The Roots of the Royals


Maria Louise van Hessen-Kassel, Princess of Oranje Nassau (1688-1765) was renowned, beloved, and the stem of the current royal house. She played an umistakable role in the development of the way we see the Dutch royals today. And even now, the city she called home breaths grandeur. Check out the historic city centre of Leeuwarden and jump into the queenly world of Maria Louise.

A whiff of royal allure

From the Paleis het Stadhouderlijk Hof and the Princessehof, to the Prinsentuin and Grote Kerk. The Frisian capital is filled with reminders of the Maria Louise’s time. She came to Leeuwarden from Germany, having married the Frisian ‘stadhouder’, to live in the Stadhouderlijk Hof, the historic home of the Nassaus. Unfortunately, her husband died before their son had reached adulthood, leaving Maria Louise to become Regent. 

Maria Louise took to the task of being Regent with ease- under her guidance the Friesian Nassaus grew in important hugely. Once her son reached adulthood he took on the responsibilities of Stahouder, however after his untimely death, Maria Louise again stepped into the role of Regent whilst her grandson was too young to ascend. Maria Louise was incredibly well liked, dashing, influential; and modest- with Frisian people of the time knowing her as Marijke Meu, or ‘Maaike Mouike’, which is Frisian for ‘Aunt Marijke’. 

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