See biography by J. Thorpe (1949).
Philip William, Prince of Orange (19 December 1554 – 20 February 1618). He was the eldest son of William the Silent, who played an important role during the Dutch Revolt, by his first wife Anna van Egmont. He became Prince of Orange in 1584 and Knight of the Golden Fleece in 1599.
When his father William the Silent ignored Alva's summons to return to Brussels, remaining in Germany. Philip William, only a boy of 13, was studying at the university at Leuven. He was seized in February 1568, and taken to Spain partly as a hostage, but especially to be raised as a good catholic and loyal subject. He would never see his father again. His mother had died in 1558 already.
In Spain he continued his studies at the university of Alcalá de Henares. He remained his catholic practices until 1567. After the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre 1572, Orange, as he was called, became an avowed Calvinist. He remained in Spain until 1596 when he returned to the southern Netherlands. His interests in the Dutch Republic were vigorously defended by his sister, Maria of Nassau, against his half-brother Maurice of Nassau who contested his brother's right to the barony and city of Breda.
In 1606 Philip William was recognized in the Republic as lord of Breda and Steenbergen, and his right to appoint magistrates was acknowledged, provided he did so maintaining the "Union and the Republic religion". He duly made his ceremonial entry into his town of Breda in July 1610 and from then until his death, regularly appointed the magistrates in his lordship. Though he restored Catholic services in the castle of Breda, he did not try to challenge the ascendancy of the Reformed Church in the city. He had a difference with the States-General in 1613, when it annulled his appointment of a Catholic drost. He had to cooperate with the military governor in Breda, his illegitimate stepbrother Justinus van Nassau, staunchly loyal to the States-General. In 1596 in Fontainebleau, Philip William was married to Eleonora of Bourbon-Condé, daughter of Henry I, Prince de Condé and cousin of King Henry IV of France, but he died in 1618 without any children. Therefore Maurice of Nassau could at last inherit the title Prince of Orange.