Saturday, May 29, 2010

Women Behind the House of Orage-Nassau

From the Australian:
WHEN the house of Orange-Nassau finally became monarchs in The Netherlands in 1815, it was the result of hundreds of years of manoeuvring: battles physical and political and, Susan Broomhall contends, a solid effort by generations of the family's women.

"The male line was really weak, they died in battle or were minors for many years," says Broomhall, a professor of history at the University of Western Australia. "It was the women who kept reminding people of the family through systematically promoting it, so when The Netherlands decided on a monarchy, their family was the obvious choice." The family still rules, via Queen Beatrix.

A $450,000, four-year Australian Research Council grant will help Broomhall and colleague Jacqueline Van Gent tease out the scope of the women's influence.

"For most of the people who have researched this family it's all been about the men, but there is a whole other side," Broomhall says. "It's a different way of thinking about family."

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