The Prince of Orange

Edward Orme (1775–1848)
Historic, military, and naval anecdotes, of personal valour, bravery, and particular incidents which occurred to the armies of Great Britain and her allies, in the last long-contested war, terminating with the Battle of Waterloo…
London: Edward Orme, 1819
Harley-Mason.a.78, plate opposite p. 21

William Frederick, Prince of Orange (1792–1849), from 1840 King William II of the Netherlands, fought with Wellington in the Peninsular War and commanded a corps of the Allied army during the Waterloo campaign. This image depicts a possibly apocryphal episode at the Battle of Quatre Bras, when the Prince came close to being captured by the French and was rescued by Belgian troops: he is supposed to have pulled the insignia of his honours from his uniform and thrown them to the soldiers, saying ‘Take them, my brave Belgians; you have won them fairly.’ The plate’s caption mistakenly places the scene at Waterloo. During the assault of the French Imperial Guard in the late afternoon on 18 June, the Prince was hit by a musket ball while at the head of a counter-attacking Nassau regiment; the Lion Mound, which today dominates the skyline at Waterloo, marks the spot where he was wounded.

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