Anna van Saksen


Three years after the death of his first wife, Anna of Egmond, William of Orange married Anna van Saksen (of Saxony), daughter of the Duke of Saxony. This was a strategic choice which Willem hoped would help him to win support from the German Protestant princes in fighting the Spanish catholic king Philip II.
Initially, Anna was very much in love with Willem, but their marriage deteriorated over the years. Anna had difficulty with their move to the austere Dillenburg Castle when Willem was no longer able to live in the Netherlands because of his role in the Dutch Revolt. Anna decided to leave Dillenburg and began an affair. She was forced to agree to a divorce. She was even declared mad and was locked away at her family home, where she remained until her death.

Anna and Willem had five children, two of whom died young. Their son Maurits (Maurice) later succeeded his father as stadtholder.