House of Orange-Nassau

The House of Orange-Nassau (Dutch: Huis van Oranje-Nassau, pronounced [ˈɦœys fɑn oːˌrɑɲə ˈnɑsʌu][1]) is the current reigning house of the Netherlands. A branch of the European House of Nassau, the house has played a central role in the politics and government of the Netherlands and Europe especially since William the Silent organised the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) led to an independent Dutch state.

House of Orange-Nassau
Parent houseHouse of Nassau
CountryNetherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Germany Orange, Nassau
EtymologyOrange, France & Nassau, Germany
Founded1544; 477 years ago (1544)
FounderWilliam the Silent
Current headWillem-Alexander of the Netherlands (in cognatic line)
Titles
Estate(s)Netherlands
Dissolution1962 (in agnatic line; last male dynast died in 1890)

Several members of the house served during this war and after as stadtholder ("governor"; Dutch: stadhouder) during the Dutch Republic. However, in 1815, after a long period as a republic, the Netherlands became a monarchy under the House of Orange-Nassau.

The dynasty was established as a result of the marriage of Henry III of Nassau-Breda from Germany and Claudia of Châlon-Orange from French Burgundy in 1515. Their son René of Chalon inherited in 1530 the independent and sovereign Principality of Orange from his mother's brother, Philibert of Châlon. As the first Nassau to be the Prince of Orange, René could have used "Orange-Nassau" as his new family name. However, his uncle, in his will, had stipulated that René should continue the use of the name Châlon-Orange. After René's death in 1544, his cousin William of Nassau-Dillenburg inherited all of his lands. This "William I of Orange", in English better known as William the Silent, became the founder of the House of Orange-Nassau.[2]:10