Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
Early life and education
Prince Willem-Alexander (left) at age 14 and his brother Friso
Willem-Alexander attended local state primary school Nieuwe Baarnse Elementary School in Baarn
from 1973 to 1979. He went to two different state secondary schools: the Baarns Lyceum in Baarn from 1979 to 1981 and the Eerste Vrijzinnig Christelijk Lyceum in The Hague
from 1981 to 1983, and the private sixth-form college United World College of the Atlantic
, the UK
(1983 to 1985), from which he received his International Baccalaureate
Military training and career
Willem-Alexander in the navy uniform of ensign
As a reservist
for the Royal Netherlands Navy, Willem-Alexander was promoted to Lieutenant Commander
in 1995, Commander
in 1997, Captain at Sea
in 2001, and Commodore
in 2005. As a reservist for the Royal Netherlands Army
, he was made a Major
(Grenadiers' and Rifles Guard Regiment
) in 1995, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel
in 1997, Colonel
in 2001, and Brigadier General
in 2005. As a reservist for the Royal Netherlands Air Force
, he was made Squadron Leader
in 1995 and promoted to Air Commodore
in 2005. As a reservist for the Royal Marechaussee
, he was made Brigadier General
Before his investiture as king in 2013, Willem-Alexander was honorably discharged from the armed forces. The government declared that the head of state
cannot be a serving member of the armed forces, since the government itself holds supreme command over the armed forces. As king, Willem-Alexander may choose to wear a military uniform with royal insignia
, but not with his former rank insignia.
Activities and social interests
Willem-Alexander is interested in water management
and sports issues. He was an honorary member of the World Commission on Water for the 21st century and patron of the Global Water Partnership, a body established by the World Bank
, the UN, and the Swedish Ministry of Development. He was appointed as the Chairperson of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation on 12 December 2006.
He was a member of the supervisory board of De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch central bank), a member of the Advisory Council of ECP (the information society forum for government, business and civil society), patron of Veterans' Day and held several other patronages and posts.
On 28 January 2013, Beatrix announced her intention of abdicating. On the morning of 30 April, Beatrix signed the instrument of abdication at the Moseszaal
(Moses Hall) at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam
. Later that afternoon, Willem-Alexander was inaugurated as king in front of the joint assembly of the States General
in a ceremony held at the Nieuwe Kerk
As king, Willem-Alexander has weekly meetings with the prime minister and speaks regularly with ministers and state secretaries. He also signs all new Acts of Parliament and royal decrees. He represents the kingdom at home and abroad. At the State Opening of Parliament, he delivers the Speech from the Throne, which announces the plans of the government for the parliamentary year. The Constitution requires that the king appoint, dismiss and swear in all government ministers and state secretaries. As king, he is also the chairman of the Council of State
, an advisory body that reviews proposed legislation. In modern practice, the monarch seldom chairs council meetings.
At his accession at age 46, he was Europe's youngest monarch. On the inauguration of Spain's Felipe VI on 19 June 2014 he became, and remains, Europe's second-youngest monarch. He is also the first male monarch of the Netherlands since the death of his great-great-grandfather William III
in 1890. Willem-Alexander was one of four new monarchs to take the throne in 2013 along with Pope Francis
, the Emir Tamim bin Hamad
of Qatar, and King Philippe
Willem-Alexander is an avid pilot and has said that if he had not been a royal, he would have liked to be an airline pilot so he could fly internationally on large-sized aircraft such as the Boeing 747
During the reign of his mother, he regularly flew the Dutch royal aircraft on trips.
However, in May 2017, Willem-Alexander revealed that he had served as a first officer on KLM
flights for 21 years, flying KLM Cityhopper
's Fokker 70s
twice a month, even after his accession to the throne. Following KLM's phased retirement of the Fokker 70, he began training to fly Boeing 737s
. Willem-Alexander was rarely recognized while in the KLM uniform and wearing the KLM cap, though a few passengers recognized his voice, even though he never gave his name and only welcomed passengers on behalf of the captain and crew.
Marriage and children
Privacy and the press
- Photographs of the members of the royal house while performing their duties are always permitted.
- For other occasions (like holidays or vacations), the RVD will arrange a photo-op on condition that the press leave the family alone for the rest of the activity.
During a ski vacation in Argentina
, several photographs were taken of the prince and his family during the private part of their holiday, including one by Associated Press
staff photographer Natacha Pisarenko, in spite of the media code, and after a photo opportunity had been provided earlier.
The Associated Press decided to publish some of the photos, which were subsequently republished by several Dutch media. Willem-Alexander and the RVD jointly filed suit
against the Associated Press on 5 August 2009, and the trial started on 14 August at the district court
in Amsterdam. On 28 August, the district court ruled in favour of the prince and RVD, citing that the couple has a right to privacy, that the pictures in question add nothing to any public debate, and that they are not of any particular value to society since they are not photographs of his family "at work". Associated Press was sentenced to stop further publication of the photographs, on pain of a €1,000 fine per violation with a €50,000 maximum.
Willem-Alexander and his family initially lived in Villa Eikenhorst on the De Horsten estate in Wassenaar
. After his mother abdicated and became Princess Beatrix once again, she moved to the castle of Drakensteyn
, after which the King and his family moved to the newly renovated monarch's palace of Huis ten Bosch
in The Hague in 2019.
Villa in Manchagulo
On 10 July 2008, the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima announced that they had invested in a development project on the Mozambican
peninsula of Machangulo
The development project was aimed at building an ecologically responsible vacation resort, including a hotel and several luxury holiday homes for investors. The project was to invest heavily in the local economy of the peninsula (building schools and a local clinic) with an eye both towards responsible sustainability and maintaining a local staff.
After contacting Mozambican President Armando Guebuza
to verify that the Mozambican government had no objections, the couple decided to invest in two villas.
In 2009, controversy erupted in parliament and the press about the project and the prince's involvement.
Politician Alexander Pechtold
questioned the morality of building such a resort in a poor country like Mozambique. After public and parliamentary controversy the royal couple announced that they decided to sell the property in Machangulo once their house was completed.
In January 2012, it was confirmed that the villa had been sold.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 27 April 1967 – 30 April 1980: His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
- 30 April 1980 – 30 April 2013: His Royal Highness The Prince of Orange
- 30 April 2013 – present: His Majesty The King of the Netherlands
Willem-Alexander is the first Dutch king since Willem III
, who died in 1890. Willem-Alexander had earlier indicated that when he became king, he would take the name Willem IV
but it was announced in January 2013 that his regnal name would be Willem-Alexander
King Willem-Alexander in uniform with the Royal insignia
Royal Netherlands Navy – Conscription
- Lieutenant at sea, third class (Ensign) (August 1985 – January 1987)
- Lieutenant at sea, second class (Sub-lieutenant) (watch officer, 1988)
Royal Netherlands Navy – Reserve
Royal Netherlands Air Force – Reserve
Royal Netherlands Army – Reserve
Royal Marechaussee – Reserve
King's Insignia, all services
Coat of arms of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
Through his father, a member of the House of Amsberg
, he is descended from families of the lower German nobility
, and through his mother, from several royal German–Dutch families such as the House of Lippe
, the House of Orange-Nassau
, Waldeck and Pyrmont
, and the House of Hohenzollern
. He is descended from the first king of the Netherlands, William I of the Netherlands
, who was also a ruler in Luxembourg and several German states, and all subsequent Dutch monarchs.
By his mother, Willem-Alexander also descended from Paul I of Russia
and thus from German princess Catherine the Great
and Swedish King Gustav I
. Through his father, he is also descended from several Dutch–Flemish families who left the Low Countries
during Spanish rule, such as the Berenbergs. His paternal great-great-grandfather Gabriel von Amsberg, a major-general of Mecklenburg, was recognized as noble as late as 1891, the family having adopted the "von
" in 1795.
Ancestors of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
10. Baron Georg von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen
11. Baroness Gabriele von dem Bussche-Ippenburg
1. Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
- ^ "Dutch Crown Prince quits IOC in preparation to become king", Sports Illustrated, 2013, archived from the original on 13 December 2013, retrieved 19 April 2013
- ^ "Prins Willem-Alexander neemt afscheid van Adviescommissie Water", de Volkskrant (in Dutch), 2013, archived from the original on 6 May 2013, retrieved 19 April 2013
- ^ Who We Are Archived 19 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- ^ (in Dutch)Willem-Alexander neemt afscheid als 'waterprins' Archived 17 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Trouw, 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- ^ a b c d e The Prince of Orange Archived 9 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Dutch Royal House. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
- ^ Doop Willem-Alexander Archived 31 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- ^ a b 40 meest gestelde vragen. Dutch Royal House. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- ^ Doopplechtigheid Prins Willem-Alexander in Sint Jacobskerk Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- ^ a b Z.M. koning Willem-Alexander , koning der Nederlanden, prins van Oranje-NassauArchived 2 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Parlement. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- ^ Ruud Hoff. "ANP Historisch Archief Community - Leiden, 2 juli 1993". Anp-archief.nl. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ "Leiden's links with the Dutch Royal Family ~ Masters in Leiden". en.mastersinleiden.nl. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ "Prins Willem-Alexander blundert tijdens staatsbezoek Mexico". 925. 5 November 2009. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- ^ Military career Archived 24 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Dutch Royal House. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
- ^ King will retain close relationship with armed forces Archived 17 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine (press release), Ministry of Defence, 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013
- ^ The Dutch Council of State Archived 2 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine, De Raad van State. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- ^ "About UNSGAB". UNSGAB. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- ^ a b "New Dutch King awarded Olympic gold order, receiving IOC's highest honor after stepping down". The Washington Post. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- ^ Netherlands May Bid For 2028 GamesArchived 18 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Gamesbids.com
- ^ His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, Koninklijk Huis. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- ^ Position and role as head of state Archived 3 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Koninklijk Huis. Retrieved on 24 July 2013.
- ^ a b "Dutch King Willem-Alexander reveals secret flights as first officer". BBC News. 17 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
- ^ "FAQ – Dutch royalty". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 2011. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- ^ Sephton, Connor (17 May 2017). "Dutch king reveals double life as an airline pilot for KLM". Sky News. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
- ^ Han (4 October 2012). "FAQ: eleven facts about the Eleven Cities Race | Radio Netherlands Worldwide". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Archived from the original on 17 March 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- ^ Brooks, James (19 April 2013). "Dutch abdication: Ten things you never knew about the royal family of the Netherlands". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- ^ "Media Code on protecting the privacy of members of the Royal House". Netherlands Government Information Service. 21 June 2005. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- ^ "Royals sue Associated Press over holiday photos". NRC. 5 August 2005. Archived from the original on 9 September 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- ^ "Willem-Alexander wint rechtszaak tegen AP" (in Dutch). 28 August 2009. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012.
- ^ (Dutch) Prinses Beatrix, Koninklijk Huis. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- ^ "Dutch prince buys villa next to James Bond actor". BBC News. 16 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- ^ "Willem-Alexander wil huis voor kust Mozambique" (in Dutch). Trouw.nl. 10 July 2008. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- ^ Bruno Waterfield (13 June 2010). "Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander accused over Mozambique villa". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- ^ a b "Prins had contact met president Mozambique". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 19 November 2009. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- ^ "Crown prince bows to public pressure over Mozambique villa". NRC. 23 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- ^ "Prins verkoopt villa in Mozambique" (in Dutch). Nos.nl. 18 January 2012. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- ^ "Interview met Willem-Alexander" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 7 March 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2006.
- ^ "Prince of Orange to become King Willem-Alexander". Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ "Koning Willem-Alexander erecommandeur van Johanniter Orde". Reformatorisch Dagblad. 1 December 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- ^ "Máxima de Holanda, anfitriona de Juliana Awada en su visita de Estado a Holanda. Fotogalerías de Casas Reales". 27 March 2017. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ "Imprensa Nacional de Cabo Verde - quiosque digital". kiosk.incv.cv. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- ^ "Ordensdetaljer". Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- ^ Estonian Presidency, Estonian State Decorations (Estonian) - Willem-Alexander Hollandi kuningas
- ^ "Koning krijgt grootkruis van Legioen van Eer". telegraaf.nl. Archived from the original on 23 January 2014.
- ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). C7.alamy.com. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ "Photographic image". Static.socialitelife.com. Archived from the original (JPG) on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). C7.alamy.com. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ "Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana". www.quirinale.it. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017.
- ^ "外国人叙勲受章者名簿 平成26年 ｜ 外務省". Mofa.go.jp. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ vestnesis.lv. "Par Triju Zvaigžņu ordeņa piešķiršanu - Latvijas Vēstnesis". www.vestnesis.lv (in Latvian). Retrieved 11 June 2018.
- ^ "Royal visit crowns Lithuanian-Dutch friendship". www.lrp.lt.
- ^ "ENTIDADES ESTRANGEIRAS AGRACIADAS COM ORDENS PORTUGUESAS - Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas". www.ordens.presidencia.pt. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013.
- ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Archived(PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- ^ Family, The Royal (23 October 2018). "The Queen has been pleased to appoint The King of The Netherlands a supernumerary Knight of the Garter. #NetherlandsStateVisitpic.twitter.com/cGZIAg2lDJ".
- ^ "Dutch Royal House – Coat of Arms and standard". Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
- ^ The Coat of Arms, Vol. 9, 66–72, p. 112, Heraldry Society.
- ^ F. J. J. Tebbe, W. D. E. Aerts, Arnout van Cruyningen, Jean Klare (eds.), Encyclopedie van het Koninklijk Huis, p. 17, Winkler Prins, 2005.
- ^ "Willem-Alexander maakt nu kans op de Britse troon". Nos.nl. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
Last edited on 9 June 2021, at 07:09
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.