While same-sex marriage has been legal since 2001 in the Netherlands, crowned heads must seek permission from parliament. A tradition bound to change.
The Netherlands is the first state in the world to allow marriage for all. There is, however, one exception to the rule: the royal family. Indeed, until then, members of royalty had to seek permission from parliament to marry a person of the same sex. More so, they also had to give up ever acceding to the throne. But big changes are coming. On October 12, 2021, the Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke on the subject : “Government believes heir to the throne can marry a person of the same sex and not give up his right to the throne“, he wrote in a letter to Parliament, as reported by the Dutch television channel NOS.
These questions follow the publication of a book by royal family specialist Peter Rehwinkel. In this book dedicated to the Crown Princess to the throne, Amalia, the author mentions a discussion he had with former Prime Minister Wim Kok during which he considered that the same-sex marriage of a member of the monarchy posed “a problem of heredity.” He then explained that this eventuality would lead to a renunciation of the title of queen or king. Princess Amalia has not yet commented on this. All these discussions remain theoretical since, very discreet, the 17-year-old young woman has never expressed her desire to marry a woman.
The question of the succession of the royal children
Members of the Dutch royal family can therefore marry a person of the same sex without permission from parliament. But in this whirlwind, another question arose: that of the succession to the throne in the event of children resulting from a homosexual royal marriage. “It’s awfully complicated“, explained Mark Rutte. According to the words of the Dutch constitution, a king or a queen can only be replaced by” a legitimate descendant “(ie a person biologically related to the reigning one).”We’ll be concerned about this if we ever get there“, the Prime Minister concluded on Dutch television.