Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

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Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Prince Henry of Holland.jpg
Prince Henry in 1915
Prince consort of the Netherlands
Tenure7 February 1901 – 3 July 1934
Born(1876-04-19)19 April 1876
Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany
Died3 July 1934(1934-07-03) (aged 58)
Kneuterdijk Palace, The Hague, Netherlands
Burial11 July 1934
Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands
(m. 1901)
Hendrik Wladimir Albrecht Ernst
FatherFrederick Francis II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg
MotherPrincess Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
OccupationMilitary officer

Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (German: Heinrich Wladimir Albrecht Ernst; Dutch: Hendrik Vladimir Albrecht Ernst; 19 April 1876 – 3 July 1934) was prince consort of the Netherlands as the husband of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. He was the longest-serving consort of the Netherlands.


Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was born on 19 April 1876 in Schwerin. He was the youngest son of Frederick Francis II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and his third wife, Princess Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.

On 6 February 1901, Henry was created a Prince of the Netherlands and the next day, 7 February, married Queen Wilhelmina in The Hague. Their only child together, Juliana, was born in 1909.[1] On 4 September 1948, Wilhelmina abdicated as queen of the Netherlands, to be succeeded by her daughter.

Henry also fathered at least one illegitimate child, Pim Lier. Born in 1918, Lier eventually rose to prominence in post-war Dutch politics as chairman of the right-wing extremist Centre Party. The birth of a son out of wedlock was likely to be only symptomatic for the duke's increasingly strained relationship with his wife. This became all the more clear at the time of the opening ceremony of the Amsterdam Summer Olympics in 1928. Henry was not only to attend, but even to preside over the festivities, but Wilhelmina stayed away, stating that she was prevented from attending by her personal religious conviction that this type of event should not take place on a Sunday.[2]

Henry became the 279th Knight Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of the Tower and Sword and in 1924 was appointed as the 1,157th Knight of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece.

He died in The Hague, Netherlands, on 3 July 1934, aged 58.[1]


He successfully merged the two Dutch Boy Scout organisations Nederlandse Padvinders Organisatie (NPO, Netherlands Pathfinder Organisation) and the Nederlandse Padvinders Bond (NPB, Netherlands Pathfinder Federation) on 11 December 1915 to form De Nederlandse Padvinders (NPV, The Netherlands Pathfinders). He became the Royal Commissioner of that organisation and he asked Jean Jacques Rambonnet to become chairman in 1920.[3]

Extramarital relationships[edit]

Prince Henry was known to have had numerous extra-marital affairs. It is rumored that, overall, Prince Henry fathered between three and ten illegitimate children, but firm proof remains elusive, except for Albrecht Willem Lier, known as the above-noted Pim Lier (22 July 1918 – 9 April 2015).[4] During her widowhood, Queen Wilhelmina paid monthly allowances to three known ex-mistresses: Julia Cervey in Geneva (two hundred guilders per month); Wilhelmine Steiner in Zurich (five hundred guilders per month); and Mien Lier-Wenneker (1887-1973), in The Hague (five hundred guilders per month).[5] Mien Abbo-Wenneker (later Lier-Wenneker, 1887-1973), gave birth to a total of six children; the older two, sisters Christina Margaretha Abbo & Edith Abbo (later Sheep-Abbo)[6] were ostensibly the daughters of Mien’s first husband, Dhr. Abbo, but strongly rumored to have been fathered by Prince Henry. In 1919, Mien married Lieutenant Jan Derk Lier, a former aide-de-camp to Prince Henry. A grant of one hundred thousand guilders was arranged for Lt. Lier from the State by police chief François van 't Sant, whom Queen Wilhelmina engaged to verify the facts of her husband’s extramarital relationships and children. This, plus a monthly allowance to the Lt from the state of one thousand guilders, was in return for his commitment to "the three children of HRH.”[7]

The male parent of the remaining three children was not verified as being either Prince Henry or Lt. Lier. Subsequent to their birth, no additional allowance was settled on the family; in fact, the monthly allowance of one thousand guilders to Lt. Jan Derk Lier was halved by van't Sant after a short period, although the allowance to his wife continued.

Honours and awards[edit]

German decorations[8][9]
Foreign decorations[8][9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Joop W. Koopmans, Arend H. Huussen, Jr., Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands (2007), p, 243
  2. ^ Findling, John E.; Pelle, Kimberly D., eds. (1996). Historical Dictionary of the Modern Olympic Movement. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 68–74. ISBN 0313284776.
  3. ^ "Koninklijke Scouts 1. Nederland" (PDF). Piet J. Kroonenberg. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Vader Hoekstra zou zoon van Prins Hendrik zijn". 10 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Nieuws".
  6. ^ "Albrecht Wenneker". MyHeritage.
  7. ^ "KING ALEX, QUEEN MAX, AND THE COLORFUL HOUSE OF ORANGE". Viva Nepotista. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b Grossherzoglich Mecklenburg-Schwerinscher Staatskalendar, 1908, p. 5
  9. ^ a b Staatsalmanak voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, 1921, "Koninkrijk Huis der Nederlanden" pp. 1-2
  10. ^ "Königliche Orden", Hof- und – Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern (in German), Munich: Druck and Verlag, 1914, p. 10
  11. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1910), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 41
  12. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Herzogtums Braunschweig für das Jahr 1908. Braunschweig 1908. Meyer. p. 9
  13. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1900), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 17
  14. ^ Sachsen (1901). "Königliche Orden". Staatshandbuch für das Königreich Sachsen: 1901. Dresden: Heinrich. p. 5 – via hathitrust.org.
  15. ^ "Königliche Orden", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg, Stuttgart: Landesamt, 1907, p. 31
  16. ^ a b "Königlich Preussische Ordensliste", Preussische Ordens-Liste (in German), Berlin: 5, 9, 1895 – via hathitrust.org
  17. ^ a b c Justus Perthes, Almanach de Gotha (1922) p. 71
  18. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Jørgen Pedersen (2009). Riddere af Elefantordenen, 1559–2009 (in Danish). Syddansk Universitetsforlag. p. 466. ISBN 978-87-7674-434-2.
  20. ^ "Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun Suurristi Ketjuineen". ritarikunnat.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  21. ^ 刑部芳則 (2017). 明治時代の勲章外交儀礼 (PDF) (in Japanese). 明治聖徳記念学会紀要. p. 150.
  22. ^ "Den kongelige norske Sanct Olavs Orden", Norges Statskalender (in Norwegian), 1922, pp. 1173–1174, retrieved 17 September 2021 – via hathitrust.org
  23. ^ "Bolletino Ufficiale di Stato" (PDF).
  24. ^ "Sveriges statskalender (1905) p. 441" (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 January 2018 – via runeberg.org.
  25. ^ "The London Gazette, Issue: 28000 Page: 1463". The London Gazette. Retrieved 7 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Cadet branch of the House of Mecklenburg
Born: 19 April 1876 Died: 3 July 1934
Dutch royalty
Title last held by
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
as Queen consort
Prince consort of the Netherlands
7 February 1901 – 3 July 1934
Title next held by
Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld