The Netherlands was the world’s first country to legalise gay marriage in 2001, and now it is finally extending that right to the royal family.
The rules for members of the Dutch Royal family are changing to be more inclusive of possible LGBTQ heirs to the throne.
In a written answer to questions from parliamentarians, Prime Minister Mark Rutte wrote on Tuesday that “the Cabinet does not see that an heir or the King would have to abdicate the throne if he/she wished to marry a person of the same sex.”
The questions arose following the publication of a book over the summer on the heir to the throne, “Amalia, Duty Calls”.
The book did not speculate over the princess’s personal life, and there is no indication of any wedding in the pipeline.
Amalia has not made any comments on the matter, and little is known of her personal life.
Princess Amalia is the eldest child of King Willem-Alexander and will turn 18 on December 7. She graduated high school in June and announced she plans to take a gap year before attending university.
She has also turned down the €1.6 million annual allowance she was entitled to upon reaching 18, stating in a letter to Rutte earlier this year that she finds it “uncomfortable (to receive the money) as long as I do not do anything for it in return, and while other students have a much tougher time of it, particularly in this period of coronavirus.”
In his letter to parliamentarians, Rutte did not answer definitively on the question of succession in the case of a same-sex marriage on whether a child born following a sperm donation or via a surrogate mother can be named “legitimate heir.”
“It’s frightfully complicated,” Mr Rutte explained. The Dutch constitution states that the king or queen can only be succeeded by a “lawful descendant”.
The prime minister said that it was purely theoretical at this stage but it would be up to parliament, which has to give approval to a royal marriage. “Let’s cross that bridge if we come to it,” he told Dutch TV.
Modern family law offers much scope for civil life to establish or have established family law relationships,” Rutte wrote.
Royal marriages do need the approval of parliament, however, and members of the royal house have on occasion given up their place in the line of succession, either to marry someone without permission or because they seemed unlikely to obtain it.
Heirs to thrones in other countries have often hidden their sexuality in fear of being dethroned and disowned, but few have indeed come out.
Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, was the first royal in British history to marry a partner of the same-sex in 2018. Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil was the first openly gay Indian royal when he came out in 2006, according to NBC News.