Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands will receive a letter this week from the Dutch government encouraging her into military service.
The letter, announced by Ank Bijleveld, the Minister of Defence, was sent to 212,000 young people who were born in 2003 and are on the cusp of adulthood and the age that they can join the Dutch military.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, Bijleveld said: “Girls and boys in this country have equal rights and equal obligations,” and that he hopes many young women will consider careers in the military once they are of age.
“…We don’t know what may happen in future and if the safety of the country is at stake it may be necessary for all boys and girls to call up,” she continued.
In 2018, the Netherlands voted to make compulsory military service available to young women as well as to young men. The letter has stated, since 1997, that conscription within the country still exists however there is no current need to report to duty as there are no active military campaigns for them to train for.
A representative for the government said about Princess Catharina-Amalia, who turns 17 in December: “It is indeed the correct that Princess Amalia, like all Dutch young people who turn 17 in 2020, will receive this letter. At the moment, however, we cannot anticipate the way in which Princess Amalia will want to get to know Defense in view of her future.”
The Netherlands Times reports that only 10 per cent of the Dutch military is composed of women.
If Princess Catharina-Amalia decided to enter military service, she would follow in the footsteps of Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, who is currently studying at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels as part of her training to one day become the first queen regnant of Belgium.