AMSTERDAM – In the country that first legalized gay marriage, the Dutch Crown Princess has the right to marry anyone of any gender without giving up her right to the throne, the Prime Minister said on Tuesday.
Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, 17, has not commented on this, little is known about her private life. The question arose after recently published books argued that the country’s rules preclude the possibility of a same-sex royal couple.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, however, that times have changed since one of his predecessors last raised the issue in 2000.
“The government assumes that the heir can also marry someone of the same sex,” wrote Rutte in a letter to parliament.
“The Cabinet therefore does not stipulate that an heir to the throne or the king should abdicate if he wants to marry a same-sex partner.”
In 2001 gay marriage was legalized in the Netherlands.
Rutte said that one question remained unsolved: How would a gay marriage affect the subsequent succession of the royal couple’s children. And it doesn’t make sense to decide that now, he said.
“It just depends very much on the facts and circumstances of the particular case, as you can see when you look back at how family law can change over time,” he wrote.
Unlike regular marriages, royal marriages require parliamentary approval. Members of the Dutch royal family have occasionally given up their place in the line of succession to marry someone without permission.