The Works of Art, Medals, Militaria & Furniture Auction on 20 November includes a rather regal medal pair. If you’re a history buff, you may recognise the majestic Dutch couple depicted on these handsome medals…
Known as the longest reigning of any Dutch monarch, the royal lady illustrated on the first of these charming medals is Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands. Born in 1880, Wilhelmina ascended to the throne at the young age of ten, after the death of her father, King William III of the Netherlands. Queen Wilhemina would go on to rule for more than five decades, through both World Wars, until her abdication in 1948.
It was just a decade into her reign that the young Queen wed Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who would become Prince Consort of the Netherlands, or Prince Hendrik. Illustrated on the second of the medals within this lot, the two certainly appear a rather grand pair. The couple would spend more than three decades together, and in 1909, welcomed their only child together, the future Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. The royal union of Wilhelmina and Hendrik, however long, was not known to be a happy one. The Prince Consort was known to be somewhat of a ladies man, and enjoyed numerous extra-marital affairs, reportedly fathering as many as ten illegitimate children. Nonetheless, the pair remained together until the death of Prince Hendrik in 1934.
The medals offered for sale in The Works of Art, Medals, Militaria & Furniture Auction this month demonstrate little of the tumultuous private lives behind the portraits of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik. The pair of medals, likely commemorative or prize medals, showcase the best of the Royal couple; Queen Wilhelmina’s profile appears regal and elegant, whilst Prince Hendrik looks grand and imposing, pictured in military dress and adorned with medals to his chest. This handsome pair is offered at lot 1323 in The Works of Art, Medals, Militaria & Furniture Auction, with an estimate of £100-200.