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All about the Dutch royal family tree – the House of Orange-Nassau explained

All you need to know about the House of Orange from King Willem-Alexander to Queen Juliana

Princess Catharina-Amalia, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Princess Ariane, Princess Alexia and a white dog on a set of stairs
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
5 April 2024
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Ever since the Kingdom of the Netherlands came into being in 1815 following the defeat of Napoleon, there has always been a monarch. However, where the kingdom differentiates from many other ruling houses is in how many monarchs have abdicated as opposed to dying while on the throne.

The Netherlands is governed by the House of Orange-Nassau, which can trace its roots back to 1544. While the UK's House of Windsor incorporates many distant family members, the Royal House of the Netherlands only consists of the monarch, any living former monarch, those in line to the throne not removed from the monarch to within two degrees of consanguinity, Princess Margriet, the King's aunt, and the spouses of those mentioned above.

But how well do you know the House of Orange-Nassau? Scroll down to see a full family tree and meet the main members below…

Family tree of the Dutch royal family

The Dutch royal family tree© HELLO!
The Dutch royal family tree

Queen Juliana (1909-2004)

Gustav Heinemann and Queen Juliana© Keystone
Queen Juliana is seen here with West German president Gustav Heinemann

Born on 30 April 1909, Juliana was Queen of the Netherlands from 4 September 1948 to 30 April 1980. Juliana ascended to the throne at the age of 39 following the abdication of her mother, Wilhelmina. During the invasion of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany in 1939, Juliana was evacuated to the United Kingdom before heading to Canada. She returned to her country of birth on 2 May 1945.

Juliana met her husband, Prince Bernhard, at the 1936 Winter Olympics, and the couple married less than a year later on 7 January 1937. The couple welcomed four children, Queen Beatrix, Princess Irene, Princess Margriet and Princess Christina.

Juliana abdicated the throne in favour of Beatrix on 30 April 1980, which was also the monarch's 71st birthday. The former queen remained active in charitable activities, but started withdrawing from public life in the 1990s. In 2001, her husband revealed that Juliana had Alzheimer's disease and could no longer recognise her own family. She died in her sleep at the age of 94 on 20 March 2004.

Prince Bernhard (1911-2004)

Prince Bernhard riding on a scooter© Evening Standard
Prince Bernhard is seen as a controversial figure

Born on 29 June 1911, Prince Bernhard was initially a member of the House of Lippe-Biesterfeld, and was stylised as the Count of Biesterfeld from birth. In 1937, he married the then-Princess Juliana and became the Prince Consort upon her accession to the throne on 4 September 1948.

Bernhard was found to have been a member of the Nazi Party during his life, however, in World War II he supported the Allies and saw active service as an honorary wing commander in the RAF. As an honorary general in the Dutch army, he was involved in negotiations for Germany's withdrawal from the Netherlands following the war.

Bernhard was known for his interest in charitable causes and was a founding member of the WWF, however, his business dealings attracted controversy and he was forced to withdraw from the organisation and the Bilderberg Group due to his involvement in a bribery scandal around Lockheed aircraft.

Alongside his children with Juliana, Bernhard also fathered Alicia von Bielefeld and Alexia Grinda through extramarital affairs; their status as his daughters wasn't revealed until after his death.

The royal started encountering health woes in 1994 when he required a tumour to be removed from his colon and he suffered from complications from respiratory distress. His prognosis was so bad, his daughter Queen Beatrix rushed to hospital following a trip to Africa, however, he would go on to recover. Following his wife's death on 20 March 2004, Bernhard's health worsened significantly and he died at the age of 93 on 1 December 2004 of lung cancer.

Queen Beatrix (1938-)

Princess Beatrix in a patterned blue dress© Patrick van Katwijk
Beatrix abdicated the throne in 2013

Born on 31 January 1938, Queen Beatrix ascended to the throne on 30 April 1980, following the decision of her mother, Queen Juliana, to abdicate. Like the rest of her family, Beatrix was evacuated from the Netherlands during World War II, returning to the country once the war had been won.

In 1965, Beatrix's engagement to Claus von Amsberg caused controversy due to his earlier involvement with the Hitler Youth and the Wehrmacht. The couple married on 10 March 1966 and welcomed three sons, King Willem-Alexander, Prince Friso and Prince Constantijn. Friso sadly died in 2013 following a ski accident.

Beatrix and Claus remained married until the Prince Consort's death on 6 October 2002, following complications of pneumonia and Parkinson's disease.

On 30 April 2009, Beatrix and other senior members of the royal family were targeted in an attack during the Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) celebrations. The attacker, Karst Tates, ran people down with a car, before crashing into a memorial, although he had been aiming for a bus carrying the royals. Although no royals were harmed, they did witness the crash itself.

Four years later, to the day, Beatrix abdicated the throne in favour of her son, Willem-Alexander. The royal had made clear her plans to abdicate in an address on 28 January 2013. The former monarch continues to carry out royal duties.

Princess Irene (1939-)

Princess Irene in a blue dress© P van Katwijk
Princess Irene's marriage caused a constituional crisis

Born on 5 August 1939, Irene is the younger sister of Queen Beatrix, however, she forfeited her role in the succession of the Dutch monarchy after she converted to Catholicism in order to marry Prince Carlos Hugo.

While studying in Madrid, Irene met the royal, who was a member of the House of Bourbon-Parma and was a Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain. The couple courted in private with Irene keeping her religious conversion secret and their engagement caused a constitutional crisis due to possible associations with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. The crisis became so much that Juliana even attempted to stop the marriage; the only reason the monarch didn't bring her daughter home from Spain was because the Dutch government threatened to resign en masse.

Irene and Carlos Hugo married on 29 April 1964 with no members of the Dutch royal family present. The pair welcomed four children, Prince Carlos, the Duke of Parma (b. 1970), Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme (b. 1972), Jaime de Bourbon de Parme (b. 1972) and Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme (b. 1974).

Following the restoration of the monarchy in Spain, Irene and her husband were exiled from the country for being opponents of the new King, Juan Carlos; these were later rescinded. The royal split from Carlos Hugo in 1981 and Irene moved back to the Netherlands where she has become an active opponent of nuclear weapons. Her former husband died on 18 August 2010 at the age of 80.

Princess Margriet (1943-)

Princess Margriet in a red outfit© Patrick van Katwijk
Princess Margriet was born outside the Netherlands

Born on 19 January 1943 in Ottawa, Princess Margriet is the younger sister of both Beatrix and Irene. Margriet's birth was quite unusual as the hospital ward she was born on had to be declared extraterritorial by the Canadian government so that she wasn't classed as a British subject and would thus inherit Dutch citizenship. Due to World War II, Margriet wouldn't enter the Netherlands until she was two.

While studying at Leiden University, Margriet met law student Pieter van Vollenhoven and the pair wed on 10 January 1967. The couple went on to welcome four children: Prince Maurits (b. 1968), Prince Bernhard (b. 1969), Prince Pieter-Christiaan (b. 1972) and Prince Floris (b. 1975).

Princess Christina (1947-2019)

Princess Christina in a pink dress© Patrick van Katwijk
Princess Christina died in 2019

Born on 18 February 1947, Princess Christina was the youngest daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard and the only one of their children to have not witnessed World War II. However, during her pregnancy, Juliana fell ill with either measles or rubella and as a result, Christina was born visually impaired.

The royal moved to Canada to study classical music and while in New York City, she met Cuban exile Jorge Guillermo. Due to Jorge's status as a Roman Catholic, Christina forfeited her rights in the Dutch succession, like her older sister Irene, and walked down the aisle with her beloved on 28 June 1975. The couple welcomed three children: Bernardo (b. 1977), Nicolas (b. 1979) and Juliana (b. 1981), but the pair ultimately divorced on 25 April 1996.

A talented singer, Christina became a teacher in New York City and would perform at family occasions, including the funerals of her parents and the wedding of her nephew, Prince Bernhard Jr. However, in June 2018, the royal was diagnosed with bone cancer and she died at the age of 72 on 16 August 2019.

King Willem-Alexander (1967-)

King Willem-Alexander in a military uniform© Patrick van Katwijk
Willem-Alexander is the current monarch of the Netherlands

Born on 27 April 1967, Willem-Alexander is the current monarch of the Netherlands and head of the House of Orange-Nassau after ascending to the throne following Beatrix's abdication on 30 April 2013. At the time of his birth, he was the first male to have been born in the Dutch royal family since 1851.

Ahead of his royal duties, Willem-Alexander had a keen interest in sports and was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1998 up until he inherited the throne.

On 2 February 2002, he married Queen Maxima with the pair having met in 1999 at the Seville Spring Fair. Together, the pair are parents to three daughters: Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane.

Queen Maxima (1971-)

Queen Maxima in a maroon suit© Patrick van Katwijk
Maxima originally hails from Argentina

Born on 17 May 1971 as Máxima Zorreguieta, Maxima is the current Queen Consort of the Netherlands. At the time of her meeting Willem-Alexander, who reportedly only introduced himself to her as Alexander to hide his royal identity, she worked in marketing.

The pair's engagement sparked controversy due to her family's role in the Argentinian dictatorship, with her father serving as agriculture secretary in the regime. Although Maxima was accepted into the royal family, her parents did not attend her wedding, with her father banned and her mother refusing to attend without him.

Prince Friso (1968-2013)

Prince Friso standing with wife Princess Mabel© Greetsia Tent
Prince Friso died in 2013

Born on 25 September 1968, Friso was the younger brother of Willem-Alexander. Following his education, Friso went into consultancy work and even obtained shares in budget airline WizzAir.

Friso lost his place in the line of succession due to his marriage to Mabel Wisse Smit, with the engagement announced on 30 June 2003. Under Dutch law, the Cabinet must seek permission for a royal to marry from the parliament, however, the Cabinet did not seek permission with then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende revealing it was because Mabel said she had submitted "incomplete information" over the nature of her alleged relationship with drug baron Klaas Bruinsma.

The pair nevertheless married on 24 April 2004 and welcomed two daughters, Countess Luana (b. 2005) and Countess Zaria (b. 2006).

On 17 February 2012, Friso was caught up in an avalanche while skiing in Austria. His condition was described as "stable, but critical", however, on 24 February 2012 it was announced that it was unclear whether the royal would ever regain consciousnesses. Friso was later transferred to London, before being transferred back to the Netherlands on 9 July 2013. The royal's condition was believed to have evolved to being in a minimally conscious state and he died on 12 August 2013 at the age of 44. His funeral was private, only attended by members of the Dutch royal family and Friso's godfather, King Harald of Norway.

Princess Mabel (1968-)

Princess Mabel in a black dress© Patrick van Katwijk
Princess Mabel is an active human rights campaigner

Born on 11 August 1968 as Mabel Martine Los, Mabel married Prince Friso on 24 April 2004, welcoming two children with him. Her children aren't in line to the Dutch throne after the Dutch Cabinet didn't seek approval from parliament for her marriage to Friso over her alleged relationship with drug baron Klaas Bruinsma.

Mabel is very involved in human rights campaigns, serving as a co-founder for War Child Holland, the European Council on Foreign Relations and Girls Not Brides, which campaigns against child marriage. She also previously served as the CEO of The Elders, a group founded by former South African president Nelson Mandela in order to tackle issues worldwide.

Prince Constantijn (1969-)

Prince Cosntantijn at a tech summit in a grey suit© Patrick van Katwijk
Prince Constantijn is the youngest child of Beatrix and Claus

Born on 11 October 1969, Constantijn is the youngest sibling of King Willem-Alexander, and is currently fourth in line to the throne; the highest of anyone who isn't a descendant of his brother.

Following his education, the royal became a royal and since 2003, he has worked for the RAND Corporation, a global think tank.

On 17 May 2001, Constantijn married Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst and the couple have welcomed three children: Countess Eloise, Count Claus-Casimir and Countess Leonore. Following the abdication of Constantijn's mother, Beatrix, his children ceased being members of the royal house, but they are still members of the royal family and in line to the throne.

Princess Laurentien (1966-)

Princess Laurentien in a red dress and colourful scarf© P van Katwijk
Princess Laurentien uses her parents' names as a portmanteau

Born as Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst on 25 May 1966, Princess Laurentien is the wife of Prince Constantijn and the mother of his three children. Laurentien is the daughter of former Dutch finance minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and his wife Jantien Brinkhorst-Heringa, and the name she goes by is a portmanteau of her parents' names.

Laurentien currently serves as the president of Fauna and Flora International, an NGO dedicated to wildlife conservation.

Princess Catharina-Amalia (2003-)

Princess Catharina-Amalia in a purple dress and sash© Patrick van Katwijk
Catharina-Amalia is the heir to the Dutch throne

Born on 7 December 2003, Princess Catharina-Amalia is the current heir to the Dutch throne and as such is known as the Princess of Orange. She is the oldest daughter of Willem-Alexander and Maxima.

The royal is currently studying for a PPLE degree, which consists of politics, psychology, law and economics. Although she studies at the University of Amsterdam, she returned home due to security threats.

Princess Alexia (2005-)

Princess Alexia in a black dress© Patrick van Katwijk
Princess Alexia is second in line to the throne

Born on 26 June 2005, Princess Alexia is currently second in line to the throne and the middle child of Willem-Alexander and Maxima. In 2023, Alexia graduated from the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, a place that has taught several royals, including her father.

In 2016, Alexia was hospitalised after she broke her right femur while on a skiing holiday. Following the accident, she was airlifted to a local hospital, where she underwent surgery to repair the fracture.

Princess Ariane (2007-)

Princess Ariane in a checkered grey suit© Mark Cuthbert
Princess Ariane is the youngest child of Willem-Alexander and Maxima

Born on 10 April 2007, Ariane is the youngest child of Willem-Alexander and Maxima and is currently third in line to the throne. One month after her birth, Ariane was admitted to hospital with a suspected lung infection, she was released three days later.

Ariane previously studied at the Christelijk Gymnasium Sorghvliet, however, she is currently studying at UWC Adriatic, an Italian school with only 180 pupils which aims to build international relations.

Countess Eloise (2002-)

Countess Eloise in a green knitted jumper© Patrick van Katwijk
Countess Eloise is a published author

Born on 8 June 2002, Eloise is the oldest child of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Eloise is fifth in line to the throne and currently studies at Hotelschool in the Hague.

The royal is also a published author, releasing Learning by Doing in 2021, which offers self-confidence tips, insights into her home life and recipes that she enjoys cooking.

Count Claus-Casimir (2004-)

Count Claus-Casimir and his sister opened a vintage clothing store© Patrick van Katwijk
Count Claus-Casimir and his sister opened a vintage clothing store

Born on 21 March 2004, Claus-Casimir is sixth in line to the Dutch throne and is currently studying at the ESCP Business School. It appears that business runs through his veins, with the royal launching his own companies during his studies. Like British monarch King Charles, Claus-Casimir is an alumni of Gordonstoun.

Countess Leonore (2006-)

Countess Leonore in a blue shirt and arm sling© Patrick van Katwijk
Countess Leonore studies at UWC Atlantic College

Born on 3 June 2006, Countess Leonore is the seventh in line to the Dutch throne and the youngest daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Leonore has followed in her royal cousin's footsteps and is currently studying at UWC Atlantic College.

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Line of succession

  1. Princess Catharina-Amalia
  2. Princess Alexia
  3. Princess Ariane
  4. Prince Constantijn
  5. Countess Eloise
  6. Count Claus-Casimir
  7. Countess Leonore
  8. Princess Margriet

More Royalty

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