Dutch Princess Catharina-Amalia will become the youngest heir to the throne of Europe upon the accession to the throne of her father King Willem-Alexander. The new Princess of Orange is 9 years old.
One of the first matters the Dutch parliament will have to take care of is to appoint a Regent in case something happens to Willem-Alexander before Amalia has become of age. Traditionally a Regent is chosen from among members of the royal family. Amalia’s mother Máxima would be the obvious choice.
When Queen Beatrix ascended the throne in 1980 her eldest son Willem-Alexander had just turned 13. The Law on the Regency (1981) appointed the queen’s husband Prince Claus Regent in case she died before the Prince of Orange had become of age. The queen’s sister Princess Margriet was stand-in for Claus.
Upon the accession of Queen Juliana in 1948 the young Princess Beatrix was just 10 years old. Here too a Regent had to be chosen. Her father Prince Bernhard was appointed as such.
Only once in the 200 years of the Dutch monarchy was a regency necessary. When Wilhelmina in 1890 succeeded her father she was only 10 years old and still too young to reign. Her mother Queen Emma, who had already acted as regent during the illness of her husband King William III, served a regent till Wilhelmina’s 18th birthday. The Dutch parliament also appointed her regent for her granddaughter Juliana, who was born in 1909.
Juliana acted a regent twice (1947, 1948) for her mother Queen Wilhelmina who felt she could no longer do her work, but was persuaded to hold on till her golden jubilee in September 1948.
© RoyalblogNL, Hans Jacobs; Photo by © Royal Press Europe, Albert Nieboer