John William Friso Prince of Orange

John William Friso Prince of OrangeJohn William Friso Prince of Orange
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Johan Willem Friso van Oranje-Nassau
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John William Friso, Prince of Orange-Nassau  became the titular Prince of Orange in 1702.

He was stadtholder of Friesland until his death by drowning in the Hollands Diep in 1711.

Along with his wife, Marie Louise, Friso is the ancestor of all European monarchs occupying the throne today

He was the son of Henry Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz, and Princess Henriëtte Amalia of Anhalt-Dessau who were both first cousins of William III. As such, he was a member of the House of Nassau, and through the testamentary dispositions of William III became the progenitor of the new line of the House of Orange-Nassau.


With the death of William III, Prince of Orange, the legitimate male line of William the Silent (the second House of Orange) became extinct. John William Friso, the senior agnatic descendant of William the Silent's brother and a cognaticdescendant of Frederick Henry, 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, and continued to retain a separate Stadtholder, John William Friso. He established the third House of Orange, which became extinct in the male line in 1890. His son William IV, Prince of Orange, however, later became stadtholder of all seven provinces.

John William Friso's position as William III's heir general was opposed by King Frederick I of Prussia, who also claimed (and occupied) part of the inheritance (for example Lingen). Under William III's will, 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 which he later ceded the territory to France.

Military career and death

On coming of age in 1707, John William Friso became a general of the Dutch troops during the War of Spanish Succession, under the command of the Duke of Marlborough, and turned out to be a competent officer. He commanded Dutch infantry in the battle of Oudenarde, siege of Lille, and battle of Malplaquet. The prestige that he acquired from his military service should have favored his eventual elevation as stadtholder in the remaining five provinces.

However, in 1711, when traveling from the front in Flanders to meet the king of Prussia in The Hague in connection with his suit in the succession dispute, he drowned on 14 July when the ferry boat on the Moerdyk was overturned in heavy weather. His son was born six weeks after his death.

Marriage and issue

See also: Royal descendants of John William Friso

On 26 April 1709, he married Princess Maria Louise of Hesse-Kassel (1688–1765), daughter of Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and granddaughter of Jacob Kettler, Duke of Courland. They had two children.

Anna Charlotte Amalia 1710 1777 married Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Baden-Durlach; had issue, including Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden

William IV, Prince of Orange 1711 1751 married Anne, Princess Royal; had issue, including William V, Prince of Orange

John William Friso and his wife are the most recent common ancestors to all currently reigning European monarchs.

This is a title he has held since 1938, when Franz Joseph II -a descendant of John William Friso, succeeded Franz I - who was not a descendant, as Prince of Liechtenstein.

Source: wikipedia.org

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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1William IV Prince of OrangeWilliam IV Prince of OrangeSon01.09.171122.10.1751
        2Amalia  Nassau-Dietz, PrincessAmalia Nassau-Dietz, PrincessDaughter23.10.171018.09.1777
        3Marie Louise Hesse-Kassel, LandgravineMarie Louise Hesse-Kassel, LandgravineWife07.02.168809.04.1765
        4Charles I Landgrave of Hesse-KasselCharles I Landgrave of Hesse-KasselFather in-law03.08.165423.03.1730
        5Maria Amalia of KurlandMaria Amalia of KurlandMother in-law12.06.165316.06.1711
        Louise Elisabeth von KurlandMother in-law23.08.164616.12.1690
        7Wilhelm VIII von Hessen-KasselWilhelm VIII von Hessen-KasselBrother in-law10.03.168201.02.1760
        8Frederick I of SwedenFrederick I of SwedenBrother in-law17.04.167625.03.1751
        9Karl Friedrich  BadenKarl Friedrich BadenGrandson22.11.172810.06.1811
        10Carolina Orange-Nassau, PrincessCarolina Orange-Nassau, PrincessGranddaughter28.02.174306.05.1787
        11Leopold BadenLeopold BadenGreat grandson29.08.179024.04.1852
        12Henriette  Nassau-Weilburg, PrincessHenriette Nassau-Weilburg, PrincessGreat granddaughter22.04.178002.01.1857

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