Succession to the Dutch throne

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Throne in the Ridderzaal, from which the Dutch monarch delivers the Throne Speech on the Prince's Day.

Since 1983, the crown of the Netherlands passes according to absolute primogeniture. From 1814 until 1887, a monarch could only be succeeded by their closest female relative if there were no eligible male relatives. Male-preference cognatic primogeniture was adopted in 1887, though abolished when absolute primogeniture was introduced in 1983. Proximity of blood has been taken into consideration since 1922, when the constitution was changed to limit the line of succession to three degrees of kinship[1] from the current monarch.[2] In a situation where the monarch is succeeded by an eligible aunt or uncle, persons previously excluded could be reintroduced into the line of succession.

In October 2021, in a letter to parliament Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that the monarch and the heir to throne could marry a person of the same sex without being forced to abdicate or give up their place in the line of succession.[3]

Line of succession[edit]

The list below contains all people currently eligible to directly succeed to the throne (numbered 1 to 8) and the descendants of Princess Margriet who would be eligible if she were to succeed.

See also[edit]


  • Beatrix's second son, Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, was removed from the line of succession in 2004 when he married without seeking Parliamentary approval. His two daughters, Countess Luana of Orange-Nassau van Amsberg and Countess Zaria of Orange-Nassau van Amsberg, are not in the line of succession.[Citation needed]
  • Princess Irene (Beatrix's younger sister) was removed from the list when she married Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma, without Parliamentary approval. Approval was withheld because Carlos Hugo's Carlist pretense to the Spanish throne threatened to cause a Constitutional crisis.
  • Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Prince Floris of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven (the younger sons of Princess Margriet), were removed from the list because they had both decided not to seek Parliamentary approval for their 2005 marriages due to their remote chance of succeeding to the throne.[Citation needed]
  • Prince Maurits and Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven (the elder sons of Princess Margriet), and their descendants are not in the line because they are too distantly related to the reigning monarch. When Willem-Alexander became king on 30 April 2013, his aunt's sons lost their succession rights and will only regain them if she succeeds to the throne – in which case her children would assume appropriate places in the line of succession.[2]


  1. Degrees of kinship are counted here according to Roman law, or post-1983 Canon Law: counting the number of births between two people via their common ancestor.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 "Succession". Dutch Royal Court. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2013. The Constitution stipulates that the title to the throne is reserved to blood relatives of the monarch up to the third degree of consanguinity as defined in Dutch law. This means that Prince Maurits and Prince Bernhard will no longer be in the line of succession to the throne. When the Prince of Orange becomes King, the line of succession will start with his children: the Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane. Next in line will be Prince Constantijn, then his children and finally Princess Margriet.
  3. "Love is love: Gay marriage possible for Dutch monarch". Reuters. 12 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  4. "The Princess of Orange". Dutch Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. Since the investiture of the King on 30 April 2013, Princess Catharina-Amalia has borne the title Princess of Orange. This title can only be held by the heir to the throne.
  5. "Princess Alexia". Dutch Royal Court. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. Princess Alexia is second in line of succession to the throne.
  6. "Princess Ariane". Dutch Royal Court. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. Princess Ariane is third in line of succession to the throne.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 "Princess Margriet". Dutch Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. ...the children of Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène: Anna (b. 2001), Lucas (b. 2002) and Felicia (b. 2005); the children of Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette: Isabella (b. 2002), Samuel (b. 2004) and Benjamin (b. 2008)...
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