Seegers' Queen

Yes, I realise I have been featuring quite a lot of queens lately, but then, they're all so beautiful! I think it would be great to just have a collection of queens. But today, we focus on just the one: Queen Emma of the Netherlands, who was actually 'just' a queen regent until her daughter Wilhelmina would turn 18. Emma was queen regent from 1890 to 1898.

She never featured on her country's definitives, that honour was preserved for Wilhelmina, but she did feature on the odd stamp after she was no longer queen. One of those, and I believe the most striking one, was issued in 1934. Although it says nowhere on the stamp, it was actually a charity stamp, and an extra 2c had to be paid to purchase it, which would go to the Anti TB Fund. The stamp was engraved by Hendrik Seegers.

When Enschedé started producing their Handboek Postwaarden Nederland in 1994, a handbook on Dutch stamps and other postal items (which is still being worked on, with 2 to 3 instalments a year and an absolute must for collectors of the Netherlands), they produced a little present for those who subscribed: a special reprint of the Emma stamp from the original die, though this time in a different colour. It is lovely and must be treasured by those who own it for I've never seen it for sale anywhere!

In 1939, Seegers got to engrave another portrait of Emma, this time for the country's 20 guilders bank note. That engraving, too, portrays Emma in widow's clothing, as this was the image most Dutch folk would have on their minds anyway when thinking of her. After all, being more than 40 years younger than her husband King William III, she was a widow for a whopping 44 years!

She has since descended down the rankings somewhat as she was only a queen consort and then a queen regent, and never a 'proper' queen, but she was very much liked in her time so this is to redeem her a bit.