Maria Louise’s parents were both descendants from William of Orange. She married Johan Willem Friso (John William Friso), stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen. It was a happy marriage, but Johan Willem Friso died by drowning just two years after their wedding. Their son Willem IV was born seven weeks later. Maria Louise became regent until her son reached the age of majority. Years later, she also became regent for her grandson Willem V.
Maria Louise was very popular in her hometown of Leeuwarden. There she was known as ‘Aunt Marijke’. Maria Louise was very interested in gardens and commissioned the Marienburg country estate near Leeuwarden.