The Royal Income: The Legalities of the Dutch Royal Finances in the 20th and 21st Centuries

In a constitutional monarchy, the King takes an exceptional position in many regards. For example, the King has immunity (that is, he holds no ministerial responsibility), and he is the sole person who acquires his role through hereditary succession. Also the funding of the monarchy is exceptional.

At the inception of the monarchy, its funding was set out in simple terms in the Constitution. The Constitution determined his annual income amount, and with this he could pay all necessary expenses independently at his own discretion.

In the 1900s, a different funding system came into place. No longer did the Constitution set out the annual amount. Instead, a fixed personal income and a fixed reimbursement of personal and material expenses is granted to the King by law. However, these fixed amounts only cover a limited part of the annual expenses. Various personal and substantive expenses are included in the budgets of various ministries.

The current funding system is characterized by a lack of transparency and parliamentary control. The expenditures for the King have increased significantly over time. Both within and outside the parliament there is much criticism of the expenditures. Reform of the method of funding the monarchy is therefore urgently needed. Across the country there is ever less sympathy for the exceptional funding status of the monarchy.