Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001, but it has always been assumed that it could not apply to the crown as it would require an heir to the throne.
Now Acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte has made it clear that any King or Queen can also marry a person of the same sex.
The heir to the Dutch throne, Princess Amalia, will be 18 in December.
Mr Rutte said these were “theoretical situations” but that the next queen could marry a woman.
“Therefore, the cabinet does not see that an heir to the throne or the king must abdicate if he wishes to marry a same-sex partner,” he explained in a response to a written question to parliament on his own. left.
As the eldest child of King Willem-Alexander, Princess Amalia’s future has come under scrutiny, with a book over the summer raising the question of what might happen if she chooses to marry a same-sex partner.
The book did not speculate on the princess’ personal life, and there is no indication of an ongoing marriage. Amalia is expected to go to college next year and she has refused the royal income she is entitled to while a student.
The question prompted two MPs from Mr Rutte’s own liberal VVD party to ask whether current restrictions on royal marriage met with the “norms and values of 2021”.
Although the cabinet makes it clear that same-sex marriage is possible, what is not known is what would happen to the succession if there were children born from a same-sex royal marriage, for example via adoption or a sperm donor.
“It’s frightfully complicated,” Mr Rutte explained. The Dutch constitution states that the king or queen can only be succeeded by a “lawful descendant”.
The prime minister said that it was purely theoretical at this stage but it would be up to parliament, which has to give approval to a royal marriage. “Let’s cross that bridge if we come to it,” he told Dutch TV.