Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001, but the rules have not applied to the Dutch royal family until now. Earlier this month, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a letter to the government put to bed the old laws that excluded the possibility of same-sex couples on the throne.

“The government believes that the heir can also marry a person of the same sex. Therefore the cabinet does not see that an heir to the throne or the king should abdicate if he or she would like to marry a partner of the same sex,” he explained, according to The Guardian.

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The current King Willem-Alexander’s oldest child, Crown Princess Amalia is turning 18 in December and who she decides to marry is therefore on everyone’s lips. Although the public does not know much about the to-be queen’s personal life, the Prime Minister deemed it relevant to discuss whether or not the current limitations on royal marriage met the norms and values of 2021.

Royal Marriages Need Parliament’s Approval

Though optimistic about a royal same-sex marriage, the Dutch constitution states that the king or queen in power can only be “succeeded by a lawful descendant”, leaving children born from adoption or sperm donation in jeporday. Rutte described the scenarios as “frightfully complicated” and added “let’s cross that bridge if we come to it” on Dutch TV, according to BBC.

All royal marriages in the Netherlands need the approval of Parliament and if rejected, the members of the royal family would have to give up their place in the line of succession in order to go ahead with the marriage.

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Although no official statements have been given about same-sex couples being able to inherit the throne in other kingdoms, several European countries have expressed optimism about the matter.

Royal Families In Europe Address Same-Sex Marriages

Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten was the first British royal to have a same-sex wedding when her married his partner James Coyle.

The British royal family was the first of its kind to have a same-sex wedding when Lord Ivar Mountbatten married his partner in 2018. The year after, Prince William stated that he would “fully support” his children if they were to be gay. 

“I think, you really don’t start thinking about that until you are a parent, and I think — obviously absolutely fine by me” he told the BBC.

Whether that means the right to inherit the throne or not remains uncertain. 

Like the Netherlands, royal marriages in Denmark also need the green light from the Parliament to become reality. Followingthe Dutch news, Denmark is in the process of addressing whether or not the same attitude toward a same-sex couple on the throne would apply.

“In Denmark, it is by law legal for same-sex couples to get married and it is thereby highly unlikely that the Parliament would reject it”, predicted Jørgen Albæk Jensen, expert in state law at Aarhus University, to TV2

 

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