Royal House and royal family

In the Netherlands a distinction is made between the Royal House and the royal family. The Membership of the Royal House Act determines who is a member of the Royal House.

Membership of the Royal House

The Membership of the Royal House Act determines who is a member of the Royal House, namely:

  1. the monarch;
  2. the former monarch;
  3. legitimate descendants of King Willem I who are related to the monarch in the first or second degree of consanguinity and are eligible for succession to the throne;
  4. the spouses of the above;
  5. members of the royal family who are members of the Royal House on the basis of the transitional arrangement provided for by the Membership of the Royal House Act.

Since 2002, the Membership of the Royal House Act has provided that the Royal House comprises the members of the royal family who are related to the monarch in the first or second degree of consanguinity and are eligible for succession to the throne. A monarch who has relinquished the throne is likewise a member of the Royal House, as are the spouses, widows and widowers of the members referred to above. Princess Margriet and her husband, Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, retain their membership of the Royal House under the rules of the former Act (the third degree of consanguinity).

Current members of the Royal House

The Royal House currently has 10 members:

 

Since King Willem-Alexander ascended the throne, Prince Maurits, Prince Bernhard and their wives and the children of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien are no longer members of the Royal House. The three children of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien are however still in line of succession as long as King Willem-Alexander is on the throne.

Members of the Royal House cease to be members if they:

  • lose their Dutch nationality;
  • are deprived of membership by royal decree;
  • marry without the consent of Parliament.

Princess Irene, Princess Christina, Prince Friso, Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Prince Floris married without Parliament’s consent and hence lost their membership of the Royal House.

Members of the royal family

The royal family consists of the members of the Royal House, plus: Princess Mabel, the three children of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, Prince Maurits, Princess Marilène, Prince Bernhard, Princess Annette, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, Princess Anita, Prince Floris, Princess Aimée, Princess Irene and Princess Christina, their children, daughters- and sons-in-law, and grandchildren.