Prince Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

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Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Prince Henry of Holland.jpg
Prince Henry in 1915.
Prince consort of the Netherlands
Tenure 7 February 1901 – 3 July 1934
Born (1876-04-19)19 April 1876
Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire
Died 3 July 1934(1934-07-03) (aged 58)
Kneuterdijk Palace, The Hague, Netherlands
Burial 11 July 1934
Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands
Spouse Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
(m. 1901)
Issue Juliana of the Netherlands
Pim Lier
Full name
Hendrik Wladimir Albrecht Ernst
House Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Father Frederick Francis II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg
Mother Princess Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Religion Lutheranism (until 1901)
Reformed (from 1901)
Occupation Military officer

Prince Henry of the Netherlands, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (German: Heinrich Wladimir Albrecht Ernst; Dutch: Hendrik Wladimir Albrecht Ernst; 19 April 1876 – 3 July 1934) was prince consort of the Netherlands as the husband of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. He was the longest serving consort of the Netherlands.


Heinrich Wladimir Albrecht Ernst of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was born on 19 April 1876 in Schwerin. He was the youngest son of Frederick Francis II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and his third wife, Princess Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.

He was created Prince of the Netherlands on 6 February 1901, and married Queen Wilhelmina on 7 February 1901, in The Hague. Although the queen was devoted to her spouse at the time of their marriage, it proved in the long run to be an unhappy one that did little more than meet its obligation by producing an heir. They had one child, Juliana, in whose favor Wilhelmina abdicated on 4 September 1948.

He was the 279th Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword in Portugal and the 1,157th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain in 1924.

He died, at the age of 58, on 3 July 1934 in The Hague, Netherlands.


He successfully merged the two Dutch Boy Scout organisations Nederlandse Padvinders Organisatie (NPO, Netherlands Pathfinder Organisation) and the Nederlandse Padvinders Bond (NPB, Netherlands Pathfinder Federation) on 11 December 1915 to form De Nederlandse Padvinders (NPV, The Netherlands Pathfinders). He became the Royal Commissioner of that organisation and he asked Jean Jacques Rambonnet to become chairman in 1920 .[1]

Extramarital relationships[edit]

Prince Henry was known to have had numerous extra-marital affairs, at least one of which resulted in illegitimate offspring; during her widowhood, Queen Wilhelmina paid monthly allowances to three known ex-mistresses: Julia Cervey in Geneva (two hundred guilders per month); Wilhelmine Steiner in Zurich (five hundred guilders per month); and Mein Lier-Wenneker (1887-1973), in The Hague (five hundred guilders per month).[2]

Illegitimate children[edit]

Mein Abbo-Wenneker (later Lier-Wenneker, 1887-1973), gave birth to a total of six children; the older two, sisters Christina Margaretha Abbo & Edith Abbo (later Sheep-Abbo) [3] were ostensibly the daughters of Mein’s first husband, Dhr. Abbo, but strongly rumored to have been fathered by Prince Henry. By then a widow, Mein in 1918 gave birth to Prince Henry’s acknowledged son, Albrecht Willem (known as Pim Lier ) (22 Jul 1918 – 9 Apr 2015).[4] In 1919, Mein married Lieutenant Jan Derk Lier Winch, a former aide-de-camp to Prince Henry. A grant of one hundred thousand guilders was arranged for Lt. Lier Winch [5] from the State by police chief François van 't Sant, whom Queen Wilhelmina engaged to verify the facts of her husband’s extramarital relationships and children. This, plus a monthly allowance to the Lt from the state of one thousand guilders, was in return for his commitment to "the three children of HRH.”

The male parent of the remaining three children was not verified as being either Prince Henry or Lt. Lier Winch. Subsequent to their birth, no additional allowance was settled on the family; in fact, the monthly allowance of one thousand guilders to Lt. Jan Derk Lier was halved by van't Sant after a short period, although the allowance to his wife continued.

It is rumored that, overall, Prince Henry fathered between three and ten illegitimate children, but firm proof remains elusive.


Coat of Arms of Prince Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
  • 19 April 1876 – 7 February 1901: His Highness Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
  • 7 February 1901 – 3 July 1934: His Royal Highness The Prince of the Netherlands[6]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Prince Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Cadet branch of the House of Mecklenburg
Born: 19 April 1876 Died: 3 July 1934
Dutch royalty
Title last held by
Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont
as Queen consort
Prince consort of the Netherlands
7 February 1901 – 3 July 1934
Title next held by
Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld