Since 1814, the Netherlands has been a constitutional monarchy. This means the position of the monarch is laid down in the Constitution.

The King is the head of state and together with the ministers he makes up the government. In a constitutional monarchy the head of state falls under ministerial responsibility. The Dutch parliament is known as the States General, as it is called in the Constitution. Under the Constitution the King is the president of the Council of State, a historical role which is purely symbolic in nature. The Vice-President is in charge of the day-to-day management of the Council. King Willem-Alexander has been the head of state of the Netherlands since 30 April 2013.