Netherlands – 250th birthday of the first king of the House of Orange-Nassau: Willem I

Netherlands - 250th birthday of the first king of the House of Orange-Nassau: Willem I

Students design stamps for King Willem I

The Hague, 20 June 2022. Today PostNL issues a new stamp sheetlet to commemorate the 250th birthday of the first king of the House of Orange-Nassau: Willem I (1772-1843).

Prince Willem Frederik was born 250 years ago in The Hague. In 1815 he was proclaimed King William I of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The stamps for 250 years of King William I show portraits of him and his wife Wilhelmina of Prussia, next to an image of the city palace in Fulda. Prince Willem Frederik reigned as Fürst over this German principality from 1802 to 1806.

Students ArtEZ

The design of the stamps was made by Graphic Design students of ArtEZ, University of the Arts in Zwolle. A total of 40 students took part in the project, each with their own contribution to the final result. Work was done individually and in groups of varying composition, with guidance from ArtEZ teachers.

Nassau blue

Like the photo of the city palace, the portraits of Willem I and Wilhelmina have been radically edited by the students. For example, monochrome Nassau blue was chosen as the classic color that suits our royal family. “A texture with a pastel-like effect has also been added to the images, as a reference to King William I’s great interest in the arts,” said Lois Barendse, one of the students in the project. “This structure also brings more depth to the image. The lighter blue makes it look like the subjects are in a spotlight. That gives it something sublime.”

Military Order of William

The stamps show the official monogram of King Willem I, but also a festive pattern of crosses in the colors red, white, blue and orange. The shape of the cross is derived from the Military Order of William, the highest knighthood in the Netherlands. This order was established by King William I himself for deeds that testify to courage, policy and loyalty.

Design & Dynasty

This year, from June 18 to August 28, the exhibition Design & Dynasty, 250 Jahre Hofleben Oranien-Nassau can be seen in Fulda, Germany. The exhibition was curated by curator Nicole Uniquole. She combined contemporary design with objects from the Royal Collections. The exhibition covers the period of seven Dutch royal couples, from King Willem I and his wife Queen Wilhelmina to King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. During the opening of the exhibition, the stamp was officially presented by PostNL to Dr. Thomas Heiler, head of the Fulda City Archives and, since 2011, also head of the city’s cultural office.

About King William II

The reign of William I was characterized by the maintenance of the reforms from the French period and by large investments in industry, trade and in the construction of many canals and roads. In 1840 William I abdicated and he was succeeded by his eldest son, King Willem II.


The stamp sheetlet 250 years King William I has 6 stamps in 3 different designs, with the value indication Nederland 1, intended for mail up to and including 20 grams with a destination within the Netherlands. The stamps will be available from 20 June at the Bruna stores and via the webshop.