Netherlands: Royals can marry same-sex partner and keep right to throne, prime minister says

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that royals in the Netherlands can marry a person of the same sex without having to give up their right to the throne.

Recently published books had argued the Netherlands‘ rules do not allow for a same-sex royal couple.

However, in a letter to parliament Prime Minister Mark Rutte said times have changed since one of his predecessors last addressed the question in the year 2000.

“The government believes that the heir can also marry a person of the same sex,” he said.

“The cabinet therefore does not see that an heir to the throne or the king should abdicate if he/she would like to marry a partner of the same sex.”

This means Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, 17, who has not publicly commented on the matter, could marry a person of the same sex without having to give up her right to the throne, the prime minister said.

The Netherlands legalised gay marriage in 2001.

Mr Rutte said the question of how a gay marriage would affect later succession of the royal couple’s children remained.

But he said it did not make sense to try to decide the answer now.

“It’s just very dependent on the facts and circumstances of the specific case, as you can see by looking back at how family law can change over time,” he wrote.

Royal marriages in the Netherlands require the approval of parliament, unlike normal marriages.

In the past, members of the Dutch royal house have given up their place in the line of succession to marry someone without parliament’s permission.

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