Princess Amalia, heir to Dutch throne, waives right to yearly income

By Jon Henley

Princess Amalia, the heir to the Dutch throne, has written to the prime minister to waive her right to €1.6m (£1.4m) a year in income and personal and household expenses because accepting it would make her feel “uncomfortable”.

Amalia, the eldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander, who on Thursday passed her school-leaving exams with distinction – and flew her school rucksack from the palace flagpole to celebrate – said in a handwritten letter to Mark Rutte that she did not want to take up her allowance until she had proper royal duties.

“On 7 December 2021 I will be 18 and, according to the law, receive an allowance,” Amalia wrote in a letter published by the Dutch public broadcaster, NOS. “I find that uncomfortable as long as I do not do anything for it in return, and while other students have a much tougher time of it, particularly in this period of coronavirus.”

Princess Amalia’s rucksack hangs next to the Dutch national flag at the palace on Thursday.
Princess Amalia’s rucksack hangs next to the Dutch national flag at the palace on Thursday. Photograph: Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

Amalia said she intended to take a gap year and then begin her undergraduate studies. She said she would repay the €300,000 a year income she was entitled to as long as she was still a student, and would not claim €1.3m in expenses “until I incur high costs in my role as Princess of Orange”.

NOS said her decision marked the first time a member of the royal family had declined to claim their tax-free salary and expenses allowance. The Dutch monarchy has overtaken Britain’s as the most expensive in Europe, according to a 2012 study.

Princess Amalia’s letter.
Princess Amalia’s letter

The Dutch government last year agreed a royal budget of €47.5m for 2021, not including the cost of state visits or palace upkeep, with King Willem-Alexander receiving a €998,000 salary and €5.1m in official expenses.

His wife, Maxima, was allocated €1.1m, the former Queen Beatrix €1.7m, and Amalia €1.6m. Under pressure from opposition parties, Rutte agreed to a review of the annual cost but warned of the “populist” dangers of such a discussion.