Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont

Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont

Emma as Queen mother
Queen consort of the Netherlands
Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Tenure 7 January 1879 – 23 November 1890
Born (1858-08-02)2 August 1858
Arolsen Castle, Arolsen, Waldeck and Pyrmont, German Confederation
Died 20 March 1934(1934-03-20) (aged 75)
Lange Voorhout Palace, The Hague, Netherlands
Burial Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands
Spouse William III of the Netherlands
Issue Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Full name
Adelheid Emma Wilhelmina Theresia
House Waldeck and Pyrmont
Father George Victor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Mother Princess Helena of Nassau

Adelheid Emma Wilhelmina Theresia of Waldeck and Pyrmont (2 August 1858 – 20 March 1934) was Queen of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg as the wife of King-Grand Duke William III. An immensely popular member of the Dutch Royal Family, Queen Emma also served as regent for her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina, during the latter's minority.


Emma was born a Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont on 2 August 1858 in Arolsen Castle in Arolsen, the capital of the small German principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont. She was the fourth daughter of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, and Princess Helena of Nassau. Her brother, Friedrich, was the last reigning Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont. Her sister, Helena, was the wife of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, a son of Queen Victoria.

Her maternal grandfather was William, Duke of Nassau, a grandson of Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau, through which she inherited a place in the line of succession to the Dutch Crown until 1887.


Princess Emma married the elderly King William III in Arolsen on 7 January 1879, two years after the death of his first wife, Sophie of Württemberg. The aging, licentious King, once described as "the greatest debauchee of the age", is supposed to have previously been rejected by Princess Thyra of Denmark, who had more interest in his youngest son. Emma's elder sister Pauline was the King's obvious first target, but Emma was the one who stepped in with the words: "I wouldn't mind becoming Queen of the Netherlands!"

With William, Emma had her only child, the future Queen Wilhelmina, on 31 August 1880. The King also had three sons from his first marriage, William, Maurice, and Alexander, all of whom died before him without any legitimate offspring.


Three days before William died on 23 November 1890, Emma became regent for her incapacitated husband. She continued her regency into the reign of his successor, their underage daughter, Wilhelmina, until Wilhelmina's eighteenth birthday on 31 August 1898. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the crown of which could not be inherited by a woman at that time, passed to Adolf, Duke of Nassau, who happened to be Queen Emma's maternal uncle.

The Queen Dowager died in The Hague on 20 March 1934, of complications from bronchitis at the age of 75, and was buried in Delft.

Titles styles and arms

Coat of arms of Queen Emma




  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 (Parlement.nl)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont.
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Cadet branch of the House of Waldeck
Born: 2 August 1858 Died: 20 March 1934
Royal titles
Title last held by
Sophie of Württemberg
Queen consort of the Netherlands
Title next held by
Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
as prince consort
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Succeeded by
Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/16/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.