Netherlands (1815-1932)

 

Upon the Netherlands’ establishment as a separate kingdom in 1815, a national anthem was needed for the nation. Despite “Wilhelmus” being popular among the Dutch people since the 17th century, it was seen as partisan to the House of Orange (the monarch, of the House of Orange, wished to have a non-partisan anthem). Therefore, the government decided to hold a contest for a new anthem.

Despite having a new anthem, “Wilhelmus” remained more popular with the people, it was even played at the investiture of Queen Wilhelmina in 1898. A possible explanation for the unpopularness of “Wien Neerlands Bloed” could be the percieved exclusiveness of the lyrics. This anthem proved to be more controversial than “Het Wilhelmus” could ahve been, so “Wilhelmus”, by now not as deeply associated with the House of Orange but instead more associated with the nation, was decreed to be the new national anthem in 1932.

Two somewhat different versions of the anthem existed, from 1815 to 1898 the original lyrics were used, as the lyrics referred to a male head of state (a king). This necessitated a change upon Wilhelmina’s investiture as queen; also, as mentioned above, the controversial nature of the lyrics was also an issue with Wilhelmina, so the lyrics were slightly changed in that regard, as well as the alteration of the text to reflect a female monarch.

Special thanks to: Joris Voskuilen for some of this information.