Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dutch royal marriage in trouble

November 30, 1901

By cable to the Chicago Tribune.    There are now "semi-official denials" of problems between Queen Wilhelmina and her husband, Prince Hendrik.  The situation is said to be "entirely mendacious."

A month ago, the Tribune and other newspapers reported that the couple "did have serious differences" and are now said to be "gravely estranged." 

The Dutch people are siding with their young queen, and Prince Hendrik "dates not show himself in public, so widespread and passionate is the feeling of resentment."

The former Duke Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin "has taken no pains to conceal his contempt" for the Dutch, and would "doubtless cheerfully accept a lump sum by way of solatium for retirement into private life in Germany."

The Prince consort has already sent "a complete statement of his case" to Kaiser Wilhelm II, but the German Emperor is unlikely to get "interfere actively" in the Netherlands.

Hendrik's list of complaints are in order of importance:  His wife's "stinginess in the matter of money," her decision to "keep him in a subservient position," and the attitude of the Dutch government, who treat him "as a person of no importance."

The prince's position is very similar to that of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who married Queen Victoria in 1840.   Albert was, however, a "man of intellect."  The British never loved Albert, but they "learned to respect him."

Unfortunately,  Prince Hendrik does not possess "the qualities absolutely indispensable" to maintain his position as the husband of a Queen Regnant.  Thus, it was inevitable that there would be trouble between the Queen and her husband.

Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik were married in February.

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