Willem-Alexander sworn in as first Dutch king since 1890

willem-alexander

Willem-Alexander became the king of the Netherlands today, succeeding his mother, Beatrix, who abdicated the throne, having served as the monarch of the Netherlands since 1980. Netherlands Flag Icon

The Dutch head of state, notably, is a highly ceremonial role.  What’s key to remember is that following the 2010 election, the Dutch monarch is no longer the key player in appointing an informateur following parliamentary elections to kick off coalition talks, given the prevalence of a half-dozen or more parties in the Netherlands.  The 2013 coalition formation process was determined solely through the Dutch parliament, bypassing royal input altogether, and the process actually took even less time.

So Willem-Alexander will be assuming the throne with the least amount of institutional power over Dutch government than any of his successors.

It’s not even a coronation as such because the Netherlands no longer has a state church, so there’s no one to administer a coronation, apparently.

Much more here from The Guardian.  More here from NRC if you speak Dutch (or are otherwise curious).

He’s pictured above with his wife, Queen Maxima — their daughter, Catharina-Amalia, at age nine, becomes princess of Orange and heir to the throne, so expect a return to the long line of female Dutch monarchs.

Beatrix succeeded her own mother, Juliana, who reigned from 1948 until her own abdication in 1980.  Beatrix’s grandmother, Wilhelmina, served as queen from 1890 until abdicating in favor of Juliana in 1948.  This marks the third consecutive abdication of a Dutch monarch — it’s a marked contrast to the British model, where Elizabeth II continues a reign that began in 1952.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.