Monarchy of the Netherlands


Monarchy of the Netherlands
Monarch of Kingdom of the Netherlands
Monarchy
Federal
Coat of arms of the Netherlands - 02.svg
Coat of arms of the Netherlands
Koningin Beatrix in Vries.jpg
Incumbent:
Beatrix

Style: Her Majesty
Heir apparent: Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange
First monarch: William I
Formation: 16 March 1815

Netherlands

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Politics and government of
the Netherlands



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The Netherlands has been an independent monarchy since 16 March 1815, and has been governed by members of the House of Orange-Nassau since.

Contents

Constitutional role and position of the monarch

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. As such, the role and position of the monarch are defined and limited by the constitution of the Netherlands. An obvious consequence of this is that a fairly large portion of the Dutch constitution is devoted to the monarch; all in all, 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 formalisms of communication between the States-General of the Netherlands and the monarch in the creation of laws.

The constitution refers to the monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as "The King".[Cons 1] This is an indication of the role and refers equally to a man or a woman. This practice sometimes carries over into written language in Dutch, when the capitalized word "King" is used to distinguish the role of monarch from the person (who is then referred to as the uncapitalized "king" or "queen").[nb 1]

Succession, accession, abdication and removal of the King

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.[Cons 2] The heir is determined through two mechanisms: absolute cognatic primogeniture and proximity of blood. The Netherlands have followed absolute cognatic primogeniture instead of male primogeniture since 1983. The principle of proximity of blood is used to prevent the accession of a person who is not related to the monarch within three degrees of kinship. For example, the grandchildren of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands have no succession rights because their kinship with Queen Beatrix (her sister, and their great-aunt) is of the fourth degree (that is, the queen is their parent's parent's parents' daughter). Also, succession is limited to legitimate heirs, precluding a claim to the throne by children born out of wedlock.[Cons 3] A special case arises if the male King dies while his queen is still pregnant: the unborn child is considered the heir at that point, unless stillborn — the child is then considered never to have existed, so that proximity of blood can take precedence over primogeniture. This means that 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 goes badly and the unborn monarch is stillborn, his or her reign is expunged and proximity of blood will determine which person will be the successor to the old king.[Cons 4]

If the monarch is a minor, a regent is appointed and serves until the monarch comes of age.[Cons 5][Cons 6] The regent is customarily the surviving parent of the monarch, but the constitution determines that the custody and parental authority of the minor monarch will be determined by law. This means that another person might also be appointed as regent, as legal guardian or both.[Cons 7]

There are also a number of special cases which the constitution recognizes. First of all, 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 also be made before the death of the reigning monarch, even by the monarch himself (in case it is clear that the monarch will die without leaving an heir).[Cons 8] Second, there are a number of persons who may be excluded from the line of succession. There are two categories of these:

  • The heir-apparent who marries without the permission of the States-General loses the right of succession. This is a generalization of the historic law that the King may not marry a Catholic, which was intended to prevent the return of Spanish rule. Currently the rule is intended to prevent truly objectionable royal consorts.[Cons 9]
  • A person who has done something to make him undesirable as King can be removed from the line of succession by an act of the States-General, upon the suggestion of the King. This possibility has never been used and is to be seen as an "emergency exit" (for example, in case the heir-apparent sides with an enemy of the Kingdom).[Cons 10]

Accession

Dutch Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg

HM The Queen *

v · d · e

As with most monarchies, The Netherlands cannot be without a King (strictly in the constitutional sense; the role of King has been fulfilled by queens since 1890). There must be a head of state in order for the government to function. For this reason, the new King assumes the duties of Kingship the moment that the previous King 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 King pending the appointing of a King or regent.[Cons 1]

The King 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. This swearing-in must occur as soon as possible after the King assumes the throne, before a joint session of the States-General held in Amsterdam. The language of Article 32 of the Dutch constitution speaks of a swearing-in in "the capital Amsterdam", which incidentally is also the only phrase in the constitution that makes Amsterdam the capital of the Kingdom.[Cons 11]

The King is not crowned (there is a physical royal crown for heraldic use, but it is too big for anybody to wear). The monarch's swearing of the oath described earlier constitutes his acceptance of the position of King. Note though that it is not so that the monarch becomes King by taking this oath: this would imply a vacancy of the throne until the new monarch swears the oath, which is not allowed to occur. The monarch ascends immediately after the previous monarch ceases to reign; the swearing-in only constitutes acceptance in public.

Abdication and removal

The King may cease being King in any of four ways:

Death
A dead person cannot be King.
Abdication
A King may willingly step down as King.
Ceding the throne
The King may temporarily cease executing his office.
Removal from the throne
The government may remove the King if he is deemed unfit.

The first of these options is obvious. The first two are permanent: a deceased monarch cannot become alive again and an abdicated monarch cannot return (for this reason any children born to the abdicated monarch are not in line for the throne; children born before abdication are[Cons 12]). Both these events cause the regular mechanisms of succession to go into effect.[Cons 12] Interestingly, the constitution considers both permanent possibilities so obvious that they are not explicitly mentioned anywhere. They are both acknowledged, however, in that the constitution describes what happens after the king dies or abdicates; but the possibilities are never explicitly mentioned as causes of the end of a King's reign.

There is only one monarch, so an abdicated monarch becomes a prince or princess once again (and a dead person technically cannot have any titles at all in the Netherlands). However, a deceased monarch (abdicated or not) is customarily referred to again as "king" or "queen". So, for example, Queen Juliana became queen on September 4, 1948 and princess again on April 30, 1980 following her abdication, but has been referred to as Queen Juliana again since her death on March 20, 2004.

The other two occurrences are both temporary and examined in detail in the constitution. A monarch can temporarily cease being King for any reason. This can be at his own request, or because the Council of Ministers deems the monarch unfit for office.[Cons 13][Cons 14] Although there is no limit on reasons for ceding the throne or removal, both the monarch and the Council are deemed to act responsibly and not to leave the country without a King frivolously. Taken in that light, both possibilities of temporary removal of kingship are intended to deal with emergency situations such as physical or mental inability to execute the office of monarch.

Both in case of ceding and removal an act of the joint States-General is needed to strip the monarch of authority. In the case of the monarch ceding the throne, the required act is a law. In case of removal, it is a declaration of the States-General. Procedurally these are the same — both are achieved following the same procedure as is used to pass a new law in the Netherlands.[Cons 13][Cons 14] In case of removal it is not a law, however, since a law requires the signature of the King to come into effect (and presumably the monarch will not agree to being removed).

Since neither ceding nor removal is permanent, neither triggers succession. Instead, the States-General appoint a regent. This must be the heir-apparent, if the heir-apparent is old enough.[Cons 6] In order for the actual monarch to resume his duties, a law must be passed to that effect (which is signed into law by the regent). The monarch resumes the throne the moment the law of his return is made public.[Cons 13][Cons 14]

The reign of the King

As head of state, the King has many duties and responsibilities under the constitution. Most of these are ceremonial in practice, however.

The King and the executive branch

The King and the government

Although the King 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 King is within the executive branch of the Dutch government: the King is part of the government of the Netherlands. More than that: together with the Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, the King is the government.

The role of the King within the government of the Netherlands is described in Article 42 of the constitution:[Cons 15]

Article 42
  1. The government consists of the King and the ministers.
  2. The King is inviolate; the ministers are responsible.


This article is probably the greatest paradox in the entire constitution, in that it is the basis of the full power and influence of the King and makes him beyond reproach before the law — yet serves to render the King all but powerless in the Dutch system of government.

The first paragraph of Article 42 determines that the government of the Netherlands consists of the King and his ministers. It is important to note that, even though the King is the head of state, there is no hierarchy: the King is not the head of government, the ministers are not answerable to the King within the government. This holds true even though the ministers are civil servants and as such technically work for the King (they are appointed by the King[Cons 16]). It even holds against the fact that the Prime Minister is commonly referred to as the head of government (which he is not; he is the chairman of the Council of Ministers).[Cons 17] The essential thing to understand is that there is no distinction, no dichotomy, no segregation or separation: the King and his ministers are the government and the government is one.[ext 1]

This fact has practical consequences, in that it is not possible for the King and the ministers to be in disagreement. The government speaks with one voice and makes decisions as a united body. When the King acts in an executive capacity, he does so as representative of the united government. And when the government decides, the King is in agreement (even if the king or queen personally disagrees). As an ultimate consequence of this, it is not possible for the King 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 King and his minister is a situation not covered by the constitution and is automatically a constitutional crisis. These are quite rare in the Netherlands and have, on occurrence, always led to collapse of the government (resignation of the ministers), parliamentary elections and eventually to abdication of the monarch.[ext 1]

The second paragraph of the article, though, is what really renders the King powerless. This paragraph states that the King is inviolate. He is beyond any reproach, beyond the grasp of any prosecution (criminal or otherwise) for any acts committed or actions taken as King. If anything goes wrong, the minister responsible for the topic at hand is responsible for the failings of the King. This sounds like it makes the King 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 King abides by the decision of the ministers. In fact the Kings 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 (since an unfortunate off-the-cuff remark could get a minister into trouble). The practical consequence of this limit on the power of the King is that the King never makes a decision on his own. Every decision, every decree must be countersigned by the responsible minister(s).[ext 1]

The King and the law of the land

Technically, the King has a lot of practical power. For instance, no proposal of law actually becomes a law until signed by the King — and there is no legal requirement for the King to sign.[Cons 18] In practice, the King will always give assent since most proposals of law are made by the government "by or on behalf of the King".[Cons 19] 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 (in Dutch: Koninklijk Besluit). 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 (in this they are like American executive orders) to filling in the details of certain laws. Royal Decrees create ministries,[Cons 20] disband the houses of the States-General,[Cons 21] and appoint and fire ministers.[Cons 22]

However, since the ministers are responsible, Royal Decrees are in fact made by the responsible minister. And while the King must sign laws and Royal Decrees before they come into effect, the constitution determines that the responsible ministers and state secretaries must countersign.[Cons 23] That, given the fact that the ministers have the authority, really means that they decide and it is the King who countersigns, and even that is a formality. Also, while the King may technically propose laws ("by or on behalf of the King"), 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 King refusing to sign on his own is even more rare (and a constitutional crisis to boot).[ext 2]

There is one special case in which the King 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.[Cons 24]

Formation of the government

Given the discussion above, it is a valid question whether the position of King of the Netherlands is entirely ceremonial. The answer however, is "no". Despite all appearances the King 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.[ext 1]

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 (two-third percent of the vote) 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 (more on occasion...), 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 (of which the formateur himself usually becomes the Prime Minister). If the negotiations fail, the cycle starts over. The informateurs and formateur in question are all appointed to this task by the King. The King makes his own decision in this, based on advice from the leaders of the different parties in parliament, as well as other important figures (the speakers of the new parliament and the senate are among them).[ext 1]

There is usually some popular discussion in the Netherlands around the time of these negotiations about whether the authority of the King in this matter should not be limited and whether or not the newly elected parliament should not make the appointments that the King makes. These discussions are usually based (to varying degrees) around the argument that decision by a King is undemocratic and there is no parliamentary oversight over the decision and the King 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 King 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 kings and (particularly) the queens have traditionally known better than to appoint controversial informateurs, usually settling for well-established yet fairly neutral people in the political arena (the deputy chairman of the Dutch Council of State is a common choice). Once a potential coalition has been identified the King technically has a free rein in selecting a formateur. However, the formateur almost always becomes 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.[ext 1]

The King and the States-General

The one branch of government in which the King has no direct part is the legislative branch, which is formed by the States-General of the Netherlands. This parliamentary body consists of two chambers, the House of Representatives (also commonly referred to as the Parliament) and the Senate.[Cons 25]

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 King shares that effort (although the King never officially speaks to members of the States on policy matters due to ministerial responsibility).

Constitutionally, the King 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 the two houses.[Cons 26] At this occasion the King addresses the joint States in a speech in which he sets forth the outlines for his government's policies for the coming year (the speech itself is of course prepared by the ministers, their ministries and finally crafted and approved by the Prime Minister). 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 queen deliver the speech from the throne after having arrived from the Noordeinde Palace in her golden carriage. Both in constitutional aspects and in ceremony the event has much in common with both the British Queen's Speech and the American State of the Union.

Lawmaking is the area in which the King has the most frequent involvement with the States-General (although in fact he has very little to do with it in practice). Laws in the Netherlands are primarily proposed by the government and can be proposed "by or on behalf of" the King (this phrase is repeated often in the constitution).[Cons 18] Technically this means that the King may propose laws in person, hearkening back to the days of the first kings of the Netherlands when the kings 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 King must still sign proposals into law though, a historical deference to the fact that the law of the land is decreed by the King.

While the King 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 King and communication in the opposite direction formally is from the King (it is also signed by the King, without a ministerial countersignature – such communication is not a decision or decree, so does not require a countersignature). The formal language still shows deference to the position of the King, 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:[Cons 27]

  • 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 King.

The final involvement of the King with the States is dissolution. Constitutionally, the King is empowered to disband either house of the States by Royal Decree. Of course, this means that a minister (usually the Prime Minister) makes the decision and the King 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.[Cons 21]

The constitution prescribes a number of cases in which one or more houses of the States are disbanded (particularly for changes to the constitution); this is always done by Royal Decree. In addition, traditionally the 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 disbanding the parliament in name of the King in the hope that new elections brought a more favorable parliament (but it was also possible for the trick to backfire, in which case the new, equally hostile and far more angry parliament would suspend the budget to force the resignation of the government).

Even though the King 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. Of course these conversations were held in the strictest confidence due to ministerial responsibility. The tradition was suspended after 1999 though, due to repeated incidents involving MPs blabbing about the contents of the conversations despite agreeing not to (and embarrassing the Prime Minister in doing so). In 2009 an attempt was made to resume the tradition, but this failed due to Arend Jan Boekestijn resuming the tradition of revealing the contents of his conversation with queen Beatrix anyway.[ext 3]

Other functions of the King

In addition to the duties and responsibilities described in previous sections, the King has several other functions as well. Some of these are (partly) constitutional, others are more traditional in nature.

Although it does not say so anywhere in the constitution, the King is the head of state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (this meaning is implied from the fact that the King is the King). As such, the King is the face of the kingdom towards the world: the ambassadors of the Netherlands are emissaries of the King, foreign ambassadors represent foreign heads of state to the King. And even though head-of-government responsibility lies with the Prime Minister, it is the King that makes state visits to foreign heads of state as representative of the Netherlands. It is also the King whose face is shown on Dutch stamps and Dutch euro coins.

Constitutionally the King is the head of the Dutch Council of State.[Cons 28] 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.[Cons 29] The position of the King as constitutional head of this Council means two things for the constitutional position of the King:[ext 4]

  1. The King is constitutionally directly involved with practically all aspects of lawmaking except approval by the States-General (the representative of the electorate). From inception of the law through proposal to the States to finally signing into law, the King is involved. This involvement is derived from the days when the King was an absolute ruler and really made law. Originally, with the creation of the first constitutions, the kings strove to maintain power by maximum involvement with all aspects of lawmaking. Over time this has grown into a more advisory role.
  2. The King is constitutionally involved with at least part of the judicial branch of government as well.

Of course, the role played by the King in the Council is largely theoretical due to ministerial responsibility. While the King is officially head of the Council, in practice the queen never votes in Council meetings and always turns over her responsibility as chair of the meetings to the deputy head of the Council. She is presumed to be part of the discussions though.

Despite the limitations on the role the King 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 King, which is why the heir-apparent is constitutionally an observer-member of the Council from the time he comes of age.[Cons 28]

The King is also the Grand Master of the Dutch orders of knighthoods: the Order of Orange-Nassau,[Law 1] the Order of the Netherlands Lion[Law 2] and the Military William Order.[Law 3]

Lastly, the King 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 queen exerts most of her influence (as such) in these meetings, in that she can bring her knowledge and experience to bear in what she 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 King 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.[Cons 30]

Remuneration and privileges

Stipend

Article 40 of the constitution states that the King is to receive an annual stipend from the Kingdom (in other words wages, except that it cannot be called that since the King is not employed by the country but rather the other way around). 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.[Cons 31]

Under current Dutch law the King receives an annual stipend which is part of the annual budget, as do the heir-apparent, the consort of the King and the consort of the heir-apparent.[Law 4] The King receives this stipend constitutionally, the others because they are not allowed to work for anybody due to their positions. For practical purposes this means that the current recipients of royal stipends are Queen Beatrix (€813,000 in the 2009 budget), Prince Willem-Alexander (the heir-apparent; €241,000 in the 2009 budget) and Princess Máxima (wife of Prince Willem-Alexander; €241,000 in the 2009 budget).[Law 5] This stipend is currently 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
Royal Standard

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 King and the heir-apparent are exempt from inheritance tax on inheritances received from members of the Royal House.[Cons 31]

The King 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 King (although it is only used for state visits and is open to the public when not in use for that purpose), as is Soestdijk Palace (which is open to the public and not in official use at all at this time).[Law 6]

The King has the use of an airplane and a train for state visits (although there is no train in current use and the airplane is not exclusively reserved for the King anymore). The King also has a small fleet of cars available, on which he may display the royal standard.

Positions of other members of the Royal House and royal family

The royal family has become quite extensive since the birth of Queen Juliana. By consequence so has the Royal House (nominally the collection of persons in line for the throne and their spouses), to the extent that membership of the Royal House was limited by a change in the law in 2002.[Law 7]

Despite being a large clan, the family as a whole has very little to do officially with the 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 to ascend to the throne, so he has some limited tasks and a number of limits on his person (particularly he cannot hold a paying job, since this might lead to entanglements later on). 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 (even though it is a common mistake to believe otherwise), 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 (for instance to accompany the King on a state visit if the consort is ill), 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 (or have held) 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 (or have been) avid supporters of some personal cause; Prince Bernhard for instance was always passionate about the treatment of World War II veterans and Princess Margriet (who was born in Canada) has a special relationship with Canadian veterans specifically. As a rule of thumb, the members of the royal family who are contemporaries of Queen 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 (husband to Princess Margriet), who is chairman of the Dutch Safety Board.

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 (future) 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 (starting with Prince Hendrik in 1901). The male consorts since then have all either been raised with an expectation of government responsibility (such as Prince Hendrik), or had established careers of their own before marrying the future queen (Prince Bernhard and Prince Claus). 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 (scandals involving infidelity and finances in the cases of Hendrik and Bernhard, deep depression in the case of Claus) and it has been widely speculated (and even generally accepted) that sheer boredom played at least a part in all of these difficulties.

Over time the restrictions on royal consorts have eased somewhat. Prince Frederik 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 (although that role was created for him) 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 unpopular at first, being a German marrying into the royal family after World War II); 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 Princess Máxima (who had a career in banking before marrying Prince Willem-Alexander) should be allowed far more leeway if she desires.

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 than 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 Funereal Law (Dutch: Wet op de Lijkbezorging).[Law 8] 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 (some members of the family buried elsewhere were even moved there later). However, for health and hygiene reasons, burial in churches was forbidden in the Netherlands by decree of William I in 1829 (the practice had been banned before under French occupation of the country, but returned after 1815). 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 (this due to the lack of any formal rules whatsoever). 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 (a deceased monarch, for instance), 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 (which is relatively new, since Prince Frederik was borne to Delft by eight horses). The current carriage is purple with white trim (this has also changed since the burial of Queen Wilhelmina in 1962, when the carriage was white). Currently, the route to Delft is lined by members of the Dutch armed forces (which is also new since the burial of Prince Hendrik, which was a very quiet affair).

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 mayor of Delft has a key to a separate service entrance, which is only opened in the presence of two military police officers and two members of the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service for maintenance).

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 (which was the start of a continuing series of limitations on royal power).

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 (although William II was less inclined to interfere with policy than his father was), both resisting major reforms until eventually conflict with the States-General and their own government forced their abdications. William III's reign was a continuous saga of power struggles between the monarch and the parliamentary government (which he forced out a couple of times), plus major international crises due to the same stubbornness (including the Luxembourg Crisis). 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 (being able to push for military rearmament before World War I) 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 to 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 (except news footage of state visits and the reading of the government plans on Prinsjesdag) and instead their relationship with the public has become more of a popular and romanticized notion of royalty. The queen nowadays is popularly perceived to have a figurehead role, serving as "mother of the nation" in times of crises and disasters (such as the 1953 floods). In addition, there is a public holiday called Koninginnedag, in 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 (although princess Juliana was sent there with her children). 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" (Wilhelmina, Oranje Zal Overwinnen, or Wilhelmina, Orange Shall Be Victorious) being graffiti'd 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 (shrugging off the more rigid nature of previous Dutch society). 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 socialist views and unassuming nature (she had a popular image of being a queen who prepared her own Brussels sprouts) 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 (which was only measured regularly since Beatrix' reign) 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" (he became popularly known as "Prins Pils" ("prince beer") 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 (including internships throughout society, military service and a very public interest in water management), he has made some clumsy choices from time to time that have negatively impacted his popularity. When he became engaged to Máxima Zorreguieta (daughter of Argentine junta member Jorge 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" ("a little bit dumb") in fluent Dutch during her first press conference (this also established her reputation as a charming young lady in the Netherlands). 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 (down to about 83%), they led to an increased support for moving to a fully ceremonial monarchy (around 43%), a freezing of the royal stipends (around 66%) or even a lowering of the stipends (about 33%) and removing the royal exemption on taxation (also around 40%).

History

For rulers of the Netherlands before 1806, see Stadtholder of the Netherlands

Prior to the Napoleonic wars, most of the semi-independent provinces of the Netherlands had been ruled by elected stadtholders, who were all drawn from the House of Orange-Nassau.

The House of Orange-Nassau came from Dillenburg, Germany, seat of the Dukes of Nassau. Their title 'Prince of Orange' was acquired through inheritance of the Principality of Orange in southern France, in 1544. William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was the first Orange-Nassau stadtholder (ironically, appointed by Philip II of Spain). 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, was the direct male line ancestor of the first King of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands remained, formally, a confederated republic, even when in 1747 the office of stadtholder was centralized (one stadtholder for all provinces) and became formally hereditary the House of Orange-Nassau.

The first King of the Netherlands was actually French. In 1806, Emperor Napoleon installed his brother Louis Bonaparte as ruler of the Kingdom of Holland, a puppet state. The Kingdom of Holland was abolished in 1810.

The present monarchy was founded in 1813, when the French were driven out. Prince William V of Orange was proclaimed Sovereign Prince of the United Netherlands (comprising certain northern provinces). The new monarchy was confirmed in 1815 at the Congress of Vienna as part of the re-arrangement of Europe after the fall of Napoleon, and its status as a kingdom was also confirmed.

William VI became the first king of the constitutional monarchy of the Netherlands as William I.

The House of Orange-Nassau was given the modern day Netherlands and also Belgium and Luxembourg to rule as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. In addition, the King of the Netherlands became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Until 1839, Luxembourg was both a Grand Duchy of the German Confederation and a Province of the Kingdom simultaneously.

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.

The present monarch, Queen Beatrix, has stated she will not abdicate in the near future, to allow Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima to spend time with their family.

Monarchs of the Netherlands

Wilhelmina (1890–1948)

When Wilhelmina came to the throne in 1890 at age 10 (her mother, queen Emma, second wife of the then deceased William III, acted as regent until Wilhelmina reached the age of 18) Luxembourg, also a former member of the erstwhile German Confederation, was not willing to accept a (female) Grand Duchess under Salic law. Instead a family member, Adolf, former Duke of Nassau, became Grand Duke of Luxembourg, ending 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, Heinrich von Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who unfortunately 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 (though it was never forgotten and by some was never forgiven) 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 (Paleis 't Loo) in Apeldoorn. She died in 1962. For her early reign and character, the letters of Queen Victoria give a good perspective.

Juliana (1948–1980)

Dutch Royalty
House of Orange-Nassau

Coat of arms of the Netherlands - 02.svg

William I
Children
   William II
   Prince Frederick
   Princess Paulina
   Marianne, Princess Albert of Prussia
Grandchildren
   Louise, Queen of Sweden and Norway
   Prince William
   Prince Frederick
   Marie, Princess of Wied
William II
Children
   William III
   Prince Alexander
   Prince Henry
   Prince Ernest Casimir
   Sophie, Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
William III
Children
   William, Prince of Orange
   Prince Maurice
   Alexander, Prince of Orange
   Wilhelmina
Wilhelmina
Children
   Juliana
Juliana
Children
   Beatrix
   Princess Irene
   Princess Margriet
   Princess Christina
Beatrix
Children
   Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange
   Prince Friso
   Prince Constantijn
Grandchildren
   Princess Catharina-Amalia
   Princess Alexia
   Princess Ariane
   Countess Luana
   Countess Zaria
   Countess Eloise
   Count Claus-Casimir
   Countess Leonore

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 (where Margriet was born), they lived in the Soestdijk Palace (Paleis Soestdijk) in Soestdijk, about 20 km north-east of Utrecht. She died on 20 March 2004. Her husband Bernhard died on 1 December 2004.

Beatrix (1980–present)

The Dutch royal family today is much larger than it has ever been. Queen Beatrix and her husband, the late prince Claus, have three sons, Willem-Alexander (married to Princess Máxima), Friso (married to Princess Mabel) and Constantijn (married to Princess Laurentien). 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 Margriet, are all (potentially) 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 his marriage to Mabel Wisse Smit was not approved by 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 (the 1960s) was still politically problematic for an heir to the 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. An additional complication which the government wanted to avoid, was that Irene's husband, Prince Carlos-Hugo of Bourbon-Parma, (whom she later divorced) was a member of a deposed Italian dynasty who claimed rights to the Spanish throne.

Willem-Alexander

The heir apparent to the Dutch throne is prince Willem-Alexander (born 1967), the Prince of Orange since 1980. He studied history at the University of Leiden and became actively involved in water management. His wife is Princess Máxima (née Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti), an economy 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 (2 February 2002). 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. After Willem-Alexander they are second, third, and fourth in line to the Dutch throne.

Full title

All members of the Dutch Royal Family, in addition to other titles hold (or held) the princely title Prince of Orange-Nassau. In addition to the titles King/Prince of the Netherlands and Prince of Orange-Nassau, descendants of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld hold another princely title - Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld. The children of queen Beatrix and her husband Claus van Amsberg and their descendants also carry the appellative Honourable (Jonkheer) in combination with the name Van Amsberg.

Queen Juliana, the only descendant of Queen Wilhelmina and Duke Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, was also Duchess Juliana 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 members of the Royal House of Orange-Nassau, which is smaller than the Royal Family. Members of the Royal House can lose their membership when they enter into marriage without asking (and receiving) consent from Parliament.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ This article will discuss both the constitutional position of King and several people who have held that position. For the purposes of distinction, the article will follow the same practice and refer to the constitutional position as King and to persons as "king", "queen" or "monarch"

References

Constitutional references

  1. ^ a b (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Chapter 2: Government (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  2. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 24 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  3. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 25 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  4. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 26 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  5. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 33 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  6. ^ a b (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 37 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  7. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 34 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  8. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 30 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  9. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 28 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  10. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 29 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  11. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 32 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  12. ^ a b (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 27 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  13. ^ a b c (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 35 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  14. ^ a b c (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 36 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  15. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 42 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  16. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 46 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  17. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 45 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  18. ^ a b (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 87 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  19. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 82 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  20. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 44 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  21. ^ a b (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 64 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  22. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 43 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  23. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 47 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  24. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 48 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  25. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 51 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  26. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 65 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  27. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article XIX (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  28. ^ a b (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 74 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  29. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 73 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  30. ^ (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 97 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)
  31. ^ a b (Dutch) Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Article 40 (Dutch edition of WikiSource)

References to other laws and related documentation

  1. ^ (Dutch) Wet instelling van de Orde van Oranje-Nassau, law regarding the Order of Orange-Nassau, Article 3
  2. ^ (Dutch) Wet instelling van de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw, law regarding the Order of the Dutch Lion, Article 3, par. 1
  3. ^ (Dutch) Wet instelling Militaire Willems-Orde, law regarding the Military William Order, Article 3
  4. ^ (Dutch) Wet financieel statuut van het Koninklijk Huis Law on the financial statute of the Royal House
  5. ^ Vaststelling begroting Huis der Koningin (I) voor het jaar 2009 31700 I 2 Memorie van toelichting Argumentation for the law setting the Royal House budget for the year 2009
  6. ^ (Dutch)Wet op het Kroondomein
  7. ^ (Dutch) Wet lidmaatschap koninklijk huis Law on membership of the Dutch Royal House
  8. ^ Wet op de lijkbezorging Funereal law, article 87

External references

  1. ^ a b c d e f (Dutch) Janse de Jonge, E.J.; A.K. Koekkoek et al. (2000). A.K.Koekkoek. ed. de Grondwet — een systematisch en artikelsgewijs commentaar [the Constitution — a systematic, article-by-article commentary] (3rd ed.). W.E.J. TJEENK WILLINK. ISBN 90 271 5106 7. 
  2. ^ (Dutch) van Bijsterveld, S.C.; A.K. Koekkoek et al. (2000). A.K.Koekkoek. ed. de Grondwet — een systematisch en artikelsgewijs commentaar [the Constitution — a systematic, article-by-article commentary] (3rd ed.). W.E.J. TJEENK WILLINK. ISBN 90 271 5106 7. 
  3. ^ "MP resigns after telling all about the queen". DutchNews.nl. 19 November 2009. http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2009/11/mp_resigns_after_telling_all_a.php. Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  4. ^ (Dutch) Beers, A.A.L.; A.K. Koekkoek et al. (2000). A.K.Koekkoek. ed. de Grondwet — een systematisch en artikelsgewijs commentaar [the Constitution — a systematic, article-by-article commentary] (3rd ed.). W.E.J. TJEENK WILLINK. ISBN 90 271 5106 7. 

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