Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962), was the daughter of Willem III and Queen Emma. She was ten when her father died - his tenure had done little to enhance the popularity of the monarchy. While she succeeded to the title in 1890, her mother served as regent until she came of age in 1898. Wilhelmina had a keen a sense of decorum. She was stiff and formal, resolute and upright. A strong personality who managed to restore a certain significance and popularity to the monarchy. Inclined to act and opine robustly and on impulse, cabinet ministers were occasionally required to put her in her place. When German troops invaded the Netherlands at the start of the Second World War in 1940, Wilhelmina fled along with the government to London. She was in her element there when she spoke to the Dutch people on Radio Orange. When she told the nation in her posh Dutch voice to Knock the Kraut on the head!, she raised morale in the occupied Netherlands. Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in 1948 and withdrew from public life.



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