Royals can enter same-sex marriage without giving up the throne, Dutch prime minister says

A picture of the Dutch royal family including King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Princess Amelia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane

Dutch royals can marry someone of the same gender without forfeiting their right to the throne, the prime minister has said.

Prime minister Mark Rutte wrote on Tuesday (12 October) that 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 was responding to questions from parliament that arose from a book titled Amalia, Duty Calls which argued that old laws in the Netherlands could exclude the possibility of a same-sex couple on the Dutch throne.

The book is about Princess Amalia, the 17-year-old heir to King Willem-Alexander. The royal heir has not made any public comments about the ruling, and little is known about her personal life.

Amalia has said that she plans to take a gap year before going to university. In June, she wrote to Rutte to waive her right to a €1.6m a year in income and personal and household expenses, saying that accepting it would make her feel “uncomfortable”.

In the Netherlands, the engagement of a royal family member is announced by his or her parents after which the Dutch parliament is asked to grant their approval to the marriage.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001, but it was assumed that this couldn’t apply to the country’s royal family as there would need to be an heir to the throne.

However, Rutte did not definitively answer the question of succession in the case of a same-sex marriage in the royal family. He wrote it was “not appropriate to anticipate now such a consideration of the succession”.

“This depends too much on the facts and circumstances of the specific case, which, as can be seen with hindsight in the case of the family law, are not the same as in the case of succession,” Rutte added.

Rutte said the logistics of succession are still “frightfully complicated”. He told Dutch TV: “Let’s cross that bridge if we come to it.”