Dutch Princess Katarina Amalia greets citizens on ‘King’s Day’ on April 27, 2019 (local time). Amersport | Reuters Yonhap News
In the Netherlands, where same-sex marriage was legalized for the first time, kings and their heirs are allowed to marry while maintaining their royal seat.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a written response to a parliamentary inquiry on the 12th (local time) that “all heirs or kings have the right to marry, regardless of gender, without relinquishing the right to the throne.” “It’s a theoretical situation, but the next queen can marry a woman,” he said. “The times have changed.”
The Netherlands legalized same-sex marriage in 2001, but royal marriages were an exception. According to the Dutch constitution, members of the royal family must obtain the consent of the parliament to marry after announcing their engagement. Failure to obtain parliamentary approval will result in loss of membership in the royal family and the right to heir to the throne. As a result, some members gave up on their own succession in order to marry the one they wanted.
The issue of same-sex marriage within the royal family has recently come to the fore with the publication of books pointing out how to rule out the possibility of same-sex couples in the royal family. The ruling center-right Liberal Democratic People’s Party (VVD) requested the Prime Minister to clarify the government’s position on this, and Prime Minister Rutte expressed his position. The heir to the Dutch throne, Princess Katarina Amalia, 17, has not commented on the matter so far.
However, the Dutch constitution states that only ‘legal descendants’ can inherit the throne, so it is unclear whether children of same-sex couples born through adoption or sperm donation will succeed to the throne. “It’s a very complex matter,” Rutte said, adding that “it is up to Parliament to approve royal marriages.” However, he added, “As you can see from the changes in family law,[the law]is very dependent on the specific case and the circumstances surrounding it.”
Members of the royal family in each country often hide their gender identity and sexual orientation. Many took their secrets to their graves and those who disclosed them were evicted, the Washington Post reported.
Indian prince Manbendra Singh Gohil, for example, was stripped of his inheritance for a period of time after coming out in 2006, and his mother advertised in newspapers to isolate him. The death threats continued, including protests by the residents of their hometowns. The Indian law that made homosexuality a criminal act was abolished in 2018, and he currently runs a non-profit organization ‘Raksha Trust’ and is active as a LGBT rights activist.
Luisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo, Duchess of Spain, married a woman just before her death in 2008, listing the new spouse in her will and excluding her children from the list of heirs. At the time, local media reported that “this marriage is the Duchess’s last challenge.”