Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Born Today in 1792: William II, King of the Netherlands

Willem Frederik George Lodewijk, the future William II of the Netherlands
William II was born today, December 6, in 1792 . He was King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Duke of Limburg.

William II was the son of William I and Wilhelmine of Prussia. When his father, who up to that time ruled as sovereign prince, proclaimed himself king in 1815, he became Prince of Orange as heir apparent of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

With the abdication of his father on October 7, 1840, William II became king. During his reign, the Netherlands became a parliamentary democracy with the new constitution of 1848.

William II was married to Anna Pavlovna of Russia. They had four sons and one daughter.

In 1819, William was blackmailed over what Minister of Justice Van Maanen termed in a letter his "shameful and unnatural lusts;" presumably bisexuality. Also his signing the constitutional reform of 1848, enabling a parliamentary democracy, may have been partly influenced by blackmail. He may also have had a relationship with a "dandy" by the name of Pereira.

William II died on March 17, 1849, and was succeeded by his son, William III.


Raybeard said...

This is interesting, an historical figure we hear little about.

I was confused initially - how could this be William II when William III was invited to become joint monarch of England in 1688 after the 'Glorious Revolution' which toppled the Catholic James II, in favour of his Protestant daughter, Mary. Then the penny dropped - the latter was OUR William III ('our' first William being 'William the Conqueror').
This William III ('our' William) was also rumoured to be gay, as was his wife, Mary. They died childless (surprise!) and on William's death in 1702 were succeeded by Anne, Mary's sister (and James II other daughter, of course), she being often cited as this country's most 'boring' monarch we've ever had.

Anyway, this is all on a sidetrack from the William that you're writing about, but thanks for bearing with me (if you still are!)

Isobel Tolley said...

Thank you for clearing that up!