Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
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|Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont|
Emma as queen mother
|Queen consort of the Netherlands|
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
|Tenure||7 January 1879 – 23 November 1890|
|Born||2 August 1858|
Arolsen Castle, Arolsen, Waldeck and Pyrmont, German Confederation
|Died||20 March 1934 (aged 75)|
Lange Voorhout Palace, The Hague, Netherlands
|Spouse||William III of the Netherlands|
|Issue||Wilhelmina of the Netherlands|
|House||Waldeck and Pyrmont|
|Father||George Victor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont|
|Mother||Princess Helena of Nassau|
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont (2 August 1858 – 20 March 1934) was Queen consort of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg by marriage to King-Grand Duke William III. An immensely popular member of the Dutch Royal Family, Queen Emma served as regent for her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina, during the latter's minority from 1890 until 1898.
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.
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 according to the House-Treaty should not be inherited by a woman, passed to Adolf, Duke of Nassau, who happened to be Queen Emma's maternal uncle.
Emma took her position of regent seriously. She met personally with every government minister at least once every two weeks and strictly adhered to the rules of the constitutional monarchy. She was open to anyone who wanted to talk to her and insisted that she personally open and handle as much mail as possible. In addition to her administrative duties, Emma paid great attention to the education of her daughter. When Wilhelmina reached the age of 16, Emma considered her childhood over and Wilhelmina spent the next two years being prepped for her job as a reigning queen.
Titles styles and arms
- 2 August 1858 – 7 January 1879: Her Serene Highness Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
- 7 January 1879 – 23 November 1890: Her Majesty The Queen
- 23 November 1890 – 20 March 1934: Her Majesty Dowager Queen Emma
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (Netherlands)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange (Netherlands)
- 812th Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa (Spain)
|Ancestors of Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont|
-  (Parlement.nl)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont.|
- (in Dutch) Koningin Emma (1858–1934) at the Dutch Royal House website
- Newspaper clippings about Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
Cadet branch of the House of WaldeckBorn: 2 August 1858 Died: 20 March 1934
Title last held bySophie of Württemberg
| Queen consort of the Netherlands
Title next held byHenry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
as prince consort
| Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau