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What Are The Differences Between The British And Dutch Monarchy?

As HM The Queen of the Netherlands prepares to abdicate at the end of this month in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander to become King, we examine the differences (and similarities) between the British and Dutch Monarchy.

 British Monarchy  Dutch Monarchy
  • British Monarchs are ‘officially’ invested in an ancient ceremony called a Coronation.
  • Dutch Monarchs are invested in an investiture ceremony as the Dutch Monarchy is not closely associated with religion like the British Monarchy.
  •  From when the Succession to the Crown Act comes into force, only marrying without the consent of the Monarch if you’re in the first six in line to the throne will exclude on from the line of succession. Parliament nor the Monarch can remove a person from the line of succession per se.
  • A person who is or has become truly undesirable or unfit as monarch can be removed from the line of succession by an act of the States-General, upon suggestion of the reigning monarch.
  •  In Britain, the heir to the throne is often given the title of Prince of Wales.
  • In the Netherlands, the heir to the throne assumes the title of Prince or Princess of Orange, depending on gender.
  •  In Britain, abdication for the Monarch is considered very serious as the office of Sovereign is considered ‘for life’ and some even consider abdication a ‘dereliction of duty’. Especially when Edward VIII abdicated in a cloud of scandal in 1936 to marry a divorced lover.
  •  In the Netherlands, abdication is the norm for an elderly Monarch, it is considered perfectly honourable for a Sovereign to abdicate.
  •  The British Monarchy spans back over 1000 years in terms of its roots. There have been 40 Monarchs since William the Conqueror took the throne in 1066.
  • The [present] Dutch Monarchy has its roots in just under 200 years of history, with only six Monarchs in its history (to be 7 at the end of the month).
  •  In Britain, titles can only be held be men suo jure (with very few exceptions). As such, a female heir to the throne cannot hold the title of Princess of Wales or Duchess of Cornwall in her own right. (This may change in the succession to the crown bill.)
  •  Titles in the Netherlands can be held by any gender suo jure – the heir to the throne is automatically accorded the title of Prince or Princess of Orange.
  • JK

    Wrong coat of arms for the Kingdom of the Netherlands!

  • Paul

    I am missing the information that the connection between the house of Oranje-Nassau (the latter in Dutch) and the Netherlands goes much further back in time than the connection between the (German) house of Windsor and Great-Brittain (or UK or even England). This especially because of the connection to William and Mary of whom William was in the end foremost and all the stadhouder of the Dutch republic…..

    • Hendrik

      What connection? Every Dutch is as much related to Willem van Oranje as this king to be. And don’t forget Willem 1 crowned himself king in 1815 after arriving penny-less in Scheveningen 2 years earlier.

      • Paul

        Let me guess: republican?

  • GCM

    This is the second Dutch monarchy. The first one ended in 1581. As the States-General no longer recognized King Philip II as their lawful ruler.

  • Haagse Anne

    7 Kings in 200 years, but you forget the Kings and other rulers before them; the Spanish Kings, the Dukes of Burgundy, the Dukes of Brabant, the Dukes of Gelre, the Counts of Holland.
    This article makes it seem like there was nothing prior to 1813, which was of course not true. Not only did the aforementioned rulers shaped the country, the period of the Dutch Republic made the country the most powerful nation in the world with a navy that was superior to the English navy.

  • Alex

    There’s been considerably more than 40 British monarchs, if you consider that the British Monarchy had two origins – one English, the other Scottish.

    Scotland has had 41 monarchs of it’s own, starting with Kenneth MacAlpin and ending with Mary I (Mary Queen of Scots). England has had 46 monarchs of it’s own, starting with Æthelstan and ending with Elizabeth I. We have shared 7 monarchs as seperate Kingdoms, starting with James I & VI, and ending with Anne, and a further 11 as a united kingdom. So in total that is 105 British monarchs.

    You can’t only count the English ones, Elizabeth II’s claim to the throne goes in both directions. The total goes considerably above 105, if you consider that England’s Royal Family decends from the royal family of Wessex.

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