GOLD WATCH WEDDING QUEEN WILHELMINA AND PRINCE HENDRIK 1901
This 18 carat gold watch was a gift to the ladies on the day of the wedding of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik in 1901. Queen Wilhelmina had only 3 ladies-in-waiting so this one is very rare and the only (known) in private ownership.
The Dutch were in conflict with the British so Wilhelmina went Germany to look for her marriage partner. Along with her mother Queen Emma, she traveled in May 1900 off to the castle in Schwarzenburg. Both mother and daughter chose Heinrich, later known by the Dutch version of his name: Prince Hendrik. They were very distantly related by the Russian Tsar Paul I and his wife Maria Feodorovna their common ancestors.
The wedding took place on February 7, 1901 coupled with much public display. The Golden Coach (a coronation gift for the young queen in 1898) was used for the 1st time for this royal occasion. Prince Hendrik had renounced German citizenship and had become Dutch citizen. A year after the marriage Wilhelmina became seriously ill; she had developed typhoid. Should she have died, then the Dutch throne would have reverted to the German branch of the family, as Wilhelmina was the last Orange Scion, luckily she survived. For a long time the marriage was childless. On April 30, 1909 their 1st and only child was born: Juliana, the future heir to the throne.
It is known that this watch was also made in silver, most probably given to lesser dignitaries of the Dutch royal court.