maria louise van hessen-kassel

This is Marie-Louise van Hessen-Kassel, around the age of 22. She was of German birth and married Frisian stadtholder Johan Willem Friso van Nassau-Dietz in 1709. That is how she came to live in Leeuwarden.

Maria Louise van Hessen-Kassel, Louis Volders, 1709-1711

Maria Louise van Hessen-Kassel, Louis Volders, 1709-1711

When her husband was drowned in an accident while she was in the last months of pregnancy, she had to take over his tasks. After the birth of their son, she was officially appointed regentess.

When her son Willem Karel Hendrik Friso came of age, she stepped aside. Near the end of her life she became regentess again, this time for her young grandson Willem Batavus, who was orphaned at too young an age to succeed his father Willem Karel.

The Frisians were particularly fond of her, for her modest character and the sympathetic manner in which she treated people she had to deal with, and they lovingly called her Marijkemuoi , Frisian for Auntie Marijke.