The Kingdom of the Netherlands
is a constitutional monarchy
. The monarch's position is regulated by the constitution, certain Acts of Parliament
and unwritten constitutional law.
Current Dutch monarch is Queen Beatrix. While every member of the Oranje-Nassau family is part of the royal family, not every member belongs to the royal house. Membership of the royal house is restricted by the head of State, the former head of State, the members of the royal family in line for the throne, and their spouses.
The royal family consists of Princess Juliana, Prince Bernhard, and all their children and grandchildren and their spouses.
The present royal house consists of:
There are three ways to lose membership of the royal house. This can be on the accession of a new monarch, when a member of the royal house marries without permission of the parliament, or when a member of the royal house loses the Dutch nationality.
When a monarch dies the throne is passed to the sovereign's legitimate descendants. The first in line of succession to Queen Beatrix is Prince Willem-Alexander, who is married to Máxima Zorreguieta.
Dutch government consists of the sovereign and the Cabinet ministers. The constitution says that the monarch is inviolable and that the ministers bear responsibility for affairs of government. The Queen is closely involved in the formation of a new government. After a general election, she consults the Council of State, the speakers of both houses of parliament, the leaders of the political parties and sometimes elder statesmen known as the ministers of state. She then appoints formateurs and informateurs to form a new government on the basis of the election results. When the political parties reach agreement on the policies to be pursued by the new government, she appoints and swears in the ministers and state secretaries.
On the third Tuesday in September, the Queen delivers the Speech from the Throne to the two Houses of Parliament, outlining the main points of government policy for the coming year. The pageantry of Prinsjesdag (Prince's Day), as it is called, draws numerous visitors to Den Haag.