Forces?Result in the end,the Prince became intensly bored.Hendrik never had much,if any,interest in political issues nor State Affairs,he was kept far from that anyway,by Queen Wilhelmina. To be continued.

They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2005, 09:19:32 PM »
Quote
According to dutch historians,the marriage was reasonably happy until 1914.There had been separate bedrooms for a while by that time,and it seemed that the only common love was directed towards their little daughter Princess Juliana.Hendrik's favorite pastime with his little girl consisted of putting jig-saw puzzles together,he had hundreds of them.....

Wilhelmina and Hendrik quickly grew apart,not just because of his affairs,but more because of his debts.It is proven that the Prince had several children outside wedlock,so to speak,and that he supported the mothers financially.Not very unusual in his circles those days,or now.If at that time,a demi-mondaine,as they were called,had a child she often got hold of the wealthiest guy she could get hold on.Quite often that turned out to be Prince Hendrik,he was easy prey,and couldn't proof NOT to be the father.DNA was unheard of at the time,and so there were claims,and stories about claims.But proven was very little.

What wasn't as "little"were his debts.His flipping with money he didn't have frustrated Queen Wilhelmina a great deal during the 1920's.Between 1922 and 1934,the year of his death,he had debts as large as then 2 million guilders,at a present day rate the equivelent of Euro 30 million.How that could happen even as Queen Wilhelmina had taken "measures"to prevent it?Quite an accomplishment for the Prince -Consort.

Queen Wilhelmina,largely frustrated by it all,appointed the Chief of police of The Hague,Francois van "t Sant,to take care of Hendrik's business,the debts and the claims.As of then,Hendrik was permanently shadowed and prevented from making more debts.Well,....that was the intention of it..........

By 1931 van 't Sant arranged for a adjutant thesaurier to be appointed.Mr.Schmidt.A kind man who largely offered the Prince a home from home.With The Queen staying at Het Loo,and Hendrik at Noordeinde Palace,the Palace kitchens were closed,wouldn't open for one person only,orders Wilhelmina.So Hendrik was often a guest at dinner at the Schmidts,along with other guests,who then invited the Prince and that's how he got through.But the debts didn't disappear,actually,Mr.Schmidt couldn't say NO either,and he and Hendrik became good friends,travelling together with other friends and such to Kurort Karlsbad and Hendriks friends and relatives in Germany in and around Schwerin.That proved to be quite costly.

Hendrik was the youngest of 11,most of his family lost nearly or all after 1918,and some handled money the same way little Heinrich did.They seemed to be born with a hole in their hand.As it turned out,the bulk of Hendriks debts were due to his family highly depending on him for funds.Wilhelmina could do little else then just pay and adjust to it all.The fact that Wilhelmina used her own funds,not just for the annual income of Hendrik,but to clear all of his debts,prevented this echec from becoming a State Affair.
All of this ended abruptly in July 1934 as Prince Hendrik died suddenly of a heart attack at Noordeinde Palace.
Prince Hendrik was a kind man at heart,but a tad naive.Wilhelmina later came to see him in a different light,acknowledging how lonely he must have been.His funeral was unprecedented as it was all in white.To Hendrik that was the colour of the resurrection,death was not to be mourned,but rejoiced.Later,much later Queen Wilhelmina followed his example.

They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2005, 09:55:26 PM »
Quote
I really like this painting Thijs-thanks for posting it!I am also wondering why there are no portraits of Prince Heinrich von Mecklenburg-Schwerin,since he was Queen's husband?


This is as close as I could find--it's from their engagement or early marriage. The photo was colorized at the time.

They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2005, 09:58:55 PM »
Here's a wedding photo which could perhaps help in IDing people in the portrait:

They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline thijs

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Re: Identification,please
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2005, 04:01:15 AM »
Thanks grandduchessela. I wil try to enlarge the picture to see if anyone can be recognized. Here is a picture of the silver wedding from Wilhelmina and Henry at palace Het  Loo. Same problem for me...who are they?