|Intro||Queen consort of the Netherlands, 1879–1890|
|A.K.A.||Emma of the Netherlands, Queen Emma|
|Was||Queen consort Consort Queen|
|Birth||2 August 1858, Arolsen Castle, Bad Arolsen, Waldeck-Frankenberg, Kassel Government Region|
|Death||20 March 1934, The Hague, South Holland, Netherlands, Kingdom of the Netherlands (aged 75 years)|
Adelheid Emma Wilhelmina Theresia of Waldeck and Pyrmont (2 August 1858 – 20 March 1934) was Queen of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess 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.
Her maternal grandfather was William, Duke of Nassau, a grandson of Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau, through which she inherited a place in the line of succession to the Dutch Crown until 1887.
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.
The Queen Dowager died in The Hague on 20 March 1934, of complications from bronchitis at the age of 75, and was buried in Delft.
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 Queen-Dowager Emma, Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont
- 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|