The sculptor Charlotte van Pallandt was a friend of Queen
Juliana, of whom she made several portraits. The sculpture of Queen
Wilhelmina was unveiled in Het Park in Rotterdam in 1968. It is executed
in bluestone, a material that was considered appropriate to Queen
The sculpture aims to show her in all her simplicity, as the mother of the people, not looking down on the people,
but looking up to them. This portrait expresses her indomitability,
courage and determination, or as Winston Churchill said of her during
the war: ‘There is but one man and that is Queen Wilhelmina’.The robust triangular sculpture typifies Queen Wilhelmina, wearing her
long coat with a broad fur collar and a hat that almost covers her face.
With her arms straight by her sides, she makes a resolute impression.
The monarch’s personality is captured more in her stance than in her
features. The face is lacking in detail, yet Juliana felt that the
sculpture looked exactly like her mother.
For the design Van Pallandt used photographs that were taken of Queen Wilhelmina during the unveiling of Mari Andriessen’s war monument in Rotterdam in May 1958. The artist made numerous designs for the sculpture. She initially conceived it in bronze and made a bronze model approximately 20 cm in height. When the model was translated into a metre-high plaster version, it was decided to execute the final sculpture in stone. The plaster mode was mechanically enlarged in stone measuring three metres. It was then prepared by a stone carver in Haarlem before being transported to Van Pallandt’s studio in Noordwijk for the final carving.