Friday, November 20, 2015
a German heir for the Netherlands?
Queen Wilhelmina's subjects have "abandoned all hope" that she will ever give birth to an heir, reports the Marquis de Fontenoy in her latest dispatch. The Dutch government plans to revise the constitution to "permit a change in the laws of succession.
As the succession stands now, should the queen died without issue, the throne will go to her cousin, the reigning Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, grandson of Princess Sophia of the Nethelrands, sister of the late Willem III. The Dutch Consitution states that the Netherlands crown "cannot be born in conjunction with that of any other country save that of Luxembourg." The Grand Duke would have to choose between Saxe-Weimar and the Netherlands. He has already intimated that he would choose Saxe-Weimar.
The Grand Duke's aunt, Princess Marie Alexandrine of Saxe-Weimar is second in line to the throne, and is the daughter of the late Princess Sophia of the Netherlands. She is married to Prince Heinrich VII Reuss.
Princess Marie is an elderly woman, and the Dutch are now proposing that her eldest son, Prince Heinrich XXXLL, currently serving in the Prussian army, should be named as the Prince of Orange, and move to the Netherlands and "become identified with the Dutch people." The government has also proposed that the Constitution should be changed to allow the Dutch to elected "whomever they liked as the future king."
A majority of the Dutch are said to be in favor of the latter plan, but there are worries that Kaiser Wilhelm II may have something to say about it if the rights of Prince Heinrich are "set aside" by the Dutch people.
Queen Wilhelmina is 24 years old. She has been married to Prince Hendrik (ne Prince Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin since February 1901. She has suffered at least one miscarriage, and on May 4, 1902, she gave birth to a stillborn son.