As HM The Queen of the Netherlands prepares to abdicate at the end of this month in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander to become King, we examine the differences (and similarities) between the British and Dutch Monarchy.
British Monarchs are ‘officially’ invested in an ancient ceremony called a Coronation.
Dutch Monarchs are invested in an investiture ceremony as the Dutch Monarchy is not closely associated with religion like the British Monarchy.
From when the Succession to the Crown Act comes into force, only marrying without the consent of the Monarch if you’re in the first six in line to the throne will exclude on from the line of succession. Parliament nor the Monarch can remove a person from the line of succession per se.
A person who is or has become truly undesirable or unfit as monarch can be removed from the line of succession by an act of the States-General, upon suggestion of the reigning monarch.
In Britain, the heir to the throne is often given the title of Prince of Wales.
In the Netherlands, the heir to the throne assumes the title of Prince or Princess of Orange, depending on gender.
In Britain, abdication for the Monarch is considered very serious as the office of Sovereign is considered ‘for life’ and some even consider abdication a ‘dereliction of duty’. Especially when Edward VIII abdicated in a cloud of scandal in 1936 to marry a divorced lover.
In the Netherlands, abdication is the norm for an elderly Monarch, it is considered perfectly honourable for a Sovereign to abdicate.
The British Monarchy spans back over 1000 years in terms of its roots. There have been 40 Monarchs since William the Conqueror took the throne in 1066.
The [present] Dutch Monarchy has its roots in just under 200 years of history, with only six Monarchs in its history (to be 7 at the end of the month).
In Britain, titles can only be held be men suo jure (with very few exceptions). As such, a female heir to the throne cannot hold the title of Princess of Wales or Duchess of Cornwall in her own right. (This may change in the succession to the crown bill.)
Titles in the Netherlands can be held by any gender suo jure – the heir to the throne is automatically accorded the title of Prince or Princess of Orange.