Princess Marianne of the Netherlands

Princess Marianne
Princess Albert of Prussia
Princess Marianne of the Netherlands. Paint of water colóurs in paper by Jan Philip Koelman, 1846.
Spouse Prince Albert of Prussia
Charlotte, Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meiningen
Prince Albert
Princess Elizabeth
Princess Alexandrine
Johannes Wilhelm von Reinhartshausen (illegitimate)
Full name
Wilhelmina Frederika Louise Charlotte Marianne
House House of Orange-Nassau
House of Hohenzollern
Father William I of the Netherlands
Mother Wilhelmine of Prussia
Born 9 May 1810(1810-05-09)
Died 29 May 1883 (aged 73)

Princess Marianne of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau (Wilhelmina Frederika Louise Charlotte Marianne; 9 May 1810 – 29 May 1883), was a member of the House of Orange-Nassau, by birth Princess of the Kingdom of the United Netherlands and by marriage Princess of the Kingdom of Prussia.


Born in Berlin, she was the youngest child and second daughter of King William I of the Netherlands by his wife Wilhelmine of Prussia. Her elder sister, Pauline, had died in 1806, long before her birth, so Marianne became the only daughter of her parents to survive adulthood. Her two older brothers were the future King William II and Prince Frederik of the Netherlands. Two other brothers were stillborn.


In The Hague on 14 September 1830, Marianne married her first cousin Prince Albert, the fourth son of her mother's brother, King Frederick William III of Prussia. The union produced five children:

  • A child (Palais an der Wilhelmstrasse, near Berlin, 4 December 1832). He was either stillborn or lived only a few hours.
  • Frederika Louise Wilhelmine Elisabeth (b. Kamenz, 27 August 1840 - d. Kamenz, 9 October 1840).
  • Frederika Wilhelmine Louise Elisabeth Alexandrine (b. Berlin, 1 February 1842 - d. Schloss Marley, near Potsdam, 26 March 1906), married on 9 December 1865 to Wilhelm of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Johannes Wilhelm von Reinhartshausen, the son of Princess Marianne and Johannes van Rossum.

In 1845 she left her unfaithful husband and began to live with her lover and former coachman Johannes van Rossum. On 28 March 1849, Marianne and Albert of Prussia were formally divorced. Seven months later (30 October) in Cefalù, Sicily, she gave birth to her only child with van Rossum, a son, called Johannes Wilhelm von Reinhartshausen. After this, the courts of The Hague and Berlin broke all contact with her. Marianne, Johannes and their son spent the following years in Italy and Erbach.

In 1855 Marianne bought Schloss Reinhartshausen in Erbach. An unusually progressive woman and cultural visionary, she made the Schloss Reinhartshausen a cultural center of the Rhine. Marianne reconstructed part of the Schloss as a museum to house her collection of 600 paintings. The museum is known today as the Festsäle. The Schloss was always vibrant with many guests and Marianne encouraged young artists providing them accommodation. Of her treasures, 180 paintings, 110 drawings including watercolors and gouaches, as well as various sculptures can be found there today.

Princess Marianne of the Netherlands in later years (ca. 1880).

On Christmas Day of 1861, her son Johannes Wilhelm died of pneumonia in Reinhartshausen at age twelve. To honor him, Marianne donated 60.000 Gulden to the Erbacher locals for a piece of land on which a church was to be constructed. The church was completed and Johannes buried under its altar. The church, named after Johannes, is today’s Protestant church in Erbach.

Twelve years later, on 10 May 1873, Johannes van Rossum, Marianne's partner for almost thirty years and the love of her life, died aged sixty-four. He was buried next to his son.

Marianne survived him by ten years and died in the Schloss Reinhartshausen in Erbach twenty days after her seventy-third birthday. She was buried near Johannes van Rossum and their son.

Her eldest son, Prince Albert of Prussia, inherited her estate, included the Schloss Reinhartshausen. In 1940, her grandson, Prince Frederick Heinrich of Prussia -Albert's son- owned the property. Today the Schloss Reinhartshausen is a 5-stars hotel.

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