On Tuesday, Princess Amalia – eldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and next in line for the throne – celebrated her 18th birthday. What does this mean for her royal duties and the rest of the Dutch royal family?
Princess Amalia celebrates 18th birthday
On December 7, Amalia celebrated her 18th birthday. Few details have been provided about the day’s celebrations, but the big day has been commemorated by the recent publication of the book Amalia by Dutch comedian Claudia de Breij, who was allowed to interview the princess. The royal family also released new photos of Amalia in honour of the occasion.
While this technically means that Amalia is old enough to become queen should something happen to her father, Amalia has said she hopes her mother, Queen Máxima, would assume the role of Queen Regent for a few years before she would eventually take over the throne. Royal experts have noted, however, that this might be tricky in practice, as now that Amalia is of age her mother would not be able to take on the official title.
Her age also means Amalia is now entitled to receive compensation from the state, set at 1,6 million euros per year – 296,000 euros of which is her salary, while 1,338,000 euros is categorised as compensation for “personnel and material support.” Amalia has said she will forego accepting this compensation until she takes over more official duties.
King Willem-Alexander welcomes daughter to the Council of State
Amalia now holds a seat on the Council of State (RvS) and on Wednesday afternoon, was officially introduced to the Council by her father. The RvS is an advisory board to the Dutch government and parliament, and King Willem-Alexander currently holds the position of chairman.
“We are proud to accompany her in her entry into this Council, which fulfils an important function in this democratic constitutional state,” King Willem-Alexander said. Amalia’s seat on the council remains ceremonial, as she has no voting rights, but she is now able to attend meetings every Wednesday – although the princess has said will not be in attendance until after she has completed her gap year and her university studies.
In a short speech, Princess Amalia said she still had a lot to learn: “I realise how little I know about the tasks of the government, the assessment of laws, the functioning of the administration and the function of the judge…I will regard myself as [the Council’s] student. I will try to be a good student, conscious of my responsibility.”
Thumb: ©RVD – Frank Ruiter via koninklijkhuis.nl.