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Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau

Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau

Princess in the house of orange-nassau
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Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau (Wilhelmine Carolina; 28 February 1743 – 6 May 1787) was a Dutch regent. She was the daughter of William IV, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands, and Anne, Princess Royal. She was regent of the Netherlands from 1765 until 1766 during the minority of her brother.


Princess Carolina was born in Leeuwarden. In 1747, it was declared that the position of Stadtholder could be inherited by females, thus making the young Princess Carolina the heiress presumptive to the position of Stadtholder. However, in 1748, a male heir, Willem, was born to her parents, thus displacing her and putting her second in line to the position.

Princess Carolina's father died in 1751, making her three-year-old brother Willem V of Orange. At that point, her mother was appointed regent. However, in 1759, her mother died, and Willem V was still just ten years old. Then, Princess Carolina's paternal grandmother, Princess Marie-Luise, was made Regent. Marie-Luise was regent until 1765, when she died. Willem V was now seventeen, but that was still not old enough to rule on his own. So, Princess Carolina was made regent. She ruled until 1766, when Willem V turned eighteen.

She died 6 May 1787 in Kirchheimbolanden, aged 44.

Marriage and children

On 5 March 1760 in The Hague, during the regency of her grandmother Princess Marie Luise, Princess Carolina married Karl Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg. They had fifteen children, seven of whom survived to adulthood:

  • Georg Wilhelm, Hereditary Prince of Nassau-Weilburg (The Hague, 18 December 1760 – Honselaarsdijk, 27 May 1762)
  • Wilhelm Ludwig, Hereditary Prince of Nassau-Weilburg (The Hague, 12 December 1761 – Kirchheim, 16 April/26 April 1770)
  • Augusta Carolina Maria of Nassau-Weilburg (The Hague, 5 February 1764 – Weilburg, 25 January 1802). A nun in Quedlinburg and Herford.
  • Wilhelmine Luise of Nassau-Weilburg, then of Nassau (The Hague, 28 September 1765 – Greiz, 10 October 1837), married in Kirchheim on 9 January 1786 Prince Reuss-Greiz (Greiz, 16 February 1747 – Greiz, 29 January 1817), and had issue:
    • Prince Heinrich XVIII (31 March 1787 – 31 March 1787)
    • Prince Heinrich XIX (1 March 1790 – 31 October 1836), married in 1822 to Princess Gasparine de Rohan-Rochefort, had issue.
    • Henirch XX, Prince Reuss-Greiz (29 June 1794 – 8 November 1859), married firstly in 1834 to Princess Sophie of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, no issue, Princess Sophie died in 1838; Married secondly in 1839 to Landgravine Karoline of Hesse-Homburg, had issue.
  • Frederick William, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg (25 October 1768, The Hague – 9 January 1816).
  • Karoline Luise Friederike of Nassau-Weilburg (Kirchheim, 14 February 1770 – Wiesbaden, 8 July 1828), married in Kirchheim on 4 September 1787 Karl Ludwig, Prince zu Wied (Dierdorf, 9 September 1763 – Dierdorf, 9 March 1824), without issue
  • Karl Ludwig of Nassau-Weilburg (Kirchheim, 19 July 1772 – Kirchheim, 27 July 1772)
  • Karl Wilhelm Friedrich of Nassau-Weilburg (Kirchheim, 1 May 1775 – Weilburg, 11 May 1807), unmarried and without issue
  • Princess Amalie Charlotte of Nassau-Weilburg (Kirchheim, 7 August 1776 – Schaumburg, 19 February 1841), married firstly in Weilburg on 29 October 1793 Victor II, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym, and had issue, and married secondly in Schaumburg on 15 February 1813 Friedrich, Baron von Stein-Liebenstein zu Barchfeld (14 February 1777 – 4 December 1849), and had issue
  • Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg (22 April 1780 – 2 January 1857). Married Duke Louis of Württemberg, second son of Friedrich II Eugen, Duke of Württemberg.
  • Karl of Nassau-Weilburg (1784 – shortly thereafter)
  • Four nameless, stillborn children (1767, 1778, 1779, 1785)


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