Prime minister denies haste over naming Máxima queen

Criticism of the decision to call princess Máxima queen once her husband Willem-Alexander becomes king on April 30 were shrugged off by the prime minister’s office on Friday.

A number of legal experts said in Friday’s NRC that royalty law states Máxima, as wife of the king, should be known as ‘princess of the Netherlands’. It is up parliament to determine if she should be called queen, the experts said.

Twan Tak told the paper the situation could lead to confusion abroad. ‘In other countries, people are used to the queen of the Netherlands being head of state,’ he said. ‘This confusion could have a negative effect on our international relations.’

However, a spokesman for the state information service RVD said Máxima will be known as queen as a courtesy. It is not a formal title, and has no legal status, the spokesman said. The decision is also in line with what happens in other countries, the spokesman said.

Queen Beatrix’ husband Claus was known as prince not king throughout their marriage. However, the wives of Willem 1, II, and III were known as queen.


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