The Netherlands is a democracy, generally led by political parties, but it is also a monarchy. The Dutch Royal Family fulfils certain ceremonial functions, and the King still has some political influence as well.
The Dutch monarchy
The Dutch monarchy dates back to 1896, when Louie Napoleon was appointed King of Holland by Napoleon Bonaparte. Before then, the Netherlands was a vassal state of the First French Empire, and a republic before that.
In the middle ages, the Netherlands was a set of divided monarchies with various dukedoms and counties.
In 1813, Willem Frederik from the House of Orange-Nassau accepted the title of sovereign ruler of the United Netherlands. This was achieved with the help of the British, in order to gain independence from France. The southern regions of the Netherlands were included in the nation.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands currently also includes Aruba, Curacao and Saint Martin.
The succession of Kings & Queens
After King William I, II and III, the Netherlands saw its first queen, Queen Wilhelmina, due to lack of a male heir in the House of Orange. She was followed by Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix, before reaching the current King Willem-Alexander from 2013 onward.
Next in line for the throne is King Willem Alexander’s oldest daughter, Princess of Orange Catharina-Amalia.
Members of the Dutch Royal Household
The current members of the Dutch Royal Household are:
- King Willem Alexander
- Queen Maxima
- Princess Beatrix
- The King and Queen’s daughters:
- Catharina-Amalia (Princess of Orange)
- Prince Constantijn
- Princess Laurentien
- Princess Margriet
- Prof. mr. Pieter van Vollenhoven
Rest of the Dutch Royal Family
The rest of the Royal Family, though not included as members of the Royal Household, are:
- Princess Mabel
- Prince Maurits
- Princess Marilène
- Prince Bernhard
- Princess Annette
- Prince Pieter-Christiaan
- Princess Anita
- Prince Floris
- Princess Aimée
- Princess Irene
- Princess Christina
and their children and grandchildren.