In theory, if an heir to the throne of the Netherlands wants to be head of state, he must marry a partner who is of the opposite sex, but the social debate raised a key question: What happens if, in the 21st century, Princess Amalia do you want to marry a woman? She will be accepted as queen , the Government guarantees.
The question was posed by a deputy from the Prime Minister’s own Liberal Party (VVD), Mark Rutte, who urged to clarify whether Princess Amalia would have to renounce the throne if she wanted to marry someone of the same sex , something that the head of government he settled saying that “it will not be an obstacle” for the cabinet, whoever is the heir to the throne.
“The Government believes that the heir can also marry a person of the same sex and does not see a legal obstacle to allow the marriage of an heir with a person of the same sex. Therefore, the cabinet does not consider that an heir to the throne or the king should abdicate if he wishes to marry a same-sex couple, ”Rutte explained.
The problem, which did not prevent an heir from falling in love with someone of the same sex, but could marry that person with the essential official consent of the Executive and the Legislature, raises questions about how to deal with the succession to the later throne : Rutte only says that It must be clear who the children are in a marriage between two people of the same sex and agreements must be made in this regard if necessary.
It is not clear whether children adopted or those conceived , for example, through a sperm donor or surrogacy will also be eligible for the throne, something that will have to be raised with the governing cabinet at the time that scenario actually occurs. .
Doubts with the Constitution
Although the Dutch Constitution is based on the idea of hereditary succession, the way modern family law is organized today does not automatically assume as “children” only those who are biologically descended from the parents who conceive them.
“The purpose of the constitutional provisions on succession is to determine on objective and unequivocal grounds to whom the monarchy will pass and thus achieve the politically desired certainty regarding the succession,” added the acting prime minister.
A premature debate
However, he added, it is inevitable that there is “fundamentally a tension with the system of succession” contained in the Dutch Constitution, which precisely aims to determine “on objective and unequivocal bases” who will be the king or queen of the Netherlands, and who will be. or it succeeds it on the throne, that is, it refers to legal descendants and blood kinship.
When Princess Amalia, who is still 17 years old and there is no indication even that she wants to marry anyone anytime soon , decides to marry, the Government and the two houses in the Netherlands will have to consider the succession “in due course” in case there are children in the family of the heir who are not legal descendants of the same.
In case of debate in the future to reach the necessary consent on the heirs to the throne, the two houses “may, if necessary, consider the position of the law of paternity of children born of marriage” that is relevant and applicable in that moment.
“ It is not appropriate now to anticipate such a weighting with respect to the succession (…). This depends too much on the facts and circumstances of the specific case, which, as can also be seen with regard to family law, can change over time, ”Rutte concluded.
Amalia herself has never publicly spoken about her sexuality, but the reason for the parliamentary questions to Rutte originated after the publication last month of the book “Amalia, duty calls you”, by the lawyer Peter Rehwinkel, in which she analyzed this hypothesis and concluded that, based on current norms, if Amalia wanted to marry a woman, she must renounce the throne.
In 2001, the then Secretary of State for Justice, Job Cohen, reasoned that the monarchy is a hereditary institution and because two women or two men cannot have biological children from their own marriage, that hereditary character of royalty would be lost. but the homosexuality scenario was never raised since then, so that statement was still valid.