Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria of the Netherlands was born on 31 August 1880 in The Hague, Netherlands and was the only child of King William III and his second wife, Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont.
By the age of four, Wilhelmina became heiress presumptive.
When King William III passed away during 1890, Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands instantly, but her mother Emma was named regent.
On 6 September 1898, Wilhelmina was enthroned. Wilhelmina married Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 7 February 1901 in The Hague.
After a number of miscarriages, Wilhelmina gave birth to Juliana, on 30 April 1909. During World War 1 the Netherlands remained neutral.
Her husband Prince Hendrik, passed away during 1934. On 10 May 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands. Wilhelmina was eventually forced to leave the Netherlands on board the HMS Hereward, a British destroyer, where she was taken to the United Kingdom.
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Queen took charge of the Dutch government in exile. Wilhelmina broadcast messages to the Dutch people over Radio Oranje. Queen Wilhelmina visited the United States from 24 June-11 August 1942. In 1944 Queen Wilhelmina became only the second woman to be inducted into the Order of the Garter. Following the end of World War II, Queen Wilhelmina returned to the Netherlands. Bad health caused Wilhelmina to cede the throne to her daughter Juliana temporarily towards the end of 1947. On 4 September 1948, after a reign of 57 years and 286 days, Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana. During her last years she wrote her autobiography entitled Eenzaam, maar niet alleen (Lonely but Not Alone). Queen Wilhelmina passed away in Het Loo at the age of 82 on 28 November 1962, and was buried in the Dutch Royal Family crypt in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, on 8 December.
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