The almost 300 pages long report "Het inkomen van de Koning
" (the King's income) is in Dutch, via this link
The Orange-Nassaus were forced into exile after the shockwaves of the French Revolution also reached the United Provinces. The new "Batavian Republic" confisquated the palaces and domains Het Loo, Noordeinde and Huis ten Bosch and other domains and properties of the princely family.
Prince Willem-Frederik of Orange-Nassau, the son of the last Stadtholder, became the Soeverein Vorst
(Sovereign Prince) of the Netherlands.
The "Constitutional Assembly" wanted to establish in the Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands that the King should get an annual income of 1 million guilders "to maintain the resplendance of the Crown".
The Sovereign Prince however wanted to see an arrangement in which the domains, palaces and other properties which were confisquated in 1795 were involved.
For some reasons it was not practical to return the confisquated properties immediately and the "Constitutional Assembly" agreed that the King then would receive 1,5 million guilders as an annual income plus the right to request for a return of confisquated properties, which then would be re-calculated in the annual income.
(1,5 million guilders in 1814 contributes with 11,3 million Euro today - caculator
The Southern Netherlands and the Northern Netherlands were united. The King also became Grand-Duke of Luxembourg. Because of this the arrangement was raised to 2,4 million guilders. This corresponds with 17,7 million Euro today.
King Willem I lifted the option for a return of the confisquated properties. The King accepted the return of certain domains in private ownership, as a result his annual state income was re-calculated with 500.000 guilders lower (to 1,9 million guilders). The income which these returned properties would generate formed the King's private income. The King used this new private income to invest heavily in new upcoming industries, at one side to improve the country's economy and at the other side in hoping to make good rendements on his investments.
The rebellion of the Southern Netherlands led to the foundation of Belgium. (The Netherlands would only recognize the new state in 1839). By his own initiative the King lowered the annual income to 1,5 million guilders. This corresponds with 14 million Euro today).
The Constitution was adapted after the definitive loss of the Southern Netherlands. The annual income of 1,5 million guilders, as set by the King in 1830, was now also written in the Constitution.
The Constitution was completely changed: the absolutist monarchy disappeared, the parliamentary democracy arrived. The arrangements for the income of the King were drastically changed:
- the annual income was lowered from 1,5 million to 1 million guilders (this corresponds to 10,5 million Euro today)
- the King handed over the in 1822 returned domains to the State to establish the "Crown Domains"
- however no longer the factual owner, the King would enjoy the ownership rights of the Crown Domains
- the revenues from the Crown Domains would be seen as an additional income next to the annual State income (that is why the King accepted the lowering of annual the State income).
- at every accession of a new King, the States-General (Parliament) would establish a new annual income. This annual income then would remain unchanged for the whole Reign, to prevent annual (inconvenient) discussions in Parliament.
Only one year after the drastic changes in the Constitution, King Willem II died. According to the new rules in the Constitution, the States-General had to establish an annual income for King Willem III. Because of the country's financial problems, the annual amount was set to 600.000 guilders, much lower than the 1 million guilders set a year earlier. This corresponds to 6,6 million Euro today.
King Willem III died. The annual income for the new (underaged) Queen Wilhelmina remained unchanged on the annual amount which was set in 1849, namely 600.000 guilders a year.
A new Constitution was needed because all adult citizens, both male and female, were given the right to vote and to be elected. The Government took this opportunity to propose change in the annual income. This was 600.000 Euro since 1849, meaning it has not been changed for almost 70 years (!).
600.000 million guilders in 1849 corresponds with 6,6 million Euro today.
600.000 million guilders in 1918 corresponds with 4 million Euro today.
So effectively in 1918 Queen Wilhelmina was 2,6 million poorer in annual purchasing power than her father King Willem III in 1849.
The Government proposed an annual amount of 1,2 million guilders for Queen Wilhelmina. And indeed, after a lot of discussion, the annual income for the Queen was set on 1,2 million guilders. This corresponds with 7,8 million Euro today).
The Government found it no longer workable that the annual income of the King could only be vested at the start of each Reign. King Willem III started in 1849 and would reign for 41 years. In 1938 Queen Wilhelmina was in the 48th year of her Reign.The general standard of living had drastically improved, the annual inflation and pay rises were high. All this time it was impossible to adapt the income of the King. The Government proposed that no longer the income of the King was set by the start of each Reign but would be set via the annual State Budget. The States-General agreed.
It became clear that the costs of the pensions of the retired staff were "eating" into the private fortune of the Queen. The States-General agreed with a proposal of the government to donate 7 million guilders as a contribution into a Foundation Pensions for the retired staff of the royal household, part of the general pension fund for the civic service. Queen Juliana would also donate into that Pension Fund. Argument: the staff of the royal household could not be considered to be "private personnel" as they were also subservient to a proper functioning of the office of state, the public function, which is the kingship. It was "undesirable" that the Queen had to pay from her own pocket for the functioning of an office of state.
The same argument for the retired staff of the royal household, was also used for the current staff, for the costs of transportation, for the security, for foreign travels, for the reception of (foreign) dignitaries. All these costs were subservient to a proper functioning of the office of state, the public function. Also here it was seen as "undesirable" that the Queen had to pay from her own pocket for the functioning of her official duties. So more and more costs were diverted to various departments like Foreign Affairs, Defence, the Interior, etc.
The annual amount was raised from 1,2 million to 1,5 million guilders (this corresponds to 5,4 million Euro today).
The annual amount was raised from 1,5 million to 2,5 million guilders (this corresponds to 7,2 million Euro today).
The annual amount was raised from 2,5 million to 5,2 million guilders (this corresponds to 12,3 million Euro today).
In the 1960's the Netherlands had it's own Wirtschaftswunder,
an economic boom. The wages and the prices spiralled. The Welfare Society made it's entrance. A giant gas field was found in the North-East of the Netherlands, resulting in an immense cashflow of billions.
The royal finances, despite the regular raises, lagged behind. More and more the Queen had to fill the gaps in her budget with private money. This was "undesireable" and also not sustainable as this would erode end exhaust the private wealth of the Queen. The Queen was no "ordinary Mrs" it was generally expected that she would live in a certain state, that "the resplendance of the Crown" was maintained.
After a long process the current Financial Statute for the Royal House was approved:
- the King
- the future King
- the former King
(and their eventual spouses) receive an individual income from the state
These annual incomes have two components:
- a private income
- a functional income (to cover the costs for the execution of the royal dignity)
These annual incomes are indexed with the general pay rise for civil servants.
The costs of the palaces would remain with the State.
The State pays for the royal household, for the transportation, for the security, for representation, for communication: with other words, the whole execution of the royal function is financed by the State.