Monarchy of the Netherlands
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Monarchy of the Netherlands

August 25, 2019

The Monarchy of the Netherlands is
constitutional and as such, the role and position of the monarch are defined and
limited by the constitution of the Netherlands. Consequently, a fairly
large portion of the Dutch constitution is devoted to the monarch; roughly a
third of the constitution describes the succession, mechanisms of accession and
abdication to the throne, the roles and responsibilities of the monarch and the
formalities of communication between the States-General of the Netherlands and
the role of the monarch in the creation of laws.
The constitution refers to the monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as
“The King”, though the monarch may be a king as well as a queen.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands has been an independent monarchy since 16 March
1815, but has been hereditarily “governed” by members of the House of
Orange-Nassau since 1559, when Philip II of Spain appointed William of Orange as
stadtholder. William became the leader of the Dutch Revolt and the independent
Dutch Republic. As stadtholder, he was followed by several of his descendants,
and during the 18th century, the function of stadtholder developed into a
hereditary head of state of the thus “crowned” Dutch Republic. The last
stadtholder was William V. His son William I, became the first king.
Constitutional role and position of the monarch
The cycle of monarchs is described in the first section of Chapter 2 of the
constitution, which is dedicated to the government of the Netherlands.
=Succession=The monarchy of the Netherlands passes
by right of succession to the heirs of William I. The heir is determined
through two mechanisms: absolute cognatic primogeniture and proximity of
blood. The Netherlands established absolute cognatic primogeniture instead
of male preference primogeniture by law in 1983. Proximity of blood limits
accession to the throne to a person who is related to the current monarch within
three degrees of kinship. For example, the grandchildren of Princess Margriet
of the Netherlands, have no succession rights because their kinship with
Beatrix when she was queen was of the fourth degree. Also, succession is
limited to legitimate heirs, precluding a claim to the throne by children born
out of wedlock. A special case arises if the king dies while his wife is
pregnant: the unborn child is considered the heir at that point, unless stillborn
— the child is then considered never to have existed. So, if the old king dies
while his wife is pregnant with their first child, the unborn child is
immediately considered born and immediately becomes the new king. If the
pregnancy ends in stillbirth, his or her reign is expunged.
If the monarch is a minor, a regent is appointed and serves until the monarch
comes of age. The regent is customarily the surviving parent of the monarch but
the constitution stipulates that custody and parental authority of the minor
monarch will be determined by law; any person might be appointed as regent, as
legal guardian or both. There are also a number of special cases
within the constitution. First, if there is no heir when the monarch dies the
States-General may appoint a successor upon the suggestion of the government.
This suggestion may be made before the death of the reigning monarch, even by
the monarch himself. Second, some people are excluded from the line of
succession. They are: Any heir who marries without the
permission of the States-General loses the right of succession.
A person who is or has become truly undesirable or unfit as monarch can be
removed from the line of succession by an act of the States-General, upon
suggestion of the reigning monarch. This clause has never been executed and is
considered an “emergency exit”. An example would be an heir apparent who
commits treason or suffers a serious accident.
=Accession=As with most monarchies, the Netherlands
cannot be without a monarch — the constitution of the Netherlands does not
recognize a situation in which there is no monarch. This is because there must
be a head of state in order for the government to function, i.e. there must
be someone who carries out the tasks of the constitutional role of the King. For
this reason the new monarch assumes his role the moment the previous monarch
ceases to hold the throne. The only exception is if there is no heir at all,
in which case the Council of State assumes the role of the monarch pending
the appointment of a monarch or regent. The monarch is expected to execute his
duties and responsibilities for the good of the nation. He must therefore swear
to uphold the constitution and execute his office faithfully. He must be sworn
in as soon as possible after the monarch assumes the throne during a joint
session of the States-General held in Amsterdam. Article 32 of the Dutch
constitution describes a swearing-in in “the capital Amsterdam”, which
incidentally is the only phrase in the constitution that names Amsterdam as the
capital of the Kingdom. The ceremony is called the inauguration.
The Dutch monarch is not crowned; the monarch’s swearing of the oath
constitutes his acceptance of the throne. Also note that this ceremony
does not equal accession to the throne; this would imply a vacancy of the throne
between monarchs which is not allowed. The monarch ascends immediately after
the previous monarch ceases to reign; the swearing-in only constitutes
acceptance in public.=The end of a reign=
The monarch’s reign can end in two ways: Death
(William II, William III) Abdication
The monarch willingly steps down. Both these events cause the regular
mechanisms of succession to go into effect. While the constitution mentions
neither possibility explicitly, it does describe what happens after the monarch
dies or abdicates. Abdication is a prerogative of the monarch, but it is
also irreversible—the person abdicating cannot return to the throne, nor can a
child born to a former monarch after an abdication has occurred have a claim to
the throne. The abdicated monarch is legally a
Prince or Princess of the Netherlands as well as Prince or Princess of
Orange-Nassau. After his or her death, legally the deceased monarch has no
titles. However, after death, the abdicated monarch is traditionally
referred to as king or queen again. For example, Queen Juliana became queen on 4
September 1948 and princess again on 30 April 1980 following her abdication, but
has been referred to as Queen Juliana since her death on 20 March 2004.
=Temporary loss of royal authority=There are two ways in which the monarch,
without ceasing to be monarch, can be stripped of his or her royal authority:
Voluntary suspension of royal authority The monarch temporarily ceases execution
of his or her office. Removal from royal authority
The government strips the monarch of his or her royal authority, as he or she is
deemed unfit for their tasks. These cases are both temporary and are
described in detail in the constitution. A monarch can temporarily cease to reign
for any reason. This can be at his own request or because the Council of
Ministers deems the monarch unfit for office. Although there can be any reason
for the monarch to cede royal authority or be removed from it, both monarch and
council are deemed to act responsibly and not leave the execution of the
office vacant unnecessarily. Both cases are intended to deal with emergency
situations such as physical or mental inability to execute the office of
monarch. In both cases an act of the joint
States-General is needed to strip the monarch of authority. In the case of the
monarch ceding royal authority, the required act is a law. In case of
removal, it is a declaration by the States-General. Formally, both require
the normal procedure for passing a new law in the Netherlands. The former case
is signed into law by the monarch himself, the latter is not, so
technically it is not a law. Since neither ceding nor removal is
permanent, neither triggers succession. Instead the States-General appoint a
regent. This must be the heir apparent if he or she is old enough. In order for
the monarch to resume his duties, a law must be passed to that effect. The
monarch resumes the throne the moment the law of his return is made public.
=Political role=The monarch and the government
Although the monarch has roles and duties in all parts of the government
and in several important places in the rest of society, the primary role of the
monarch is within the executive branch of the Dutch government: the monarch is
part of the government of the Netherlands.
The role of the monarch within the government of the Netherlands is
described in Article 42 of the constitution:
This article is the basis of the full power and influence of the monarch and
makes him beyond reproach before the law, but also limits his practical
power, as he can take no responsibility for it.
The first paragraph of Article 42 determines that the government of the
Netherlands consists of the monarch and his ministers. The monarch is according
to this article not the head of government, the ministers are not
answerable to the monarch within the government. There is no distinction, no
dichotomy, no segregation or separation: the monarch and his ministers are the
government and the government is one. This fact has practical consequences, in
that it is not possible for the monarch and the ministers to be in disagreement.
The government speaks with one voice and makes decisions as a united body. When
the monarch acts in an executive capacity, he does so as representative
of the united government. And when the government decides, the monarch is in
agreement. As an ultimate consequence of this, it is not possible for the monarch
to refuse to sign into law a proposal of law that has been agreed to and signed
by the responsible minister. Such a disagreement between the monarch and his
minister is a situation not covered by the constitution and is automatically a
constitutional crisis. The second paragraph of the article,
though, is what really renders the monarch powerless. This paragraph states
that the monarch is inviolate. He is beyond any reproach, beyond the grasp of
any prosecution for any acts committed or actions taken as monarch. If anything
goes wrong, the minister responsible for the topic at hand is responsible for the
failings of the monarch. This sounds like it makes the monarch an absolute
tyrant, but in fact the opposite is true: since the ministers are
responsible, they also have the authority to make the decisions. The
ministers set the course of the government and the country, the
ministers make executive decisions and run the affairs of state. And since the
government is one, the monarch abides by the decision of the ministers. In fact
the monarchs of the Netherlands rarely make any executive decisions at all and
practically never speak in public on any subject other than to read a statement
prepared by the Prime Minister. The practical consequence of this limit on
the power of the monarch is that the monarch never makes a decision on his
own. Every decision, every decree must be countersigned by the responsible
minister(s).=The monarch and the law of the land=
Technically, the monarch has a lot of practical power. For instance, no
proposal of law actually becomes a law until signed by the monarch — and there
is no legal requirement for the monarch to sign. In practice, the monarch will
always give assent since most proposals of law are made by the government “by or
on behalf of the King”. And while proposals of law must be approved by the
States-General, a lot of the practical running of the country is done by royal
decree. These royal decrees are used for all sorts of things, ranging from
appointments of civil servants and military officers to clarifications of
how public policy is to be executed to filling in the details of certain laws.
Royal decrees create ministries, dissolve the houses of the
States-General, and appoint and fire ministers.
However, since the ministers are responsible, royal decrees are in fact
made by the responsible minister. And while the monarch must sign laws and
royal decrees before they come into effect, the constitution determines that
the responsible ministers and state secretaries must countersign. That,
given the fact that the ministers have the authority, really means that they
decide and it is the monarch who countersigns, and even that is a
formality. Also, while the monarch may technically propose laws, ministerial
responsibility means that he never does. And even though the government may
refuse to sign a States-General approved proposal into law, this is practically
unheard of and the monarch refusing to sign on his own is even rarer.
There is one special case in which the monarch has, if possible, even less
power than normal: the appointment of his ministers. Ministers are appointed
by royal decree, which of course have to be countersigned by the responsible
minister. The royal decree to appoint a minister, however, is countersigned by
two responsible ministers rather than one: the outgoing minister responsible
for the ministry and the Prime Minister.=Formation of the government=
Given the discussion above, it is a valid question whether the position of
monarch of the Netherlands is entirely ceremonial. The answer is “no”. Despite
all appearances the monarch does have some actual power, relating to the
formation of a new government after parliamentary elections. And, even more
interestingly, this power is traditional and is not described in the
constitution. After the parliamentary election there
follows a period of time in which the leaders of the political parties in the
parliament seek to form a coalition of parties that can command a majority of
the newly elected parliament. The current nationwide party-list system,
combined with a low threshold for getting a seat makes it all but
impossible for one party to win an outright majority. Thus, the bargaining
required to put together a governing coalition is as important as the
election itself. This process of negotiations, which can
last anywhere from two to four months, is coordinated in the initial stages by
one or more informateurs, whose duty it is to investigate and report upon viable
coalitions. After a likely combination is found, a formateur is appointed to
conduct the formal coalition negotiations and form a new Council of
Ministers. If the negotiations fail, the cycle starts over. The informateurs and
formateur in question are all appointed to this task by the monarch. The monarch
makes his own decision in this, based on advice from the leaders of the different
parties in parliament, as well as other important figures.
There is usually some popular discussion in the Netherlands around the time of
these negotiations about whether the authority of the monarch in this matter
should not be limited and whether or not the newly elected parliament should not
make the appointments that the monarch makes. These discussions usually turn on
the argument that decision by a monarch is undemocratic and there is no
parliamentary oversight over the decision and the monarch might make use
of this to push for a government of his or her liking.
On the other hand, it is somewhat questionable that the monarch really has
much opportunity here to exert any influence. The informateur is there to
investigate possible coalititions and report on them. He could technically
seek “favorable” coalitions, but the political parties involved are usually
quite clear on what they want and don’t want and the first choice for coalition
almost always is the coalition of preference of the largest party in the
new parliament. Besides, the monarchs and the queens have traditionally known
better than to appoint controversial informateurs, usually settling for
well-established yet fairly neutral people in the political arena. Once a
potential coalition has been identified the monarch technically has a free rein
in selecting a formateur. However, the formateur almost always become the next
Prime Minister, and in any case it is a strong convention that a government must
command the support of a majority of the House of Representatives in order to
stay in office. These considerations mean that the selected formateur is
always the party leader of the largest party in the potential coalition.
However, in March 2012 the States-General altered its own
procedures, such that any subsequent government formation is done without the
monarch’s influence. No more than a month later, and the government
coalition collapsed, triggering early elections in September 2012. As no
formal procedures had been outlined as to how a government formation without
monarch should take place, it was initially feared the subsequent
government formation would be chaotic. However, a new government coalition was
formed within 54 days – surprisingly early for Dutch standards. Instead of
the monarch, the Speaker of the House of Representatives appointed the
informateur – whose function was renamed to ‘scout’. After the negotiations, the
installation ceremony of ministers – the only duty still left at the monarch –
was held in public for the first time in history.
The monarch and the States-General The one branch of government in which
the monarch has no direct part is the legislative branch, formed by the
States-General of the Netherlands. This parliamentary body consists of two
chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
As in most parliamentary democracies the States-General are dually responsible
for overseeing the government in its executive duties as well as approving
proposals of law before they can become actual laws. In this respect, it is of
course vital for the government to maintain good relations with the
States-General and technically the monarch shares that effort.
Constitutionally, the monarch deals with the States-General in three areas:
lawmaking, policy outlining at the opening of the parliamentary year and
dissolution. Of the three, policy outlining is the
most straightforward. The parliamentary year is opened on the third Tuesday of
September with a joint session of both houses. At this occasion the monarch
addresses the joint states in a speech in which he sets forth the outlines for
his government’s policies for the coming year. This event is mandated by the
constitution in Article 65. Tradition has made more of this occasion than a
policy speech though, and the event known as Prinsjesdag has become a large
affair with much pomp and circumstance, in which the States-General and other
major bodies of government assemble in the Ridderzaal to hear the King deliver
the speech from the throne after having arrived from the Noordeinde Palace in
his golden carriage. Both in constitutional aspects and in ceremony
the event has much in common with both the British State Opening of Parliament
and the American State of the Union. Lawmaking is the area in which the
monarch has the most frequent involvement with the States-General.
Laws in the Netherlands are primarily proposed by the government and can be
proposed “by or on behalf of” the monarch. Technically this means that the
monarch may propose laws in person, hearkening back to the days of the first
monarchs of the Netherlands when the monarchs really could and did propose
laws. However, this possibility is at odds with ministerial responsibility and
the queens have always avoided the issue by never proposing laws in person. The
monarch must still sign proposals into law though, a historical deference to
the fact that the law of the land is decreed by the monarch.
While the monarch has no practical involvement anymore in lawmaking other
than a signature at the end, one might get a different impression from reading
the communication between the government and the States-General regarding
proposals of law and the laws themselves. All communication from the
States-General to the government is addressed to the monarch and
communication in the opposite direction formally is from the monarch. The formal
language still shows deference to the position of the monarch, with a refusal
of the States-General to approve a proposal of law for example becoming “a
request to the King to reconsider the proposal”. The constitution prescribes a
number of the forms used: If the government accepts a proposal of
law and signs it into law, the language is that “The King accedes to the
proposal”. If the government refuses a proposal of
law, the language is that “The King shall keep the proposal under
advisement”. A law, once passed, is formulated in
such a way as to be decreed by the monarch.
The final involvement of the monarch with the States is dissolution.
Constitutionally, the government is empowered to dissolve either house of
the states by royal decree. Of course, this means that a minister makes the
decision and the monarch countersigns. The signing of such a royal decree
constitutionally implies new elections for the house in question and the
formation of a new house within three months of dissolution.
The constitution prescribes a number of cases in which one or more houses of the
States are dissolved; this is always done by royal decree. In addition,
traditionally a collapse of the government is followed by dissolution of
the House of Representatives and general elections. Before World War II, before
it became common to form new governments with each new parliament, it would
happen from time to time that a Council of Ministers found itself suddenly
facing a new and unfriendly parliament. When the inevitable clash came, it was
an established political trick for the Prime Minister to attempt to resolve the
problem by dissolving the parliament in name of the monarch in the hope that new
elections brought a more favorable parliament.
Even though the monarch never speaks with members of the States-General
formally, it was tradition up to 1999 that the queen would invite the members
of parliament over once a year for informal talks about the general state
of affairs in the country. These conversations were held in the strictest
confidence due to ministerial responsibility. The tradition was
suspended after 1999 though, after repeated incidents in which MPs divulged
the contents of the conversations, despite agreeing not to. In 2009, an
attempt was made to resume the tradition, but this failed when Arend
Jan Boekestijn resumed the tradition of revealing the contents of his
conversation with queen Beatrix anyway. Other functions of the monarch
The monarch has several functions in addition to the duties and
responsibilities described in previous sections. Some of these are
constitutional; others are more traditional in nature.
Although the constitution does not say so, the monarch is the head of state of
the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As such, the monarch is the face of the kingdom
toward the world: ambassadors of the Netherlands are emissaries of the
monarch, foreign ambassadors represent foreign heads of state to the monarch.
And even though head-of-government responsibility lies with the Prime
Minister, it is the monarch that makes state visits to foreign heads of state
as representative of the Netherlands. It is also the monarch whose face is shown
on Dutch stamps and Dutch euro coins. Constitutionally, the monarch is the
head of the Dutch Council of State. The council is a constitutional body of the
Netherlands that serves two purposes. First, it is an advisory council to the
government which advises on the desirability, practicability and
constitutionality of new proposals of law. Second, it is the Supreme Court for
the Netherlands in matters of administrative law. The position of the
monarch as constitutional head of this Council means two things for the
constitutional position of the monarch: The monarch is constitutionally directly
involved with practically all aspects of lawmaking except approval by the
States-General. From inception of the law through proposal to the States to
finally signing into law, the monarch is involved. This involvement is derived
from the days when the monarch was an absolute ruler and really made law.
Originally, with the creation of the first constitutions, the monarchs strove
to maintain power by maximum involvement with all aspects of lawmaking. Over time
this has grown into a more advisory role.
The monarch is constitutionally involved with at least part of the judicial
branch of government as well. Of course, the role played by the
monarch in the Council is largely theoretical due to ministerial
responsibility. While the monarch is officially head of the Council, in
practice the king never votes in Council meetings and always turns over his
responsibility as chair of the meetings to the deputy head of the Council. He is
presumed to be part of the discussions though.
Despite the limitations on the role the monarch may play in the Council, his
involvement is seen as valuable due to the experience and knowledge that a
monarch accrues over the years. Reciprocally, being part of the Council
deliberations is considered invaluable training and preparation for the role of
monarch, which is why the heir-apparent is constitutionally an observer-member
of the Council from the time he comes of age.
The monarch is also the Grand Master of the Dutch orders of knighthoods: the
Order of Orange-Nassau, the Order of the Netherlands Lion and the Military
William Order. Lastly, the monarch plays a very large
but completely unofficial role in the running of the country as advisor and
confidant to the government. This duty traditionally takes the form of a weekly
meeting between the Prime Minister and the monarch in which they discuss the
affairs of the week, the plans of the cabinet and so on. It is assumed that
the monarch exerts most of his influence in these meetings, in that he can bring
his knowledge and experience to bear in what he tells the Prime Minister. In the
case of Queen Beatrix, several former Prime Ministers have remarked that her
case knowledge of each and every dossier is extensive and that she makes sure to
be fully aware of all the details surrounding everything that lands on her
desk. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly for a
monarchy, the monarch is not formally the commander-in-chief of the military
of the Netherlands. He was until 1983, but a large overhaul of the constitution
that year shifted supreme command of the armed forces to the government as a
whole.=Remuneration and privileges=
Stipend Article 40 of the constitution states
that the monarch is to receive an annual stipend from the kingdom. The exact
rules surrounding these stipends are to be determined by law, as is the list of
members of the royal house who also receive them.
Under current Dutch law the monarch receives an annual stipend which is part
of the annual budget, as do the heir-apparent, the consort of the
monarch and the consort of the heir-apparent. The monarch receives this
stipend constitutionally, the others because they are not allowed to work for
anybody due to their positions. For example, the recipients of royal
stipends in 2009 were Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess
Máxima). This stipend is linked to the
development of the wages of Dutch civil servants. At the beginning of 2009 there
was some upset in the parliament about the cost of the royal house and the lack
of insight into the structure of those costs. At the insistence of the
parliament the development of the stipends of the royal house members was
then linked to the development of the salaries of the Dutch civil servants.
During 2009 it was agreed collectively that the civil servants would receive a
pay increase of 1%. In September 2009, at the first budget debate in parliament
during the economic crisis, it was pointed out to the parliament that their
earlier decision meant that the stipend to the queen would now also increase.
This in turn was reason for the parliament to be displeased again.
Royal privileges Under the constitution, royal house
members receiving a stipend are exempt from income tax over that stipend. They
are also exempt from all personal taxes over assets and possessions that they
use or need in the execution of their functions for the kingdom. The monarch
and the heir-apparent are exempt from inheritance tax on inheritances received
from members of the royal house. The monarch has the use of Huis ten
Bosch as a residence and Noordeinde Palace as a work palace. In addition the
Royal Palace of Amsterdam is also at the disposal of the monarch, as is Soestdijk
Palace. The monarch has the use of an airplane
and a train for state visits. The monarch also has a small fleet of cars
available, on which he may display the royal standard.
The monarch is protected by law against Lese-majesty. This is actively enforced,
although the sentences tend to be light.=Positions of other members of the
royal house and royal family=The royal family has become quite
extensive since the birth of Queen Juliana’s children. By consequence so
has the Dutch royal house, to the extent that membership of the royal house was
limited by a change in the law in 2002. Despite being a large clan, the family
as a whole has very little to do officially with Dutch government or the
running of the Netherlands. Constitutionally, an important role is
played by the monarch. The heir-apparent is deemed to be preparing for his
eventual ascent to the throne, so he has some limited tasks and a number of
limits on her person. Since neither king nor heir-apparent may hold jobs, they
receive a stipend from the government. Their spouses are similarly forbidden
from earning an income and receive a stipend as well. But constitutionally
that is the whole of the involvement of the royal family with the Dutch
government. In particular, members of the royal
house other than the king and the heir-apparent have no official tasks
within the Dutch government and do not receive stipends. They are responsible
for their own conduct and their own income. They may of course be asked to
stand in from time to time, but this is always a personal favor and not an
official duty. In addition, they are not exempt from taxation.
Many members of the royal family do hold significant positions within civil
society, usually functioning as head or spokesperson of one or more charitable
organizations, patron of the arts and similar endeavors. Some members of the
royal family are also avid supporters of some personal cause; Prince Bernhard for
instance was always passionate about the treatment of World War II veterans and
Princess Margriet has a special relationship with Canadian veterans
specifically. As a rule of thumb, the members of the royal family who are
contemporaries of Princess Beatrix tend to hold civil society positions as a
primary occupation whereas younger family members hold these positions in
conjunction with a regular, paying job. A notable exception to this rule is
Pieter van Vollenhoven, who was chairman of the Dutch Safety Board until his
retirement. As noted before, the spouses of the
monarch and the heir-apparent are forbidden from holding paying jobs or
government responsibilities. This is to prevent any monetary entanglements or
undue influences involving the king. These legal limits were not a great
problem when they were instituted in the 19th century; The Netherlands had kings
and it was considered normal for a married woman to tend the household,
raise the family and not to hold any position outside the home. The limits
have been more problematic since the early 20th century, when the monarchy of
the Netherlands passed to a series of queens and the consorts became men. The
male consorts since then have all either been raised with an expectation of
government responsibility, or had established careers of their own before
marrying the future queen. Upon marrying into the Dutch royal family they all
found themselves severely restricted in their freedom to act and make use of
their abilities. All of the male consorts have been involved in some form
of difficulty or another and it has been widely speculated that sheer boredom
played at least a part in all of these difficulties.
Over time the restrictions on royal consorts have eased somewhat. Prince
Hendrik was allowed no part or role in the Netherlands whatsoever. Due to his
war efforts, Prince Bernhard was made Inspector General of the Dutch armed
forces and was an unofficial ambassador for the Netherlands who leveraged his
wartime contacts to help Dutch industry. All that came to a halt in 1976 however,
after the Lockheed bribery scandals. Prince Claus was allowed more leeway
still after having established himself in Dutch society; he was eventually
given an advisorship within the Ministry for Development Cooperation pertaining
to Africa, where he made good use of his experiences as a German diplomat in that
continent. Nevertheless, neither Bernhard nor Claus ever fully got over
the restrictive nature of their marriages and at the time of the royal
wedding in 2002 it was broadly agreed in government circles that Queen Máxima
should be allowed far more leeway if she desires.
Deceased members of the Dutch Royal Family since William I
Dowager Hereditary Princess Louise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel;
Princess Dowager Wilhelmina of Orange; Prince Ernest Casimir of the
Netherlands; Prince Frederik Nicholaas of the
Netherlands; Queen Wilhelmine;
King William I, Count of Nassau; Prince Willem Frederik of the
Netherlands; Prince Alexander of the Netherlands;
King William II; Prince Maurice of the Netherlands;
Princess Henrietta, Countess of Nassau; Queen Dowager Anna;
Princess Louise of the Netherlands; Queen Louise of Sweden and Norway;
Princess Amalia of the Netherlands; Prince Albert of Prussia;
Queen Sophie; Prince Henry of the Netherlands;
Prince William, Prince of Orange; Prince Frederick of the Netherlands;
Princess Marianne of Prussia; Prince Alexander, Prince of Orange;
Princess Marie of the Netherlands; King William III;
Hereditary Grand Duke Charles Augustus of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Grand Duchess Sophie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach;
Grand Duke Charles of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach;
Dowager Hereditary Grand Duchess Pauline of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Princess Marie of Wied; Grand Duke William of
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach; Queen Mother Emma;
Prince Consort Henry; Queen Wilhelmina;
Prince Consort Claus; Queen Juliana;
Prince Consort Bernhard; Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma and
Piacenza; Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau;
Death and burial Although Dutch lawmakers have
historically favored being very conservative about creating special
legal positions for members of the royal house or the royal family, there is one
area in which the rules for members of the royal house are very different from
those for other Dutch citizens: the area of death and burial. More specifically,
there is only one rule that pertains to members of the royal house in this area
and that is that there are no rules. For Dutch citizens, the rules
surrounding death and burial are laid out by the Funeral Services Law.
However, article 87 of this law states that the entire law is not applicable to
members of the royal house and that the Minister of Internal Affairs can also
waive the law for other relatives of the king. The reason for this exceptional
position of members of the royal house is traditional. Ever since the burial of
William the Silent in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, members of the Orange-Nassau
family have favored burial in the same crypt where William was entombed.
However, for health and hygiene reasons, burial in churches was forbidden in the
Netherlands by decree of William I in 1829. In order to allow entombing of
members of the Royal family, all Dutch laws pertaining to burial have made an
exception for the royal house ever since the 1829 decree.
Burial of members of the royal house is completely a matter of tradition,
circumstance, practicality and spirit of the times. As a rule of thumb, the body
of a deceased member of the royal house is placed on display for a few days in
one of the palaces, to allow the family to say goodbye. Depending on the
identity of the deceased, there may also be a viewing for the public. Then, on
the burial day, the body is transported to Delft in a special horse-drawn
carriage. Current protocol specifies eight horses for a deceased monarch and
six for a deceased royal consort. The current carriage is purple with white
trim. Currently, the route to Delft is lined by members of the Dutch armed
forces. Once in Delft, the body is entombed in
the family crypt after a short service. Only members of the family are allowed
into the crypt, through the main entrance in the church which is only
opened for royal funerals. The monarchy in Dutch society
=Importance and position within Dutch society=
The importance and position of the monarchy within Dutch society has
changed over time, together with changes in the constitutional position of the
monarchy. The monarchy of the Netherlands was
established in 1815 as a reaction to the decline and eventual fall of the Dutch
Republic. It was observed at the time that a large part of the decline of the
republic was due to a lack of a strong, central government in the face of
strong, centrally led competitor nations such as Great Britain and the French
kingdom. After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1813 and the resurrection
of the Netherlands, it was decided to reform the republic in the Kingdom of
the Netherlands with a monarchy rather than the old stadtholder system.
The original monarchy was absolute in nature, with the States-General serving
as more of an advisory board without the power to do much against the king. This
state of affairs allowed the king great freedom to determine the course of the
nation and indeed William I was able to push through many changes that set the
nation on the course towards industrialization and wealth. He also
established the first Dutch railway system and the Nederlandsche Handel
Maatschappij, which would later evolve into the ABN Amro bank. On the other
hand, his policies caused great discord with the Southern Netherlands, leading
to the Belgian Revolution and a years-long war. A backlash against these
policies plus rising fear of early Marxism led to acceptance by William II
of a series of reforms, starting with a new constitution in 1848.
Direct political power and influence of the king continued until 1890, although
it slowly declined in the meantime. Both William I and William II proved quite
conservative rulers, William I resisted major reforms until eventually conflict
with the States-General and his own government forced his abdication.
William III’s reign was a continuous saga of power struggles between the
monarch and the parliamentary government, plus major international
crises due to the same stubbornness. As a result, the Dutch government used the
succession of William III by a female regent as an opportunity to make a power
play and establish government authority over royal authority.
Queen Wilhelmina was not happy with the new situation and made several
half-hearted attempts during her reign to reassert authority. She was partly
successful in certain areas but she never succeeded in restoring royal
power. She did introduce a new concept to Dutch royalty though: the popular
monarch. Establishing her popularity in military circles through her support of
Dutch military prior to 1917, she was able to wield her personal popularity to
uphold the government against a socialist revolution in 1917.
Royal power continued to decline until the start of World War II. Forced to
flee to London, Queen Wilhelmina established the position of “mother of
the Dutch state” through her radio broadcasts into the occupied Netherlands
and her support for other Dutchmen evading the Germans and fighting from
England. She tried to position her family into more influence by giving
Prince Bernhard an important position in the military, but was still relegated to
a position of constitutional monarchy after the war.
Following Wilhelmina’s abdication in 1948, the Orange family seems to have
settled for a position of unofficial influence behind the scenes coupled with
a role as “popular monarchs” in public. As such the monarchs are practically
never seen in public doing their official work and instead their
relationship with the public has become more of a popular and romanticized
notion of royalty. Queens Juliana and Beatrix were popularly perceived to have
a figurehead role, serving to some extent as “mother of the nation” in
times of crises and disasters. In addition, there is a public holiday
called Koningsdag, during which the royal family pays a visit somewhere in
the country and participates in local activities and traditions in order to
get closer to the people.=Popularity of the monarchy=
The popularity of the monarchy has changed over time, with constitutional
influence, circumstance and economic tides.
When the monarchy was established in 1815, popularity was not a major
concern. Still, the Orange family held popular support in around 60% percent of
the population following the fall of the French. This changed drastically over
the following years as William I’s policies alienated the Southern
Netherlands, drew the country into civil war and established industries that
favored the rich Protestants and not the general populace.
Royal popularity remained relatively low throughout the reign of the kings.
William II was conservative, but on the whole did as little to lose popularity
as he did to gain it. Economic decline drove most of his popular decline,
although popular support for the monarch was still not considered of much import
then. William III was unpopular under a wide section of the public, earning
himself the nickname “King Gorilla” for his boorish way of behaving.
Royal popularity started to increase with Wilhelmina’s ascent to the throne.
She pushed for national reforms, was a huge supporter of the armed forces and
strove for renewed industrialization. Around 1917 the country was generally
divided into two camps: socialists in the cities, royalists elsewhere. This
showed in the dividing lines during the failed Troelstra revolution, where
Troelstra gained popular support in the larger cities but the countryside
flocked to the queen. Wilhelmina was able to muster popular support with a
countryside “publicity tour” together with her daughter — this showing of
popular support for the queen was instrumental in halting the revolution
and stabilizing the government. Still, Wilhelmina remained deeply unpopular in
the cities throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
Nationwide support came for Wilhelmina and the monarchy during World War II.
Wilhelmina was forced to retreat to London, but refused evacuation all the
way to Canada. Wilhelmina regularly held radio broadcasts into the occupied
Netherlands and staunchly supported the Dutch troops in exile. She became the
symbol for Dutch resistance against the Germans, leading to the term “WOZO”
being graffitied over all manner of Dutch walls as a sign of resistance.
Wilhelmina established popular support for the monarchy that essentially holds
to this day. Although a completely different type of
queen than Wilhelmina, Juliana gained enormous popular support in her own
right. Starting with her public appearances after the 1953 floods,
Juliana established herself as a “mother of the nation” type of queen. A far more
homey, down-to-earth character than Wilhelmina, Queen Juliana reigned with a
“neighbour and housewife” air about her in a time when the Netherlands went
through a period of social relaxation in the 1960s and 1970s. Juliana was also a
pacifist at heart at a time when Vietnam was an unpopular war and opposition to
nuclear weapons was on the rise. Amid all this, Queen Juliana’s alleged
socialist views and unassuming nature made her the “right queen for the time”
and she maintained and increased the popular support she had inherited from
her mother, even in the face of different scandals surrounding her
husband. Popular support waned for a time in the
early 1980s, during the start of Queen Beatrix’ reign. She adopted a style of
government more like that of Queen Wilhelmina and was perceived as cold and
distant in a country used to Queen Juliana being everybody’s grandmother.
Over time the country has got used to her style though and acceptance has
grown. This was also aided by the public image of Prince Claus, who came to be
perceived as charming and funny during her reign. Particularly his public love
declaration for Beatrix a few years before the end of his life endeared him
to many people. Popular support for the monarchy has consistently been above 85%
since the mid-1990s and reached a peak with the marriage of Prince
Willem-Alexander to Princess Máxima in 2002.
Popular support has become more volatile over the last few years though, in the
face of seeming improprieties by Prince Willem-Alexander and other members of
the royal family during the economic crisis. Prince Willem-Alexander always
had a reputation for being a “naughty boy” after being photographed drinking
beer as a student and once drove his car into a ditch while in university as
well). Despite ongoing efforts to prepare for being king, he has made some
clumsy choices from time to time that have negatively impacted his popularity.
When he became engaged to Máxima Zorreguieta, he publicly defended her by
citing a letter describing her father’s actions as harmless — the letter turned
out to have been written by Jorge Rafael Videla. The matter was set aside when
princess Máxima described her future husband’s actions as “een beetje dom” in
fluent Dutch during her first press conference. In 2009 Willem-Alexander and
Máxima were in the news again for investing in a vacation resort in
Mozambique. Even though there were good reasons to believe the project would
have benefited the local populace greatly, the expenditure of money abroad
during a crisis in a project involving some shady brokers did not sit well with
the Dutch public. Also a purchase of an alternative vacation home in Argentina
the same year was unpopular. In and of themselves the incidents were
not terrible, but they became public knowledge around the same time that
other questions were being raised about the family finances of the Oranges. Even
though the incidents caused only a slight drop in overall popular support,
they led to an increased support for moving to a fully ceremonial monarchy, a
freezing of the royal stipends or even a lowering of the stipends and removing
the royal exemption on taxation. History
For rulers of the Netherlands before 1795, see Stadtholder of the Netherlands
Prior to the Batavian Revolution of 1795, the semi-independent provinces of
the Netherlands had chief-executives called stadtholders, who were all drawn
from the House of Orange or the House of Nassau by primogeniture. After 1747 the
office became formally hereditary in all seven provinces in the House of
Orange-Nassau. The House of Orange-Nassau came from
Dietz, Germany, seat of one of the Nassau counties. Their title ‘Prince of
Orange’ was acquired through inheritance of the Principality of Orange in
southern France, in 1544. William of Orange was the first Orange stadtholder.
From 1568 to his death in 1584, he led the Dutch struggle for independence from
Spain. His younger brother, John VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, Stadtholder
of Utrecht, was the direct male line ancestor of the later Stadtholders of
Friesland and Groningen, the later hereditary stadtholders and the first
King of the Netherlands. The Netherlands remained, formally, a
confederated republic, even when in 1747 the office of stadtholder was
centralized and became formally hereditary under the House of
Orange-Nassau. The present monarchy was founded in
1813, when the French were driven out. The new regime was headed by Prince
William Frederick of Orange, the son of the last stadtholder. He originally
reigned over only the territory of the old republic as “sovereign prince”. In
1815, after Napoleon escaped from Elba, William Frederick raised the Netherlands
to the status of a kingdom and proclaimed himself King William I. As
part of the rearrangement of Europe at the Congress of Vienna, the House of
Orange-Nassau was confirmed as rulers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, enlarged
with what are now Belgium and Luxembourg. At the same time, William
became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in exchange for ceding his
family’s hereditary lands in Germany to Nassau-Weilburg and Prussia. The Grand
Duchy of Luxembourg was a part of the Netherlands while at the same time a
member state of the German Confederation. It became fully
independent in 1839, but remained in a personal union with the Kingdom of the
Netherlands until 1890. Abdication of the throne has become a de
facto tradition in the Dutch monarchy. Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana both
abdicated in favour of their daughters and William I abdicated in favor of his
eldest son, William II. The only Dutch monarchs to die on the throne were
William II and William III. On April 30, 2013 Queen Beatrix,
abdicated in favour of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.
=List of hereditary heads of state=See List of monarchs of the Netherlands.
Royal finances The royal palaces are the property of
the Dutch state and given for the use of the reigning monarch; While the House of
Orange-Nassau possesses a large number of personal belongings, items such as
paintings, historical artifacts and jewellery are usually associated with
the performance of royal duties and/or the decoration of royal residences. As
such, these items have a cultural significance beyond that of simple
artworks and jewellery, and have therefore been placed in the hands of
trusts: the House of Orange-Nassau Archives Trust and the House of
Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust. Part of the collection is on
permanent loan to Het Loo Palace Museum in Apeldoorn and the Rijksmuseum in
Amsterdam. Queen Juliana had sold the remaining royal palaces and had put the
cultural assets into non-personal trusts.
The crown jewels, comprising the crown, orb and sceptre, Sword of State, royal
banner, and ermine mantle have been placed in the Crown Property Trust. The
trust also holds the items used on ceremonial occasions, such as the
carriages, table silver, and dinner services. Placing these goods in the
hands of a trust ensures that they will remain at the disposal of the monarch in
perpetuity. The Royal Archives house the personal archives of the royal family.
This includes books, photographs, and artworks, as well as the books of the
House of Orange-Nassau and the music library. The library was begun in 1813,
following the return of the Orange-Nassaus to the Netherlands. King
William I allowed the Stadtholder’s library to remain part of the Royal
Library in The Hague. The library houses a collection of some 70,000 books,
journals and brochures. The music library has 6,000 scores, going back to
the mid 18th century. The Royal House Finances Act as amended
in 2008 sets allowances for the King, the Heir to the Throne, and the former
sovereign who has abdicated. Provision is also made for their spouses. The
allowances have two components: income and personnel and materials. Annual
increases or decreases are provided for: the A component is linked to changes in
the annual salary of the Vice-President of the Council of State; the B-component
is linked to changes in civil service pay and the cost of living.
In 2009, the government decided that the annual State Budget of the Netherlands
should show in a transparent way all the costs of the Royal House, some of which
had previously been borne by various Government Ministries. Three sets of
costs are now separately allocated in the annual budget for the Royal House.
These are: Allowances paid under the Royal House
Finances Act. They comprise the income and personnel and materials components
mentioned above. Expenses incurred in the performance of
official duties. They include costs which had been previously been borne by
the budgets of three Government Ministries and which are now attributed
to the Royal budget in the interest of transparency. They also include the
costs relating to royal flights and the royal yacht, Groene Draeck.
Other expenses relating to the management of the royal house. They
relate to expenses for the Government Information Service in connection with
the royal house, the cost of the Royal Military Household, the Queen’s Cabinet
and the travel and other costs incurred by royal visits to overseas provinces
and countries within the Dutch Kingdom. Costs relating to the security of
members of the royal house, state visits, and the maintenance and upkeep
of the royal palaces continue to be funded by the budgets of the appropriate
Government Ministries and are not included in the budget for the Royal
House. According to the State Budget for 2010,
the budgetary allocation for the royal house in 2010 is €39.643 million. There
are the following categories of expenditure:
Allowances paid to the queen, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima under the
Royal House Finances Act. They total some €7.102 million in 2010.
Expenses incurred in the performance of official duties. They total some €26.818
million in 2010. Other expenses relating to the
management of the royal house. They total some €5.723 million in 2010.
Monarchs of the Netherlands=Wilhelmina=
When Wilhelmina came to the Dutch throne in 1890 at age 10, the throne of
Luxembourg went to her very distant agnate, Adolf, former Duke of Nassau.
Thus ended the personal union between the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The 58-year reign of Queen Wilhelmina was dominated by the two World Wars. She
married a German prince, Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who was not happy
with his unrewarding role of husband-to-the-queen. Wilhelmina’s
strong personality and unrelenting passion to fulfill her inherited task
overpowered many men in position of authority, including ministers, Prime
Ministers and her own husband. She is mostly remembered for her role during
World War II. The initial disappointment of many Dutch people because of her
quick withdrawal to London faded when she proved to be of great moral support
to the people and the resistance in her occupied country. Hendrik and Wilhelmina
had one daughter, Juliana, who came to the throne in 1948. They lived in The
Hague and in Palace ‘t Loo in Apeldoorn. She died in 1962. For her early reign
and character, the letters of Queen Victoria give a good perspective..
=Juliana=Juliana reigned from 1948 until 1980,
and whereas Wilhelmina reigned like a general, Juliana expressed a more
motherly character. One of her first official acts was to sign the treaty of
independence of the Dutch colony Indonesia. She became involved in two
major crises: the Greet Hofmans affair and the Lockheed bribery scandals, both
of which directly threatened the credibility of the throne. She married a
German of noble descent, Prince Bernard von Lippe-Biesterfeld. Together they had
four daughters, Beatrix, Irene, Margriet and Christina. After their return from
Ottawa, Canada in 1945, they lived in the Soestdijk Palace in Soestdijk, about
20 km north-east of Utrecht. She died on 20 March 2004. Her husband Bernhard died
on 1 December 2004.=Beatrix=
The Dutch royal family today is much larger than it has ever been. Former
Queen Beatrix and her husband, Prince Claus, had three sons, Willem-Alexander,
Friso and Constantijn. Her sister Margriet and her spouse Pieter van
Vollenhoven have four sons: Maurits, Bernhard, Pieter-Christiaan and Floris.
Four of these seven princes as well as princess Margriet, are all legal heirs
to the throne, although the first right goes to the crown prince, and after him
his daughters Catharina-Amalia, Alexia, Ariane, and then his brother
Constantijn. Prince Friso lost his right to the throne because no approval was
asked for his marriage to Mabel Wisse Smit to the States-General. The two
other sisters of Beatrix, Irene and Christina, have lost their rights to the
throne because their marriages were not approved by the States-General. They
both married Roman Catholics and Irene herself converted to Roman Catholicism,
which at that time was still politically problematic for an heir to the throne.
An additional complication which the government wanted to avoid, was that
Irene’s husband, Prince Carlos-Hugo of Bourbon-Parma, was a member of a deposed
Italian dynasty who claimed rights to the Spanish throne. Traditionally, Dutch
monarchs have always been members of the Dutch Reformed Church although this was
never constitutionally required. This tradition is embedded in the history of
the Netherlands. On 28 January 2013, the Queen announced
that she would be abdicating on 30 April 2013 in favour of her eldest son.
=Willem-Alexander=The current monarch is King
Willem-Alexander, who has been on the Throne since 30 April 2013. He studied
history at the University of Leiden and became actively involved in water
management. His wife is Queen Máxima, an economics major, whose father was a
minister of agriculture in the dictatorial regime under General Videla
in Argentina. Because of that their relationship was accompanied by fierce
public debate and only officially sanctioned after quiet diplomacy,
resulting in Máxima’s father agreeing not to be present on their wedding day.
Former minister Max van der Stoel and Prime Minister Wim Kok seem to have
played a crucial role in this process. On 7 December 2003 Princess Máxima gave
birth to a daughter: Princess Catharina-Amalia. On 26 June 2005
another daughter was born: Princess Alexia. On 10 April 2007 a third
daughter was born, Princess Ariane. They are first, second and third in line to
the Dutch throne. His mother, Prinsess Beatrix announced
that she would be abdicating the Throne on 30 April 2013. On that day,
Willem-Alexander became the new King and was sworn in and inaugurated in the
Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, in a session of the States-General.
=Heir apparent=As of 30 April 2013, the heir apparent
to the Dutch throne is Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange.
Full title Most members of the Dutch royal family,
in addition to other titles hold the princely title Prince of Orange-Nassau.
The children of Prince Friso and Prince Constantijn are instead counts and
countesses of Orange-Nassau. In addition to the titles King/Prince of the
Netherlands and Prince of Orange-Nassau, daughters of Queen Juliana and Prince
Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld hold another princely title – Princesses of
Lippe-Biesterfeld. The children of Queen Beatrix and their male-line descendants,
except for the children of King Willem-Alexander, also carry the
appellative Honourable in combination with the name ‘Van Amsberg’.
Queen Juliana, the only child of Queen Wilhelmina and Duke Henry of
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, was also a Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Since the title
can pass only through the male line, Queen Juliana’s descendants do not carry
the title of Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
The title Prince of the Netherlands is the prerogative of the most important
members of the royal house, which is smaller than the royal family. Members
of the royal house can lose their membership when they enter into marriage
without asking consent from Parliament. In addition to this, the Dutch Monarch
carries a number of subsidiary titles, of more historical than practical note,
that have been passed down through the House of Orange-Nassau and represent the
accretion of lands and influence by their ancestors:
Duke of Limburg, Count of Katzenelnbogen, Vianden, Diez,
Spiegelberg, Buren, Leerdam and Culemborg, Marquis of Veere and
Vlissingen, Baron of Breda, Diest, Beilstein, the town of Grave and the
lands of Cuyk, IJsselstein, Cranendonk, Eindhoven and Liesveld, Hereditary Lord
and Seigneur of Ameland, Lord of Borculo, Bredevoort, Lichtenvoorde, ‘t
Loo, Geertruidenberg, Klundert, Zevenbergen, Hoge and Lage Zwaluwe,
Naaldwijk, Polanen, St Maartensdijk, Soest, Baarn and Ter Eem, Willemstad,
Steenbergen, Montfort, St Vith, Bütgenbach and Dasburg, Viscount of
Antwerp. Probably the most important of these was
the Barony of Breda, which formed the core of the Nassau lands in the
Netherlands even before they inherited the Principality of Orange in what is
now southern France. This was probably followed by the Viscountship/Burgravate
of Antwerp, which allowed William the Silent to control a large amount of the
politics in that then very important city, followed by the Marquisate of
Veere, which allowed William the Silent and his descendants to control the votes
of the province of Zeeland. . The Royal Family and the Royal House
A distinction is made in the Netherlands between the royal family and the Royal
House. The royal family includes people born
into the family or who have married into the family. However, not every member of
the royal family is a member of the Royal House.
By Act of Parliament, the members of the Royal House are:
the monarch; the former monarch;
the members of the royal family in the line of succession to the throne who are
not further removed to the monarch than the second degree of consanguinity;
Princess Margriet of the Netherlands the spouses of the above.
Members of the Royal House can lose their membership and designation as
prince or princess of the Netherlands if they marry without the consent of the
Dutch Parliament. This happened to Prince Friso when he married Mabel Wisse
Smit. This is written down explicitly in the part of the constitution of the
Netherlands that controls the Monarchy of the Netherlands.
=Family tree of current members=Notes
* Member of the Dutch royal house ** Member of the Royal Family
^ Member of the extended royal family=Members of the Royal House=
According to the official website the members of the Royal House are
currently: HM King Willem-Alexander, The King of
the Netherlands HM Queen Maxima, The Queen of the
Netherlands HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
HRH Princess Catharina-Amalia, The Princess of Orange
HRH Princess Alexia of the Netherlands HRH Princess Ariane of the Netherlands
HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands
HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands Prof. Pieter van Vollenhoven
=Members of the Royal Family=According to the official website the
Royal Family consists of the members of the Royal House plus other legitimate
descendants of Queen Juliana: Descendants of Princess Beatrix
HRH Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau Countess Luana of Orange-Nassau
Countess Zaria of Orange-Nassau Countess Eloise of Orange-Nassau
Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau
Descendants of Princess Margriet HH Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau
HH Princess Marilène of Orange-Nassau Miss Anna van Lippe-Biesterfeld van
Vollenhoven Mr Lucas van Lippe-Biesterfeld van
Vollenhoven Miss Felicia van Lippe-Biesterfeld van
Vollenhoven HH Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau
HH Princess Annette of Orange-Nassau Miss Isabella van Vollenhoven
Mr Samuel van Vollenhoven Mr Benjamin van Vollenhoven
HH Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau
HH Princess Anita of Orange-Nassau Miss Emma van Vollenhoven
Miss Pieter van Vollenhoven HH Prince Floris of Orange-Nassau
HH Princess Aimée of Orange-Nassau Miss Magali van Vollenhoven
Miss Eliane van Vollenhoven Mr Willem van Vollenhoven
HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands HRH Prince Carlos, The Duke of Parma
HRH Princess Annemarie, The Duchess of Parma
HRH Princess Luisa of Bourbon-Parma HRH Princess Cecilia of Bourbon-Parma
HRH Princess Margarita, The Countess of Colorno
Mr Tjalling ten Cate Miss Julia ten Cate
Miss Paola ten Cate HRH Prince Jaime, The Count of Bardi
HRH Princess Viktória, The Countess of Bardi
HRH Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma HRH Princess Carolina, The Marchioness
of Sala Mr Albert Brenninkmeijer
Miss Alaïa-Maria Brenninkmeijer HRH Princess Christina of the
Netherlands Mr Bernardo Guillermo
Mrs Eva Guillermo Miss Isabel Guillermo
Mr Julián Guillermo Mr Nicolás Guillermo
Miss Juliana Guillermo Standards
The Dutch Royal Family also makes extensive use of royal standards that
are based on their coats of arms, but not identical to them. Some examples
from the Royal Family’s website are: The standards of the ruling king or
queen: The standards of the current sons of
Princess Beatrix and their wives, and the Princess’ husband:
The standards of the sisters of Princess Beatrix and their children:
The standards of former members of the Royal Family:
Monograms As most Royal Families, the Dutch Royal
Family also makes use of royal monograms. Some examples from the Royal
Family’s website are: The monograms of the ruling kings or
queens: The monograms of some members of the
Royal Family; See also
House of Orange-Nassau List of stadtholders for the Low
Countries provinces List of monarchs of the Netherlands
List of heirs to the Dutch throne Monarchies in Europe
List of rulers of the Netherlands Notes
References=Constitutional references=
=References to other laws and related documentation=
=External links=External links
Official Royal Website: lots of information about the monarchy and Royal
Family, and virtual palace tours Res Publica : The Netherlands an
international anti-monarchy Web directory
NL Planet : The Dutch Royal Family a guide looking at the recent history and
current figureheads of the Dutch monarchy

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