Dutch monarch can enter same-sex marriage without losing right to throne, PM says

Den Haag, juli 2020: De Prinses van Oranje in Paleis Noordeinde.
Foto: RVD – Martijn Beekman

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Dutch crown princess could marry a person of any gender and could still keep her right to the throne. This issue became important after books, which mentioned that Netherlands’ rules excluded the possibility of a same-sex marriage for the royals, were published. The country was the first one in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001.

The 17-year old Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia has not commented on the matter. There is also very little information available about her personal life. Royal marriages in the country need to obtain approval from the Parliament. In the past, some members have given up their right to the throne, in order to marry without permission.

In a letter to Parliament, the Prime Minister said that attitudes were now different from what they had been in 2000 when the then Prime Minister had addressed this issue. He also said that the government believed that the heir could “marry a person of the same sex.”

He added that the cabinet did not see the necessity of “an heir to the throne or King” to abdicate if he/she wanted to marry a person of the same sex.

The Prime Minister mentioned that as of now it was unclear how a same-sex marriage would affect the succession of the royal couple’s children. He thought that it would depend on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. He noted that family laws had changed in the country, over time.

The current heir to the Dutch throne is 17-year old Catharina-Amalia. She is the daughter of King Willem-Alexander. Earlier this year, she had declared that she would not accept an €1.6 million allowance per year from the country, which would have automatically accrued to her as she turned eighteen. She said that it made her feel “uncomfortable.”

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