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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Netherlands

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This page contains a list of the greatest Dutch Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 159 of which were born in Netherlands. This makes Netherlands the birth place of the 24th most number of Politicians behind Czechia and Romania.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Dutch Politicians of all time. This list of famous Dutch Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Dutch Politicians.

Photo of Beatrix of the Netherlands

1. Beatrix of the Netherlands (1938 - )

With an HPI of 76.26, Beatrix of the Netherlands is the most famous Dutch Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 91 different languages on wikipedia.

Beatrix (Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbeːjaːtrɪks ˌʋɪlɦɛlˈminaː ˈʔɑr(ə)mɡɑrt] (listen); born 31 January 1938) is a member of the Dutch royal house who reigned as Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 until her abdication in 2013. Beatrix is the eldest daughter of Queen Juliana and her husband, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. Upon her mother's accession in 1948, she became heir presumptive. Beatrix attended a public primary school in Canada during World War II, and then finished her primary and secondary education in the Netherlands in the post-war period. In 1961, she received her law degree from Leiden University. In 1966, Beatrix married Claus von Amsberg, a German diplomat, with whom she had three children. When her mother abdicated on 30 April 1980, Beatrix succeeded her as queen. Beatrix's reign saw the country's Caribbean possessions reshaped with Aruba's secession and becoming its own constituent country within the kingdom in 1986. This was followed by the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, which created the new special municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba, and the two new constituent countries of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. On Koninginnedag (Queen's Day), 30 April 2013, Beatrix abdicated in favour of her eldest son, Willem-Alexander. At the time of her abdication at age 75, Beatrix was the oldest reigning monarch in the country's history.

Photo of William III of England

2. William III of England (1650 - 1702)

With an HPI of 74.02, William III of England is the 2nd most famous Dutch Politician.  His biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

William III (William Henry; Dutch: Willem Hendrik; 4 November 1650 – 8 March 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was the sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s, and King of England, Ireland, and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known as "King Billy" in Ireland and Scotland. His victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is commemorated by Unionists, who display orange colours in his honour. He ruled Britain alongside his wife and cousin, Queen Mary II, and popular histories usually refer to their reign as that of "William and Mary". William was the only child of William II, Prince of Orange, and Mary, Princess Royal, the daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland. His father died a week before his birth, making William III the prince of Orange from birth. In 1677, he married his cousin Mary, the eldest daughter of his maternal uncle James, Duke of York, the younger brother and later successor of King Charles II. A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic ruler Louis XIV of France in coalition with both Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded William as a champion of their faith. In 1685, his Catholic uncle and father-in-law, James, became king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. James's reign was unpopular with the Protestant majority in Britain, who feared a revival of Catholicism. Supported by a group of influential British political and religious leaders, William invaded England in what became known as the Glorious Revolution. In 1688, he landed at the south-western English port of Brixham; James was deposed shortly afterward. William's reputation as a staunch Protestant enabled him and his wife to take power. During the early years of his reign, William was occupied abroad with the Nine Years' War (1688–1697), leaving Mary to govern Britain alone. She died in 1694. In 1696 the Jacobites, a faction loyal to the deposed James, plotted unsuccessfully to assassinate William and restore James to the throne. William's lack of children and the death in 1700 of his nephew Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, the son of his sister-in-law Anne, threatened the Protestant succession. The danger was averted by placing distant relatives, the Protestant Hanoverians, in line to the throne with the Act of Settlement 1701. Upon his death in 1702, the king was succeeded in Britain by Anne and as titular Prince of Orange by his cousin John William Friso, beginning the Second Stadtholderless period.

Photo of Wilhelmina of the Netherlands

3. Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1880 - 1962)

With an HPI of 72.28, Wilhelmina of the Netherlands is the 3rd most famous Dutch Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Wilhelmina (Dutch pronunciation: [ʋɪlɦɛlˈminaː] (listen); Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria; 31 August 1880 – 28 November 1962) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. She reigned for nearly 58 years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw World War I, the Dutch economic crisis of 1933 and World War II. The only child of King William III of the Netherlands and Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, Wilhelmina ascended to the throne at the age of 10 after her father's death in 1890, under her mother's regency. After taking charge of government, Wilhelmina became generally popular for maintaining Dutch neutrality during the First World War and solving many of her country's industrial problems. By that time, her business ventures had made her the world's first female billionaire in dollars. She went on to ensure that her family was one of seven European royal houses remaining in existence. Following the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, Wilhelmina fled to Britain and took charge of the Dutch government-in-exile. She frequently spoke to the nation over radio and came to be regarded as a symbol of the resistance although she was criticised for failing to acknowledge some of the atrocities such as the Bombing of Nijmegen. By 1948, she had returned to the liberated Netherlands and was the only survivor of the 16 monarchs who were sitting on their thrones at the time of her inauguration. Increasingly beset by poor health, Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana in September 1948 and retired to Het Loo Palace, where she died in 1962. She remains reasonably popular in the Netherlands, even among the Dutch Republican movement. This is due to her being seen as a symbol of Dutch Resistance during World War II.

Photo of Juliana of the Netherlands

4. Juliana of the Netherlands (1909 - 2004)

With an HPI of 72.14, Juliana of the Netherlands is the 4th most famous Dutch Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Juliana (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌjyliˈjaːnaː]; Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina; 30 April 1909 – 20 March 2004) was Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 until her abdication in 1980. Juliana was the only child of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She received a private education and studied international law at the University of Leiden. In 1937, she married Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld with whom she had four daughters: Beatrix, Irene, Margriet, and Christina. During the German invasion of the Netherlands in the Second World War, the royal family was evacuated to the United Kingdom. Juliana then relocated to Canada with her children, while Wilhelmina and Bernhard remained in Britain. The royal family returned to the Netherlands after its liberation in 1945. Due to Wilhelmina's failing health, Juliana took over royal duties briefly in 1947 and 1948. In September 1948 Wilhelmina abdicated and Juliana ascended to the Dutch throne. Her reign saw the decolonization and independence of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and Suriname. Despite a series of controversies involving the royal family, Juliana remained a popular figure among the Dutch. In April 1980, Juliana abdicated in favour of her eldest daughter Beatrix. Upon her death in 2004 at the age of 94, she was the longest-lived former reigning monarch in the world.

Photo of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor

5. Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1165 - 1197)

With an HPI of 71.39, Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor is the 5th most famous Dutch Politician.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Henry VI (German: Heinrich VI.; November 1165 – 28 September 1197), a member of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, was King of Germany (King of the Romans) from 1169 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 until his death. From 1194 he was also King of Sicily. Henry was the second son of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy. Well educated in the Latin language, as well as Roman and canon law, Henry was also a patron of poets and a skilled poet himself. In 1186 he was married to Constance of Sicily, the posthumous daughter of the Norman king Roger II of Sicily. Henry, stuck in the Hohenstaufen conflict with the House of Welf until 1194, had to enforce the inheritance claims by his wife against her nephew Count Tancred of Lecce. Henry's attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Sicily failed at the siege of Naples in 1191 due to an epidemic, with Empress Constance captured. Based on an enormous ransom for the release and submission of King Richard I of England, he conquered Sicily in 1194; however, the intended unification with the Holy Roman Empire ultimately failed due to the opposition of the Papacy. Henry threatened to invade the Byzantine Empire after 1194 and succeeded in extracting a ransom, the Alamanikon, from Emperor Alexios III Angelos in return for cancelling the invasion. He made the Kingdom of Cyprus and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia formal subjects of the empire and compelled Tunis and Tripolitania to pay tribute to him. In 1195 and 1196, he attempted to turn the Holy Roman Empire from an elective to a hereditary monarchy, the so-called Erbreichsplan, but met strong resistance from the prince-electors and abandoned the plan. Henry pledged to go on crusade in 1195 and began preparations. A revolt in Sicily was crushed in 1197. The Crusaders set sail for the Holy Land that same year but Henry died of illness at Messina on 28 September 1197 before he could join them. His death plunged the Empire into the chaos of the German throne dispute for the next 17 years.

Photo of William I of the Netherlands

6. William I of the Netherlands (1772 - 1843)

With an HPI of 70.95, William I of the Netherlands is the 6th most famous Dutch Politician.  His biography has been translated into 54 different languages.

William I (Willem Frederik, Prince of Orange-Nassau; 24 August 1772 – 12 December 1843) was a Prince of Orange, the King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg. He was the son of the last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, who went into exile to London in 1795 because of the Batavian Revolution. As compensation for the loss of all his father's possessions in the Low Countries, an agreement was concluded between France and Prussia in which William was appointed ruler of the newly created Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda in 1803; this was however short-lived and in 1806 he was deposed by Napoleon. With the death of his father in 1806, he became Prince of Orange and ruler of the Principality of Orange-Nassau, which he also lost the same year after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and subsequent creation of the Confederation of the Rhine at the behest of Napoleon. In 1813, when Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Leipzig, the Orange-Nassau territories were returned to William and he was asked as well to become the Sovereign Prince of the United Netherlands. He proclaimed himself King of the Netherlands on 16 March 1815. In that year, William I concluded a treaty with King Frederick William III in which he ceded the Principality of Orange-Nassau to Prussia in exchange for becoming the new Grand Duke of Luxembourg. In 1839, he furthermore became the Duke of Limburg as a result of the Treaty of London. After his abdication in 1840, he styled himself King William Frederick, Count of Nassau.

Photo of William II of the Netherlands

7. William II of the Netherlands (1792 - 1849)

With an HPI of 68.80, William II of the Netherlands is the 7th most famous Dutch Politician.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

William II (Dutch: Willem Frederik George Lodewijk, anglicized as William Frederick George Louis; 6 December 1792 – 17 March 1849) was King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Duke of Limburg. William II was the son of William I and Wilhelmine of Prussia. When his father, who up to that time ruled as sovereign prince, proclaimed himself king in 1815, he became Prince of Orange as heir apparent of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. With the abdication of his father on 7 October 1840, William II became king. During his reign, the Netherlands became a parliamentary democracy with the new constitution of 1848. William II was married to Anna Pavlovna of Russia. They had four sons and one daughter. William II died on 17 March 1849 and was succeeded by his son William III.

Photo of Johan de Witt

8. Johan de Witt (1625 - 1672)

With an HPI of 67.63, Johan de Witt is the 8th most famous Dutch Politician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Johan de Witt (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjoːɦɑn də ˈʋɪt]; 24 September 1625 – 20 August 1672), lord of Zuid- en Noord-Linschoten, Snelrewaard, Hekendorp en IJsselvere, was a Dutch statesman and a major political figure in the Dutch Republic in the mid-17th century, the First Stadtholderless Period, when its flourishing sea trade in a period of globalization made the republic a leading European trading and seafaring power – now commonly referred to as the Dutch Golden Age. De Witt was elected Grand pensionary of Holland, and together with his uncle Cornelis de Graeff, he controlled the Dutch political system from around 1650 until the Rampjaar 1672. This progressive cooperation between the two statesmen, and the consequent support of Amsterdam under the rule of De Graeff, was an important political axis that organized the political system within the republic.As a leading republican of the Dutch States Party, De Witt opposed the House of Orange-Nassau and the Orangists and preferred a shift of power from the central government to the regenten. However, his neglect of the Dutch States Army (as the regents focused mainly on the navy, thinking they could avoid land wars) proved disastrous when the Dutch Republic suffered numerous early defeats in the Rampjaar. In the hysteria that followed the effortless invasion by an alliance of England, France and some German states he and his brother Cornelis de Witt were blamed and lynched in The Hague, with their corpses at least partially eaten by the rioters. These cannibals were never prosecuted, and some historians claim William of Orange may have incited them.

Photo of William II, Prince of Orange

9. William II, Prince of Orange (1626 - 1650)

With an HPI of 66.48, William II, Prince of Orange is the 9th most famous Dutch Politician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

William II (27 May 1626 – 6 November 1650) was sovereign Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Overijssel and Groningen in the United Provinces of the Netherlands from 14 March 1647 until his death three years later. His only child, William III, reigned as King of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

Photo of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange

10. Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange (1584 - 1647)

With an HPI of 65.95, Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange is the 10th most famous Dutch Politician.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Frederick Henry KG (Dutch: Frederik Hendrik; 29 January 1584 – 14 March 1647) was the sovereign prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1625 until his death in 1647. In the last seven years of his life, he was also the stadtholder of Groningen (1640-1647). As the leading soldier in the Dutch wars against Spain, his main achievement was the successful Siege of 's-Hertogenbosch in 1629. It was the main Spanish base and a well-fortified city protected by an experienced Spanish garrison and by formidable water defenses. His strategy was the successful neutralization of the threat of inundation of the area around 's-Hertogenbosch' and his capture of the Spanish storehouse at Wesel.

Pantheon has 159 people classified as politicians born between 875 and 1998. Of these 159, 52 (32.70%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Beatrix of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. The most famous deceased politicians include William III of England, Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and Juliana of the Netherlands. As of April 2022, 39 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Jan Janszoon, Geert Adriaans Boomgaard, and Philippa of Guelders.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2022)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.