Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions about the abdication and investiture
Is there a public information number?
If you have any questions, you can call the Government Information Line on 1400 or visit www.rijksoverheid.nl/contact (in Dutch only).
If calling from abroad, you can contact the Government Information Line on +31 77 465 6767.
Will the Prince of Orange become King
Who decided this?
When will the Prince of Orange become King?
As soon as the instrument of abdication has been signed.
Will Princess Máxima become Queen?
Yes. As the King's wife, Princess Máxima will be referred to as the Queen. Her official title will be Queen Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau.
Is that because the wife of a Dutch King always becomes
Yes. This is a tradition in the Netherlands. The wives of Kings Willem I, Willem II and Willem III were Queen Wilhelmina, Queen Anna Paulowna, Queen Sophie and Queen Emma.This is not a constitutional matter and does not, therefore, require any kind of legislation. It is simply a tradition in line with international custom.
Will Queen Máxima have the same powers as her mother-in-law?
No. The title of Queen does not mean she will have the powers and responsibilities of the monarch. Queen Beatrix is the head of state and therefore the monarch under constitutional law. Princess Máxima will be not the head of state but the wife of the head of state.
Will the Queen automatically become the monarch on the early death of the King?
No. If the King should die or is unable to discharge his duties while the heir to the throne is still a minor, Queen Máxima will not become the monarch. This title will pass to the heir apparent to the throne, Princess Catharina-Amalia. During the minority of the heir apparent, Parliament will appoint a regent in accordance with the Constitution. Until a regent is appointed, the Council of State will temporarily assume the royal prerogative.
And what about guardianship?
If at the time the heir apparent is still a minor, Parliament will regulate the guardianship of and parental responsibility for the heir and supervision thereof (by, for example, a specially appointed Council of Guardians), pursuant to article 34 of the Constitution.
Will Princess Catharina-Amalia become the Princess of Orange?
Yes. In accordance with section 7 of the Membership of the Royal House Act she will become the Princess of Orange immediately after the abdication.
When will Princess Catharina-Amalia become the Princess of Orange?
Immediately after the abdication.
What title will Queen Beatrix assume after her abdication?
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
How does Queen Beatrix wish to be referred to after her abdication?
How will she be addressed after the abdication?
Your Royal Highness.
How should we address the new King and Queen?
The King and Queen will be addressed as Your Majesty. The King will be referred to as His Majesty the King and the Queen as Her Majesty the Queen.
What will their official titles be?
His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau.
Her Majesty Queen Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau.
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
N.B. The King's full official titles are King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg, Count of Katzenelnbogen, Vianden, Diez, Spiegelberg, Buren, Leerdam and Culemborg, Marquis of Veere and Vlissingen, Baron of Breda, Diest, Beilstein, the town of Grave and the lands of Cuyk, IJsselstein, Cranendonk, Eindhoven and Liesveld, Hereditary Lord and Seigneur of Ameland, Lord of Borculo, Bredevoort, Lichtenvoorde, 't Loo, Geertruidenberg, Klundert, Zevenbergen, Hoge and Lage Zwaluwe, Naaldwijk, Polanen, St Maartensdijk, Soest, Baarn and Ter Eem, Willemstad, Steenbergen, Montfort, St Vith, Bütgenbach and Dasburg, Viscount of Antwerp.
What will happen to the titles of the other members of the Royal Family?
The titles and names of the other members of the Royal Family will not change when His Majesty the King succeeds his mother. What will change, however, is the membership of the Royal House under the Membership of the Royal House Act.
Who will be members of the Royal House after the abdication?
- The King and Queen and their children
- Princess Beatrix
- Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien
- Princess Margriet and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven.
Who will no longer be members of the Royal House after the abdication?
- Prince Maurits, Prince Bernhard and their wives
- The children of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien.
What will the line of succession to the throne be after the abdication?
- The children of King Willem-Alexander
- Prince Constantijn and his children
- Princess Margriet
What standard will King Willem-Alexander fly?
From his investiture onwards, King Willem-Alexander will fly the royal standard. The royal standard will fly above the palaces where the monarch resides and works and above his residence De Eikenhorst in Wassenaar when he is in the country. Queen Wilhelmina adopted this standard in 1908, and it was also flown by Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix.
What coat of arms will King Willem-Alexander use?
From his investiture onwards, the King will use the royal coat of arms for letterheads and suchlike. This coat of arms is the same as that currently used by Queen Beatrix, except that the crown surmounting it will be replaced by a helmet. The royal coat of arms is the same as the coat of arms of the Kingdom, with the addition of the helmet and the royal mantle.
After her abdication the Queen will adopt her previous coat of arms, the same one used by her sisters.
Will a National Investiture Committee be appointed? What will its tasks be?
Yes. At the Prime Minister's proposal, the Cabinet has approved the appointment of a National Investiture Committee. Its task will be to coordinate certain festivities surrounding the investiture. It will also oversee initiatives for expressions of gratitude to Queen Beatrix and tributes to the new King and Queen and ensure they run smoothly. The Committee will not be responsible for organising the actual abdication and investiture. Neither will it be involved in the festivities organised locally around the country on the day of the investiture. The new royal couple have expressed their wish for the investiture to be an occasion on which all the people of the Netherlands can come together to celebrate. The Committee will help make this possible.
Who will chair the Committee?
Dr Hans Wijers will chair the National Investiture Committee.
Who will the members of the Committee be?
The members will be announced shortly. Details of the Committee's work will be published soon on the website www.koninklijkhuis.nl.
Will I be able to thank Queen Beatrix and congratulate the new King and Queen? If so, how?
You will be able to offer your thanks and congratulations via the website www.koninklijkhuis.nl.
Will there be a gift from the nation?
No. Given the current financial situation, the Queen does not consider a gift from the nation appropriate, a view shared by the Prince and Princess. Their Royal Highnesses have also said they find widespread enthusiastic participation in the various celebrations more important than gifts.
Future residence and duties
Will all events be cancelled in the period between the
announcement and the investiture?
No; we will make announcements shortly about which events will be cancelled and which will proceed as planned.
And will events scheduled for the period after the
investiture proceed as planned?
We will make announcements shortly about which events will be cancelled and which will proceed as planned.
Will the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima take the
Queen's place in upcoming events and state visits?
We will make announcements shortly about the occasions on which the Prince and Princess will or will not take the Queen's place.
Will Princess Beatrix, as the former head of state,
retain her allowance?
No, as she will no longer be head of state. However, as the former head of state she will receive a lower allowance, as stipulated in the Royal House Finances Act.
Will the Prince of Orange continue to be a member of the
Advisory Division of the Council of State?
Under the Constitution, the Prince will be President of the Council of State from the moment of the Queen's abdication.
Council of State Act
1. The Council of State consists, besides the King as President, of a Vice-President and not more than ten members.
2. The heir to the Throne is entitled by law to a seat on the Council upon attaining the age of eighteen.
3. Other members of the Royal House may be granted a seat on the Council by Royal Decree once they have attained the age of majority.
4. The members of the Royal House who have a seat on the Council may take part in the deliberations, but must abstain from voting.
1. The Council has an Advisory Division.
2. The Advisory Division consists of:
a. the Vice-President, and
b. the members, State Councillors and Extraordinary Councillors who have been appointed to the Advisory Division.
3. The members of the Royal House referred to in section 1, subsections 2 and 3 sit in the Advisory Division. Section 1, subsection 4 appliesmutatis mutandis.
4. The Vice-President chairs the Advisory Division. Section 7 appliesmutatis mutandis.
Will Princess Máxima continue to be a member of the
Advisory Division of the Council of State?
Where will Princess Beatrix live?
After the abdication, at a time to be determined later, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands will take up residence at Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche.
Will the new King and Queen continue to live at
Eikenhorst in Wassenaar?
Following the investiture, the family of His Majesty the King will initially continue to live at Eikenhorst in Wassenaar. At an appropriate moment they will move to Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague. In the interim Huis ten Bosch Palace will be used for official receptions and meetings. Noordeinde Palace will continue to be used as the monarch's place of work.
Will the children continue to attend the same
Where will Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien
Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien will continue to live in Brussels with their family, and will continue their current professional activities unchanged.
Will Prince Constantijn become the 'reserve
No. After the abdication and investiture Princess Catharina-Amalia will be the heir to the throne. For the most part there will be no other changes. There is no such position as 'reserve King' in constitutional law. All the members of the Royal House will at the King's request support him as head of the Royal House in whatever way they can.
What role will Princess Margriet and Professor Pieter
van Vollenhoven play in the new situation?
There will be no change in the activities of Princess Margriet and Professor Van Vollenhoven. All the members of the Royal House will at the King's request support him as head of the Royal House in whatever way they can.
Will any members of the Royal House live at Soestdijk
Palace? What will it now be used for?
Soestdijk Palace is the property of the state. The Government Buildings Agency is still considering possible uses for it. Its use as a residence is not an option.
Will Noordeinde Palace continue to be used as the
monarch's place of work and Het Loo Palace as a
What will the head of state do?
The head of state performs the tasks laid down in the Constitution as well as other duties normally performed by the monarch. In some cases the King may be accompanied by Queen Máxima. Specific examples include:
- administering the oath of office;
- representing the Netherlands abroad on state and official visits;
- delivering the Speech from the Throne and signing Acts of Parliament and other documents;
- holding discussions with the Prime Minister and other members of the government.
As soon as possible the new monarch and his Queen will travel through the country, visiting all the Dutch provinces. Within a year of the investiture, they will visit the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. They will also continue with activities such as working visits.
What will the new Queen do?
As she explained in an interview with the Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation on the occasion of her 40th birthday, 'For me not much will change. I will continue to support my husband once he's King, as I do now. But I won't be the head of state. So I'll keep doing what I've been doing as Princess: bringing people together, being a public face for the Netherlands, and encouraging people to do their best for a better future. That's what I've been doing and that's what I'll continue to do.'
In principle, Princess Máxima will retain her honorary and other posts once she becomes Queen.
What will happen in regard to official positions and
honorary posts and the patronage of organisations?
In preparation for his accession to the throne, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange is resigning from his official positions, with due regard for the terms of office and procedures of the organisations concerned. In the year ahead Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince of Orange will decide as to the continuation of their honorary posts and their patronage of organisations. Further announcements will be made on this subject in due course. In principle Princess Máxima will continue, as Queen, to hold her current honorary and other posts.
The Prince has asked the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to immediately relieve him of his duties as a Dutch IOC member. Under the Olympic Charter, this means that the Prince's resignation must be approved at the IOC's next session in Buenos Aires in September 2013 and will take effect at the end of 2013.
He will relinquish the Chairmanship of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) in consultation with the Secretary-General. He will also be resigning as Chairperson of the Water Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment.
Will the new King and Queen be making a tour of the
As soon as possible the new monarch and his Queen will travel through the country, visiting all the Dutch provinces. Within a year of the investiture, they will visit the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. More information on this subject will be made known as soon as it is available.
What will the new Royal Household look
When a new monarch ascends the throne, it is customary for certain Officers of the Royal Household to resign their posts, since the new monarch has a constitutional right to organise his own Household, taking due account of the public interest (article 41 of the Constitution).The Officers in question include the Grand Master of the Royal Household, the Chief of the Military Household, the Principal Secretary, the Treasurer, the Master of Ceremonies, the Marshal of the Court, the Comptroller of the Royal Palaces, the Crown Equerry, the Director of the Royal Archives and the Director of Human Resources. More information on this subject will be made known as soon as it is available.
Will the Household be reorganised in any other
The Royal Household works on the basis of 'continuity where possible, change when necessary'. Where changes have been made in the past, this has been done gradually, and such changes cannot be ruled out in the future. That is in the nature of the Royal Household as a professional organisation.
Will a coordinating group be established to organise the
abdication and investiture?
In response to the announcement by Her Majesty the Queen of her abdication on 30 April 2013, the Cabinet has established a Ministerial Committee on the Abdication and Investiture (MCT), chaired by the Prime Minister. The MCT will coordinate the decisions needed in connection with these events.
The MCT's work will be prepared by a Civil Service Coordinating Committee on the Abdication and Investiture (CCT), which will supervise working groups including one on communications and one on security.
What will the date be of Queen's Day in the future and
what will it be like?
From 2014 onwards, King's Day will be celebrated on 27 April, the birthday of the Prince of Orange and future King Willem-Alexander. In 2014 it will be celebrated by the Royal Family in Amstelveen and De Rijp. These municipalities will be able to use the programme that has already been developed for the planned celebration of Queen's Day on 30 April this year, which will assume a different character because of the abdication and investiture.
When will the new King and Queen visit Aruba, Curaçao,
St Maarten and the public bodies Bonaire, St Eustatius and
Within a year of the investiture, the new monarch and his Queen will visit the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. More information on this subject will be made known as soon as it is available.
Abdication and investiture
When and where will the abdication and investiture take
The Cabinet has decided that the Queen's abdication will take place on 30 April 2013 at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The investiture will follow in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.
Why is it called an investiture and not a
In the Netherlands the monarch is not crowned, which is why the word 'coronation' is not used in the Constitution.
Do investitures always take place in
The investiture's location in Amsterdam is laid down in the Dutch Constitution. Ever since King Willem II ascended the throne, the investiture has been held in Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk, though prior to the secession of present-day Belgium from the Netherlands it also took place in Brussels. The investiture of Willem I took place in Amsterdam in 1814 and in Brussels in 1815.
Where in Amsterdam and why?
The Nieuwe Kerk. Holding the investiture in the Nieuwe Kerk is not required by law, but is the result of historical and practical considerations.
What does the instrument of abdication
The full texts of the instruments of abdication of 1948 and 1980 are available on the website of the Royal House. The new instrument of abdication will be made available on the site after it has been signed.
Will family and friends be present at the signing of the
instrument of abdication at the Royal Palace?
The abdication is a constitutional procedure and so in principle no friends or family are invited to be present. An exception is made for certain members of the Royal Family. In 1980, for example, the children of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard were present with their spouses, and the children of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus also attended.
Will the former Queen and the new King address the
public from the balcony of the Palace?
Yes, both will give a short address.
Who else will appear on the balcony?
At first, the former Queen and the new King and Queen will be the only ones to appear on the balcony. After the former Queen's departure, the new King and Queen will then reappear on the balcony accompanied by their three daughters.
Who is invited to the investiture?
The investiture ceremony takes the form of a joint session of the two Houses of the States General, similar to the state opening of Parliament in the Hall of Knights in The Hague, at which the monarch delivers the Speech from the Throne. Under the Constitution, the President of the Senate presides over the joint session and thus acts as the host.
Is there an official guest list for the
The official list of invitees will be announced shortly before the investiture.
Will Princess Máxima's father also be present at the
investiture in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam?
Princess Máxima has informed the Prime Minister that her family will not be present on 30 April 2013.
What will the investiture cost? Who will pay for it and
The costs of the investiture will be paid from the existing budgets of the relevant ministries, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The exact sum involved has not yet been confirmed. The Prime Minister is aiming to make the costs of the investiture transparent, the watchwords being frugal and festive, without losing sight of tradition. The Royal House Finances Act will also come into play.
Will foreign heads of state be attending the
Attending foreign dignitaries will be limited to members of other Royal Houses who are not reigning heads of state, representatives of foreign governments and ambassadors.
Will the King wear the royal mantle and military
uniform? What will his wife wear?
The King will wear a tail coat with white tie under the royal mantle. His wife will wear a long evening dress.
How old is the royal mantle and who has worn it in the
Originally known as the 'King's mantle', it has been in use since 1815. Since it is not part of the regalia, the mantle's use is not laid down in law.
A different mantle has been used only once, at the investiture of Willem I as 'Sovereign Prince'. By the time of his investiture as King in 1815, however, that mantle had been replaced by the one used today.
There is a difference in how the royal mantle has been worn in the past by Kings and Queens. Queens wore the mantle draped over both shoulders over a long dress, while Kings wore it suspended off the shoulders, over either a tailcoat embroidered in silver, white breeches and black boots (in Willem I's case) or military uniform (Willem II wore the uniform of the volunteer army of the Ten Days' Campaign while Willem III wore his admiral's uniform). All wore the insignia of various orders (Willem I on the mantle, Willem I and Willem II on their uniforms).
- the crown, symbolising sovereignty and dignity;
- the sceptre, symbolising authority;
- the orb, symbolising the territory of the Kingdom;
- the sword of state, symbolising power;
- and the standard of the Kingdom, bearing the coat of arms of the Netherlands.
What do the regalia represent?
The regalia (or state insignia) are symbols of royal dignity and as such are inextricably linked to the monarchy. The Netherlands' regalia comprise the crown, the orb, the sceptre, the sword of state and the standard of the Kingdom. At the investiture, the crown, sceptre and orb will be placed (on cushions) on the credence table, together with a copy of the Constitution which to date has always been specially bound for the occasion. The sword of state and the standard of the kingdom are carried by senior military officers (in 1980 the sword was carried by the Chief of the Defence Staff and the standard by the Commander of the Royal Military and Border Police (Koninklijke Marechaussee)). These roles are not to be confused with heraldic ones like the King of Arms and heralds of arms. The sword and standard may be carried in the procession from the Royal Palace to the Nieuwe Kerk. Other monarchies also have a crown, sceptre, sword and orb as symbols of royal dignity. The present regalia (which are made mainly of gilded silver) have been in use since 1840.
Can photos or other images of members of the Royal House
be printed on household objects (like commemorative plates and
It is not necessary to seek advance permission to use images or photos on items intended for public distribution. However, the RVD reserves the right to take action at a later stage if the use of the image or photo or the manner in which it is made public is incompatible with royal dignity or is deemed to have a promotional purpose or its use is commercial or ideological in nature.
What will be done with the royal yacht the Groene
The Groene Draeck will continue to be used by Princess Beatrix. The cost of major maintenance will be paid by the Princess. The Ministry of Defence will take care of the yacht's regular maintenance.
What will the flag rules be on the day of the abdication
Under the general flag rules, special instructions apply on this day: all central government buildings will fly the Dutch flag with an orange pennon, and local authorities, businesses and the general public will be asked to follow suit.
Will the day of the abdication and investiture be a
The day of the abdication and investiture falls on 30 April, which at present is designated Queen's Day. Everyone has the day off on Queen's Day, at least in so far as this is laid down in collective labour agreements, regulations applicable to civil servants and other arrangements between employers and employees.
Will any pardons be granted on the day?
No. This is not a tradition associated with the abdication and investiture of heads of state.
Will there be a commemorative coin and postage stamp
marking the abdication and investiture?
Yes. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.
Will the King be featured on new euro
Yes. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.
When will official portraits be
An official portrait of His Majesty the King will be made on the day of the investiture. Copies will be available for download on the website of the Royal House shortly afterwards.
Will new photos in pixel-based format be made
Yes. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.
Is the fact that Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath being taken into consideration in moving the celebration of King's Day from Sunday to Saturday in 2014?
Whenever 30 April falls on a Sunday, it has been customary to celebrate Queen's Day on the previous Saturday, as was the case in 2000 and 2006, for example. When Queen's Day (30 April) makes way for King's Day (27 April), this tradition will be continued. In 2014, King's Day will therefore be celebrated on Saturday 26 April. Preparations for this national holiday are always based on giving as many Dutch people as possible the opportunity to take part in a successful celebration.