This article was published on October 18th, 2021
The Dutch monarchy can marry a person of any gender without giving up their right to the throne, the Prime Minister has said.
In what could possibly hint at a first Dutch gay royal marriage, Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, 17, could marry someone of the same sex without giving up her crown.
“The government believes that the heir can also marry a person of the same sex. The Cabinet does not see that an heir or the King would have to abdicate the throne if he/she wished to marry a person of the same sex,” Rutte said in a written answer to questions from parliamentarians.
“Amalia, Duty Calls”
Princess Amalia is the eldest child to King Willem-Alexander and will turn 18 years old in December. Her future came under scrutiny following a publication about her life titled “Amalia, Duty Calls,” which questioned what would happen if the heir chose to marry a same-sex partner. Netherland’s old laws require that royals would have to abdicate the throne to do so.
Although the Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001, the right wasn’t granted to the Dutch royalty seeing that there would be no heir to the throne.
The Prime Minister’s announcement came as royal marriages require the consent of the Dutch parliament. A few members of the Dutch royals have given up their place in the line of succession to marry someone without approval.
Amalia is yet to comment on the matter. Details about her personal life, including her sexual orientation, are not known to the public. She graduated high school in June and is expected to join university next year. The soon-to-be 18-year-old made headlines in June this year, after turning down the €1.6 million ($1.9 million) annual allowance from the state. She relinquished the money, arguing that it would make her feel ‘uncomfortable’.
Gay marriage and succession
However, Rutte said that he is uncertain about how gay marriage could affect later succession of the royal couple’s children. He added that it does not make sense to try to decide that now.
“It’s just very dependent on the facts and circumstances of the specific case, as you can see by looking back at how family law can change over time,” he said.
According to the PM, the situation is still “frightfully complicated” since a “lawful descendant” can only succeed the King or queen. He told Dutch TV: “Let’s cross that bridge if we come to it.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first gay marriage in the Netherlands. Since its legalization in 2001, the Dutch government website reports that over 15,000 gay couples have married.
In the past, there have been instances of royal heirs from different countries hiding their sexuality.
In India, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil became the country’s first openly gay royal figure. When he came out in 2006, people burned effigies of him in his hometown. His mother publicly disowned him before they reconciled almost a decade later.
In Britain, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin, became the first royal to identify as gay in 2016 publicly. The 58-year-old later married his partner, James Coyle, in the British royal family’s first gay wedding.