Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin


Hendrik (Henry) was the youngest child of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin’s third marriage. He was not expected to play an important role. However his mother was friends with Emma, mother of the young Dutch queen Wilhelmina. Moreover, Hendrik and Wilhelmina were distant relatives. Both mothers arranged for Wilhelmina and Hendrik to meet. They liked each other immediately, and their engagement was announced soon after.

Once married, Hendrik found himself in the difficult position of prince consort. For the first time the Dutch head of state had a male husband. Little thought had been given to his tasks, and he had no income of his own. Eventually, Hendrik established a role for himself and was given his own duties. He managed the Crown Estate at Het Loo (surrounding Paleis Het Loo), overseeing its expansion.