Willem III was born eight days after the death of his father, Stadtholder Willem II. The states decided not to appoint a member of the House of Orange as stadtholder. But Willem nevertheless remained an important person, so from the age of ten – when his mother died – he was raised under the supervision of a few administrators of the States of Holland. In 1672, the Republic of the United Netherlands went to war with several countries, including England and France. Willem III was made commander-in-chief of the army, and was also appointed stadtholder that same year.
In 1677 Willem III married his English cousin Mary Stuart. By 1688 the position of the English king, James II, Mary’s father, had become untenable, in part because he had converted to Catholicism. With the support of several notable Protestant members of parliament (‘The Immortal Seven’), Willem organised an invasion of England, where he seized power, known as the ‘Glorious Revolution’. In 1689 Willem (William) and Mary were crowned King and Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland
Willem III and Mary had Paleis Het Loo built in 1686. Major extensions were added to the palace and gardens when they became king and queen.
Since Willem and Mary had no children, Willem III decreed that the dynastic line should be continued via Albertine Agnes, one of Willem II’s younger sisters, and aunt to Willem III. The grandson of Albertine Agnes is Johan Willem Friso (John William Friso).. He becomes the heir of his second cousin Willem III, but he dies young. Only 45 years after the death of Willem III, Willem IV, the son of Johan Willem Friso, becomes stadtholder of the entire Republic. Mary’s younger sister Anne became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland and Scotland after the death of Willem III. The House of Orange therefore did not continue in power there.