Anna of Egmond


Anna of Egmont, Countess of Buren, was a wealthy heiress. She married William of Orange when they were both eighteen. It took no less than three years to negotiate the marriage, because Anna had inherited so much land and other property. The marriage enhanced Willem’s fortune and status as well.

Anna and Willem led a comfortable life at court in Brussels and at their castle in Breda. The Dutch Revolt had not yet begun. Willem was very much in love with his wife, as evidenced by his love letters to her. The couple had two daughters and a son. The eldest daughter died at a young age. Anna, too, died suddenly at the age of only 25.

Willem and Anna’s son Filips Willem (Philip William) was kidnapped when he was fourteen on the orders of the Spanish king Philip II. The boy was taken to Spain in order to force Willem’s hand over the revolt in the Netherlands. Filips Willem, who was held for thirty years before being released, would never see his parents again.