King Willem-Alexander has successfully applied for €4.5 million in government subsidies towards the upkeep of the Het Loo estate in the Veluwe heathland area for the next five years.
The money has been made available because parts of the estate are open to the public all year round, nature minister Christianne van der Wal told MPs in a briefing.
The subsidy rules have recently been changed to stop payments towards places which are not accessible to the public all year and more than half the Het Loo estate is closed to the public in the autumn when the royal family also hunt.
The king has now applied for subsidies to help pay for the upkeep of 2,900 hectares, rather than the full 6,300 hectares the estate covers.
Locals, animal protection organisations and political parties have campaigned for public access all the year round for years and in 2020, MPs asked the government for clarification about the matter, given the taxpayer support.
The king received €4.8 million in subsidy for the estate in the previous five year period. The fact he has now been given €4.5 million for a smaller portion of land is due to both changes in the size of the subsidies since the last financing round, and to indexing, Van der Wal said.
Het Loo used to belong to the king’s great grandmother, queen Wilhelmina who handed over 6,700 hectare domain to the state in 1959 on the condition that the royals could have the use of the land.
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