King Friedrich I in Prussia, King Friedrich Wilhelm I Prussia, Marie Louise of Hesse-Cassel, Prince Johan Willem Friso, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen, William III-II of England Scotland and Ireland
From the Emperor’s Desk: after my blog entry on King William III-II of England Scotland and Ireland, Prince of Orange, I wanted to write a little more about his successor.
Johan Willem Friso (August 14, 1687 – July 14, 1711) became the (titular) Prince of Orange in 1702. He was the Stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen in the Dutch Republic until his death by accidental drowning in the Hollands Diep in 1711. From World War II to 2022, Friso and his wife, Marie Louise, were the most recent common ancestors of ALL current European monarchs.
On April 1709, Johan Willem Friso married Princess Maria Louise of Hesse-Cassel (1688–1765) who was one of seventeen children born to Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, by his wife and cousin, Princess Maria Amalia of Courland. Two of her siblings included King Frederik I of Sweden and Wilhelm VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel.
Johan Willem Friso’s grandmother mother, Princess Maria Amalia of Courland, was the daughter of Jacob Kettler, Duke of Courland and Semigallia (1610–1681) and his wife, Princess Louise Charlotte of Brandenburg (1617–1676).
Johan Willem Friso was the son of Hendrik Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, and Princess Henriëtte Amalia of Anhalt-Dessau who were both first cousins of King William III-II of England, Scotland and Ireland and Prince of Orange.
As such, he was a member of the House of Nassau (the branch of Nassau-Dietz), and through the testamentary dispositions of King William III-II became the progenitor of the new line of the House of Orange-Nassau. He was educated under Jean Lemonon, professor at the University of Franeker.
With the death of King William III-II of England, Scotland and Ireland and Prince of Orange, the legitimate male line of Willem I the Silent (the second House of Orange) became extinct.
Johan Willem Friso, the senior agnatic descendant of Willem the Silent’s brother, Johann VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg
Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, and a cognatic descendant of Frederik Hendrik, Prince of Orange, the grandfather of William III, claimed the succession as stadtholder in all provinces held by William III. This was denied to him by the republican faction in the Netherlands.
The five provinces over which William III ruled – Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel – all suspended the office of stadtholder after William III’s death. The remaining two provinces – Friesland and Groningen – were never governed by William III.
Johan Willem Friso was the stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen where he succeeded his father, Hendrik Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, the previous stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen. These territories continued to retain a separate stadtholder.
Johan Willem Friso established the third House of Orange, which became extinct in the male line in 1890. His son, Willem IV of Orange, later became stadtholder of all United seven provinces.
John William Friso’s position as William III’s heir general was opposed by King Friedrich I in Prussia, who also claimed (and occupied) part of the inheritance (for example Lingen). Under William III’s will, Johan Willem Friso stood to inherit the Principality of Orange. However, the Prussian King Frederick I also claimed the Principality of Orange in the Rhône Valley, of France.
King Friedrich I in Prussia claimed the Principality of Orange as the senior cognatic heir of Frederik Hendrik, Prince of Orange through his mother Countess Louise Henriette of Nassau. She was the eldest daughter of Frederik Hendrik, Prince of Orange
and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels.
Under the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Friedrich I’s successor, King Friedrich Wilhelm I in Prussia, ceded his territorial claim to the Principality of Orange King Louis XIV of France and Navarre, keeping only a claim to the title itself.
Johan Willem Friso’s posthumous son, Willem IV, succeeded to the title Prince of Orange at his birth in 1711; in the Treaty of Partition (1732), Willem IV agreed to share the title “Prince of Orange” with King Friedrich Wilhelm I. This is why the heir to the Prussian throne, Prince Georg Friedrich, also carries the title “Prince of Orange.” This is also how the current Dutch Royal Family retains the title Prince/Princess of Orange for the heir to the throne.