Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria
That's not impossible, but again the argument is also relevant to the change to nobility law which allowed unmarried fathers to pass on their titles. Prior to the law being changed, one could argue that if they could pass on their noble titles to children born out of wedlock, then more noblemen would have or legally acknowledge out of wedlock children.
Regarding the possible increase in maternal surnames, there is no way of knowing for a fact how removing the gender discrimination for titles would affect the choice of names, but my assumption is that it would make little difference. In Germany, a country with shared historical ties to the Netherlands, titles are part of the legal name and, as with other names, can be passed by women to their children. That being the case, most titled women continue to have their children take the name of their father alone.
The difference with Germany is that there the former titles do not exist anymore but have become surnames
. A paternal or a maternal surname can be passed to children (or even a combination of both surnames). This is the actually exactly the same in the Netherlands.
But in the Netherlands a title of Nobility or a predicate is a separate part of a surname. It is a title or a predicate. So a gravin
Wolff-Metternich can pass her surname to her sons or daughters but not her title
. Her children will be Mr and Ms Wolff-Metternich, no graaf / gravin
(count / countess) and no hooggeboren heer / vrouwe
(highborn lord / lady).
In daily practice nobles seldom or never use their title anyway. It is Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal (a news anchor), he never uses his predicate Jonkheer
. It is Sander Schimmelpenninck (a current affairs opinion maker), he never uses his title graaf.
A Dutch millionaire, Robert-Jan van Ogtrop (from a Dutch patrician family) is son of the Hungarian countess Pálffy de Erdőd and had the wish to have his mother's surname and title registered into the recognized and protected Nobility of an EU-memberstate. (Hungary does not know noble titles anymore). Via this way there would be legal counts and countesses Pálffy de Erdőd with their surname and title in passports and in official documents.
But when he learned he could indeed be known as Robert-Jan Pálffy de Erdőd in Dutch municipal administration, but not as a Count
, he ended his attempt: there are already Pálffy de Erdőds walking around (see his mother). His aim was exactly to have the noble title
Was Robert-Jan van Ontrop a German, he could have wished to be known as Robert-Jan Graf
Pálffy de Erdőd and his descendants as well, as this is "just" a surname in Germany. So suddenly there would be Grafen
Pálffy de Erdőd walking around, who are not at all a male-line descendant to a Pálffy de Erdőd. That is a situation the Dutch Government finds "undesireable" and undermining the historic institution of Nobility.