Last modified: 2 January 2014
The state is known as Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in its national language. This means the Kingdom of The Netherlands. The country is reigned by the Oranje-Nassau (Orange-Nassau) dynasty.
The first known ancestors of the royal family of the Netherlands are the Laurenburgs, later called the counts of Nassau. In 1255 the brothers Otto I and Walram II of Nassau divided the county in two parts. The grandduchal family of Luxemburg descends from Count Walram II, the Dutch royal family from Otto I. One of the most famous persons in the family before they became Kings of the Netherlands, was Willem Prince of Orange Count of Nassau (1533-1584). He and his sons Maurits and Frederik Hendrik played a very important part in the completion of the Republic of the United Netherlands. Until 1795 the Nassau family served the Republic as stadtholders. In 1689 stadtholder Prince Willem III of Orange became King of Great Britain after his wife Mary II Stuart was chosen as Queen of Great Britain. In 1795 the last stadtholder Prince Willem V fled to England and the Netherlands became a part of the French Republic and later the French Empire of Napoleon. Between 1806 and 1810 Louis Napoleon, a brother of the Emperor Napoleon, was the first King of Holland.
In 1813 the son of the last stadtholder was chosen as sovereign. At the Congress of Vienna the Kingdom of the Netherlands was drafted and in 1815 this sovereign became King Willem I. His Kingdom also enclosed the later Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. Belgium became independent after a revolt in 1830, but the Netherlands didn’t recognize the new kingdom until 1839. When King Willem III died in 1890 his 10-year-old daughter Wilhelmina was the only Nassau left. Her mother Emma became the Queen-Regent in the Netherlands. The Grand Duchy of Luxemburg could only be inherited by a male Nassau and the new Grand Duke was Prince Adolph of Nassau, descendant of Walram II. More than 100 years of Queens followed: Wilhelmina, Juliana, Beatrix. Only when Beatrix abdicated in 2013 the Netherlands got a king again. Willem-Alexander in 1967 had been the first Dutch Prince born in 116 years.
The current sovereign is Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, King of the Netherlands. He was born at the Academic Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands, on 27 April 1967.
He is the son of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (born 1938) and her husband Claus von Amsberg (1926-2002), who was known as Prince Claus of the Netherlands.
Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother after her abdication on 30 April 2013.
The inauguration took place at the New Church in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 30 April 2013.
The King’s motto is Je Maintiendrai, which means I shall maintain.
The King is Dutch Reformed.
Marriage and descendants
King Willem-Alexander is married to Máxima Zorreguieta (born 1971) since 2002.
- Catharina-Amalia (born 2003)
- Princess Alexia (born 2005)
- Princess Ariane (born 2007)
Heir to the throne
The heir to the throne is Princess Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau. She was born at the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 7 December 2003.
Upon the accession to the throne of her father on 30 April 2013 she received the title of Princess of Orange.
2514 GL ‘s-Gravenhage
The title to the Throne shall be hereditary and shall vest in the legitimate descendants of King Willem I, Prince of Orange-Nassau. On the death of the monarch, the title to the Throne shall pass by hereditary succession to the monarch’s legitimate descendants in order of seniority, the same rule governing succession by the issue of descendants who predecease the monarch. If the monarch has no descendants, the title to the throne shall pass in the same way to the legitimate descendants of the monarch’s parent and then of his grandparent who are in the line of succession but are not further removed from the deceased monarch than the third degree of consanguinity. For the purposes of hereditary succession, the child of a woman pregnant at the moment of the death of the King shall be deemed already born. If it is stillborn it shall be deemed to have never existed. Hereditary succession to the throne in the event of abdication shall take place according to the rules set above. Children born after an abdication and their descendants shall be excluded from the hereditary succession. The monarch shall be deemed to have abdicated if he contracts a marriage without having obtained consent by Act of Parliament. Anyone in line of succession to the throne who contracts such a marriage shall be excluded from the hereditary succession, together with any children born of the marriage and their issue. The two Houses of the States General (Parliament) shall meet to consider and decide upon a Bill for granting such consent in joint session. A successor to the throne may be appointed by Act of Parliament if it appears that there will otherwise be no successor. The Bill shall be presented by or on behalf of the monarch, upon which the Houses shall be dissolved. The newly convened Houses shall discuss and decide upon the matter in joint session. Such a Bill shall be passed only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour. The Houses shall be dissolved if there is no successor on the death or abdication of the monarch. The newly convened Houses shall meet in joint session within four months of the decease or abdication in order to decide on the appointment of a monarch. They may appoint a successor only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour.
Upon assuming the royal prerogative the monarch shall be sworn in and inaugurated as soon as possible in the capital city, Amsterdam, at a public and joint session of the two Houses of the States General. The monarch shall swear or promise allegiance to the Constitution and that he will faithfully discharge his duties. Specific rules shall be laid down by Act of Parliament. The monarch shall not exercise the royal prerogative before attaining the age of eighteen. Parental responsibility for and guardianship of a monarch who is a minor, and the supervision thereof, shall be regulated by Act of Parliament. The two Houses of the States General shall meet in joint session to consider and decide upon the matter. If the Cabinet is of the opinion that the monarch is unable to exercise the royal prerogative it shall inform the two Houses of the States General accordingly and shall also present to them the recommendation it has requested from the Council of State. The two Houses of the States General shall then meet in joint session. If the two Houses of the States General share this opinion, they shall then resolve that the monarch is unable to exercise the royal prerogative. This resolution shall be made public on the instructions of the Speaker presiding over the joint session and shall enter into force immediately. Guardianship over his person shall be regulated by Act of Parliament. As soon as the monarch regains the ability to exercise the royal prerogative, notice of the fact shall be given in an Act of Parliament. The two Houses of the States General shall consider and decide upon the matter in joint session. The monarch shall resume the exercise of the royal prerogative as soon as the Act has been made public. The royal prerogative shall be exercised by a Regent until the monarch has attained the age of eighteen, if the title to the throne may vest in an unborn child, if it has been resolved that the monarch is unable to exercise the royal prerogative, if the monarch has temporarily relinquished the exercise of the royal prerogative, or in the absence of a successor following the death or abdication of the monarch. The Regent shall be appointed by Act of Parliament. The two Houses of the States General shall consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.
The King, Majesty, is King of the Netherlands, Prince of Oranje-Nassau, jonkheer van Amsberg, etc, etc. Etc, etc. stands for Duke of Limburg, Marquess of Veere and Vlissingen, Count of Katzenelnbogen, Vianden, Diez, Spiegelberg, Buren, Leerdam and Culemborg, Viscount of Antwerpen, Baron of Breda, Diest, Herstal, IJsselstein, Eindhoven, Cranendonck, the town of Grave and the lands of Cuyk, Liesveld, Beilstein, Warneton, Arlay and Nozeroy, Suzerain and lord of Ameland, Lord of Polanen, Geertruidenberg, Niervaart, Klundert, Naaldwijk, Bredevoort, Borculo, Lichtenvoorde, Baarn, Soest, Ter Eem, Het Loo, Hooge and Lage Zwaluwe, Steenbergen, St.Maartensdijk, Willemstad, Montfort, Sankt Vith, Bütgenbach, Daasburg, Besançon, Turnhout and Zevenbergen. Queen Juliana also was Duchess of Mecklenburg. The daughters of Queen Juliana are Royal Highness, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Oranje-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld. The daughters of King Willem-Alexander are Royal Highness, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Oranje- Nassau. On February 17th 1983 the title of Crown Prince was struck off the Constitution. The heir to the throne is Prince(ss) of the Netherlands, Prince(ss) of Oranje. The sons of Queen Beatrix are Royal Highness, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Oranje-Nassau, jonkheer van Amsberg. Prince Friso lost the title Prince of the Netherlands after his marriage, but kept his other titles. The children of Prince Friso and Princess Mabel, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien are Count(ess) van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer (Jonkvrouwe) van Amsberg. Their family name is Van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg. The sons of Princess Margriet are Highness, Prince of Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven. The children of Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène bear the surname Van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven. The children of Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette, Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita, Prince Floris and Princess Aimée have the surname Van Vollenhoven.
King Willem-Alexander and his family presently continue living at Villa De Eikenhorst in Wassenaar, where they live since July 2003. In the near future they will move to Palace Huis ten Bosch at The Hague, at the moment the residence of Princess Beatrix. The King’s office is at the Palace Noordeinde at The Hague. Both palaces are owned by the state. The King also uses the state owned Royal Palace in Amsterdam for official occasions. Princess Beatrix is the owner of Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche, to which place she will move in the near future. Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven live at Huis Het Loo in Apeldoorn, where they also have their office.
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam can be visited most of the year, but better check their website beforehand. For a visit to the Royal House Archive and the Royal Stables near Palace Noordeinde an appointment has to be made. Palace Soestdijk until 2004 the residence of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, is open to the public at the moment until some time in 2014 Tickets have to be bought online. The former residence Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn is a national museum nowadays and can be visited throughout the year.
The Kings and Queens of The Netherlands
|Willem I (1772-1843)||1813/15-1840|
|Willem II (1792-1849)||1840-1849|
|Willem III (1817-1890)||1849-1890|
|Emma (1858-1934) (regent)||1890-1898|
|Beatrix (1938- )||1980-2013|
|Willem-Alexander (1967- )||2013-|
- Het Koninklijk Huis
- Het Koninklijk Huis on Facebook
- Koninklijk Huis on Twitter
- Koninklijk Huis on Instagram
- Koninklijk Huis on YouTube
- Pieter van Vollenhoven on Twitter
- De Huizen van Oranje en Nassau
- De Correspondentie van Willem van Oranje
- Beatrix and Claus – The Royal Wedding
- Escher in het Paleis
- Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam
- Paleis Het Loo
- Kroondomein Het Loo
- Paleis Soestdijk
- Museum Prinsenhof Delft
- Hotel Paleis Stadhouderlijk Hof
- Keramiek Museum Princessehof
- Stichting Historische Verzameling
- Bergplaas Nature Reserve
- Oude en Nieuwe Kerk Delft
- Grote Kerk Breda
- Grote Kerk Leeuwarden
- Museum Buren & Oranje
- Oranjemuseum Het Nieuwe Haghuis Diepenheim
- De Oranjeroute
- Kabinet van de Koning
- Koninklijke Verzamelingen
- Prince Claus Chair
- Prince Claus Fund
- Geschiedkundige Vereniging Oranje-Nassau
- Stichting Nassau en Friesland