Popularity of the Dutch Monarchy and Royal Family
Similar to threads about other monarchies I thought there'd be one about the dutch monarchy but couldn't find it (moderators please move this post if there is a thread after all).
At a recent poll (these usually happen around "King's day") the results are that the dutch King and his family are very popular, but the monarchy itself is loosing support, but is still the preferred choice over "ceremonial monarchy" and "republic"
Article about the poll
De koning is geliefd, de monarchie minder | NOS
Poll itself, but only could find it in dutch:
Questions were asked about K.W-A, Q.Maxima and P.Beatrix; questions like:
- are you satisfied with the way the king reigned last year, are you satisfied with the queen in her role
- do you trust the king
- does the king do a better/equal/worse job than his mother
- what do think of the king's media appearance
- what is your opinion on the queen's other activities (like her role in the UN)
- do you miss P.Beatrix as queen
- what is your opinion on the amount of influence the king has on national politics
- which would you prefer: current monarchy, ceremonial monarchy or republic
- what is your opinion on the amount of attention the king gives to the "terror" issue and the "refugee" issue
- what is your opinion on the monetary compensation the king receives
(and some more)
The question about the money results in a majority of people thinking the royals get too much money; knowing the opinion of the dutch people in money matters in general, this isn't surprising :lol:
I would say that the trust in all institutions has plummeted since the crisis started, so also in the monarchy. The anti-establishment feelings are running high all over the Western world.
People have become obsessed with other people's salaries. If you would ask the same question about the salaries of ministers, high civil servants etc etc. I am sure a vast majority will say that their salaries are too high as well. Why nobody has ever suggested that the private part of the incomes of the king and queen should be subjected to the 'Balkenende-norm' - that counts for all employees of public services- is a mystery. Not that it would help much, people would still complain that the norm is too high while the royals get free living, free this and free that.
However, a 65% support rate is very low for the Dutch monarchy. AFAIK it has always been between 80% and 90% in my lifetime. Since one of the big advantages of a monarchy is that it is a neutral head-of-state supported by a vast majority of the population, this will be threatened if this dive in support will continue. Why have a monarchy at all?
Since the individual members of the family are popular but the institute itself is less so, it seems to be a structural decrease of support for the institute which can not be solved easily. Considering we can look forward to x years of discussions about the high costs for the renovations of two palaces, the support may very well decrease even more in the next years.
A RF that seems to be hopping from one holiday to another one doesn't help of course. At the moment they are in the USA on holiday while last week they were in Rome for a holiday.
It is everyting. Throw Zwarte Piet out of the window! Throw away with the Sunday rest (shopping shopping shopping, shop until you drop). Throw away every mention of our Christian heritage in the public domain. Throw away our centuries shared bond with the House of Orange-Nassau. I try to close my eyes for it because I feel all this pushes me into a depression.
At the other side: the monarchies of Europe have gambled their very own raison d'être in the casino of celebritization. Queens sending tweets, a King giving high fives, Princesses posing like cowgirls. It is the old story. Prince William should have married someone like Lady Serena Stanhope or like his cousin Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones: class from top to toe, restraint, dignified, well-grounded. It is nice to bring "the street" into the palaces by marrying the daughter of a party organizator (Middleton), the fitness-boy (Westling) or the daughter of a discutable figure (Zorreguieta) but every distance, every serenity, every decorum has been thrown out of the window.
Such a Laurentien Brinkhorst on her stiletto's playing volleybal on King's Day. Such a King giving high fives and dancing in the streets? Call me oldfashioned. It works wonders for their personal popularity but the monarchy as a whole is undermined. All those theories as that marriages with commoners would strenghten the bond with the monarchy are proven wrong. In all monarchies there is a decline in approval except in Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and in Belgium it has risen remarkably. Wait when Margrethe II, Elizabeth II and Harald V go: popular royals will appear but the support for a monarchy will go down. Mark my words.
My own estimation in the South is that the approval for the monarchy is below 50%. Just how people talk about them, the sneering, no one being supportive. It are money-swallowing scroungers at best, in the opinion of many. Of course the left-oriented media, the Arjen Lubachs, the Jeroen Pauws, the Jort Kelders, it all gives the image of the monarchy slowly eroding and it is indeed.
What I also do not understand is that the Royal House allows comments on their Facebook. It attracts trolls, insults, etc. While I am supportive of the monarchy and I would click on "like" I am afraid to do it because likening means opening the comments under the post and reading these is enough to disturb my mood heavily. I then need a walk with the dog to get the insults out of my head. It is beyond belief why the Royal House allows these open sewers. Just close the comments' section!
It is the worst result I remember. As I said, I can only recall numbers of 80% or 90% of support, but my recollections only go back to the nineties.
To Duc: If they would have been locked up in their palaces bedecked in jewels and only marrying their cousins, i am sure they would never have made it until 2016 in the first place. You may not like the overly informal approach. I found it somewhat disturbing myself this King's Day, but people seem to like it. Laurentien on her high heals in the sand is NOT the problem. Marthilde d'Udekem d'Acoz would NOT have made a better queen of this country than Máxima (and vice versa perhaps).
What is the main problem is -as lucien mentions- that public opinion for a large part has become hysterical. This is all fueled by the press and we go from one hype after the other. The anonimity of internet and social media doesn't help. People feel it is their 'right' to sprew all their jealousies and hatred while they never get a reality check as they are safely typing from the attics of their doorzonwoning in Zoetermeer of Hoofddorp. Whining about politics, jealous about anybody who makes a few pennies more than they do and always think they have a 'right' to sprew their nonsense and they do not find their lack of knowledge about an issue a reason to keep quiet.
If they would hold a poll about support for constitutional democracy I am not sure the support would be much higher btw. People are 'upset' and they enjoy staying 'upset' so they can whine, complain and shift their own responsibility to 'the other'.
Anyway, an uplifting message on the 1st of May ;).
I do not want ladies bedecked in jewels, locked up in palaces. I don't think that Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz or Stéphanie de Lannoy do that. As monarchist as I am, I could not bear the sight of the royal family in Zwolle. Good heavens, high fives, selfies, hossing, tralala and the King saying "Zwolle, zonder dolle"... where is the dignity, the decorum? Every moment I expected a car crashing into the crowds (the attack of 2009 has left a trauma in my mind).
The Anitas, the Annettes, the Aimées (none of them are members of the Royal House), Laurentien, pfffft.... Whát are they doing there?
This week saw a repeat of "Hoe heurt het..." and Jort Kelder visited Schloss Merode, just over the border in Limbourg. There he met Prince and Princess de Mérode. Without any subsidy or state funding this family owns and maintains 10 (!) castles.
The Oranges have sold e-ve-ry-thing. Soestdijk is rotting away, but none of the four Princesses seem to give a damn' about their parental home. Beatrix using Noordeinde 66 while the "reserve King" lives in a common house in a The Hague neighbourhood. The King ordering prefab containers in his private garden to be used as offices while he has more royal options. I don't know. It is all going downhill. The Dutch see millions and millions of their money going to palaces and sailyachts and still it is not enough (Soestdijk needs again some 100 million, I guess).
I tried to find the actual poll data on the web, but I was not successful. I noticed though that the poll had a three-way question on support for the monarchy as it is today, support for an alternative "ceremonial monarchy", and support a republic. Does that 65 % figure refer just to the "current monarchy" or does it also include the "ceremonial monarchy" option ?
I always thought that the Dutch monarchy was very popular. Still is?
Q: (page 15 in PDF first post) Netherlands is a monarchy, what do you think is best for the Netherlands: to remain a monarchy or to be a republic with a chosen president as head of state.
A: 65% monarchy, 16% republic (rest: don't know/no opinion)
Q: (page 16 in PDF): there has been talk about the role of the head of state becoming purely ceremonial, what do you think is best.
A: 48% monarchy as-is, 15% ceremonial monarchy, 15% no monarchy at all (republic instead) (rest: don't know/no opinion)
16 % for a republic is actually pretty low and seems to match previous surveys. The erosion in the support for the monarchy seems to come mostly from an increase in "don't know/no opinion", rather than from stronger support for a republic. The 65 % pro-monarchy figure is also roughly in line with recent data from Sweden and better than in Spain.
I know the ceremonial monarchy issue in particular is a very controversial topic among politicians in the Netherlands. Although it may not matter in practice, the Dutch constitution, in paper at least, gives too much formal powers to the King IMHO. I don't think the Netherlands should necessarily move to something like the current Swedish Instrument of Government, where the King is effectively powerless, but an updated basic law along the lines of 1978 Spanish constitution could be desirable.
What I mean is that the constitution for example should formally separate the King from the government. It should also include an explicit mechanism under which a vote has to be taken in the lower house to confirm a proposed candidate for prime minister and have an explicit requirement that the government has to resign or an extraordinary election must be called in the event of a parliamentary vote of no confidence (the Netherlands BTW is the only major European monarchy where the latter provision is not explicitly included in the written constitution). I also favor ending the King's legislative veto power and giving the Second Chamber the power to override a legislative veto from the First Chamber by a qualified majority.
None of that would boost the monarchy's popularity, but it would certainly modernize the Dutch constitution, which looks now visibly dated.
Well Sweden is fully ceremonial and Spain is more 'modern' and the popularity of the monarchy there is not bigger than in the Netherlands where the King -de jure- has lot of powers but -de facto- is powerless without ministerial backing. So the "problem" is not the politic constellation, it is the way society and monarchy has developed. Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway... all monarchies and survey after survey learns their peoples are the most happy in the world, but such advanced and well-educated and rich societies develop in an own dynamic. I think I will indeed witness the Republic of the Netherlands and I have the feeling the Oranges themselves will not see it as the end of the world.
This is however not a new phenomenon. In the days of yesteryear, monarchies were equally fragile and prone to subversion and overthrow, especially if a monarch or successive ones were not in line with officials, clergy, military and the people, and so to have monarchies today, in a world of instant media and social nonsense spread over airwaves at a click, being subject to shifting moods, is not an odd thing.
The Dutch certainly do things in their own way, there is no doubt about that, and many is the thing I would had liked to see differently, to better safeguard the institution and the heritage. I am however quite sure that the King and those around him, are making their choices based on what they believe works best for today and tomorrow, and King Willem-Alexander has always struck me as a forward-looking royal, who spends more time thinking about what's to come, instead what has been.
Clearly that worries some, but the Dutch monarchy stands well on its own feet, enjoys more than favourable numbers of support and most importantly, has no real political or systemic opposition. The informality of the Dutch monarchy is endemic to the informality of the Dutch in general, and even though I agree that it would be nice if Soestdijk was habited, and if the King didn't choose to live in a small, modest home on the grounds of an actual Palace, it doesn't deter the Dutch from appreciating the King, and again, the numbers of the latest poll (polls, polls, polls..) clearly support the institution and the Royal Family.
Also the Netherlands was used to Denmark-like scores of 85% supporting the monarchy, then 65% is really significant lower. Anyway. In a couple of years time the Princess of Orange will become 18 years old and then she will get around a million Euro per year tax-funded income. So we will get all that fuss over again and then the purpose of the monarchy will once again be debated on tv, internet and online polls and then "experts" will deduce that the collapse of the monarchy is near.
I doubt the monarchy lost support because they sold their palaces in the 60-ties and 70-ties. Unlike the Merode's they can not exploit their properties commercially as they are actually used for state functions. The upkeep of these palaces is costing a staggering amount of money while they generate no income at all. The king's appenage is certainly not enough to pay for the upkeep. Since Juliana's finances were a mess in the 60-ties the only two options were to sell or let them fall into disrepair.
Yes the king lives in a villa for now, yes the king is working in a container while two palaces are awaiting reconstruction. But the alternative would be more expensive properties and higher costs for the state. I do not think that would increase support for the monarchy at all. Quite the contrary.
Neither do I think that the informal style hurts the institute. The bickering about costs hurts the institute, the bickering about luxery lifestyles hurts the institute, bickering about perceived powers hurts the institute.
No amount of baronesses and countesses as in-laws would have changed that. If anything it would have increased a reputation of being elitist, aloof etc. which would have harmed the monarchy, not strengthened it. It was Queen Wilhelmina herself who in the 50-ties came to the conclusion that marriages to Dutch commoners (not nobles due to potential court factionalism at the time) would strengthen the monarchy.
Instead of informality the real reasons for the decreasing support will have to be looked for in other corners. But since the individual members are quite popular, it is difficult to figure out what exactly the reasons are. As I said the increased hysterics and hypes in the press and public about any issue -including the monarchy- may be the most obvious reason.
We can say that also Máxima comes from sort of elitist background, be it a not so very fresh one. And Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz. And Stéphanie de Lannoy. Or a Beatrice Borromeo, to look furtherer. Their background seems not at all a hindrance to become beloved by the people.
Things go up and down in life.
Haven't people been predicting the abolishment of the monarchy since forever?
Especially the opinion-elite has a tendency to criticize and predict the undoing of the monarchy. Partly because it's a politically correct opinion, partly because it's a way to pass the time over your cafe latte and partly because the opinion-elite believe the public should worship them instead...
And they are the most vocal in public debates.
But for Joe and Jolene Average it's very much about feelings. They may complain and moan about the royals, but once standing in the box knowing that this is it, if it's a no to the monarchy, its goodbye to a national institution embedded in history and culture and it won't come back.
In that situation people have a tendency to vote for what you know and for you have in place.
So unless a high-ranking member of the family commits murder or something like that I don't think there is a big chance that the Netherlands will abolish the monarchy.
As for the costs.
There are people who will complain about the costs no matter what. They would complain about orphans being fed too well for that matter!
I think transparency is the key-word here. If the public can see what the money is for, preferably compared with say the cost for the PM, it might make much more sense. - That won't stop people from complaining though - because it's such a nice feeling - but it will be a valid argument against the republicans.
Then there is the behavior of the royals.
It's a difficult balancing act.
I do not believe royals should become too ordinary.
There must be a considerable element of glitter and glamour. Partly to entertain and delight those in favor and for those who are against to have something to complain about - and everybody are happy.
It's vital the royals can interact with ordinary people and also be allowed to be ordinary from time to time, but that's it IMO.
Then it's back to the palace and putting on the jewels and orders.
If royals wish to live in ordinary houses and live ordinary lives and dress ordinary, they can do so in their spare time.
The greatest danger to the royals is if they give in to the never-ending complaints about being too glittery and become too dull, and grey and ordinary. Because that's not what people want to see.
When the show is on royals must be extraordinary and act extraordinary.
That doesn't mean royals should be aloof. If the distance to the people becomes to great, then they may be interesting to look at but they also loose their significance.
But these are luxury problems to those royals faced in the past!
Look at Queen Victoria. People tried to assassinate her and there were serious talks about abolishing the monarchy during her reign, not to mention unfortunate episodes involving her heir. Yet today she is seen in the public eye as the archetypical example of monarchy and the BRF is alive and well.
The one question in particular that caught my attention was do you miss Beatrix as queen?
In hindsight, it may have been premature for Beatrix to abdicate, especially considering that there was no specific reason for her abdication (as we can see, she looks quite healthy and much better actually than some of the current older reigning monarchs).
Going back to Muhler's point, I suppose Maxima for example is quite glamorous and is seen covered in jewels and orders far more often than other royals. So I don't think "lack of glamor" is what is driving the Dutch monarchy down. The fact on the other hand that the King and his family live in a villa is just a temporary arrangement until Huis Ten Bosch is renovated.
Q: Princess Beatrix is after her abdication still an active member of the royal house. She however appears less often in public. What is your opinion on that?
- Shame, I would rather see her more in public: 15%
- Good, this is appropriate for her current position: 39%
- I don't care: 46%
Q: How much do you agree with the thesis: I regret that Beatrix isn't involved in King's day anymore
- Very much agree: 8%
- Agree: 28%
- Disagree: 12%
- Very much disagree: 4%
(rest: don't know/no opinion)
Q: How much do you agree with the thesis: I miss Beatrix as Queen
- Very much agree: 2%
- Agree: 7%
- Disagree: 39%
- Very much disagree: 12%
(rest: don't know/no opinion)
Imo she was mentally ready to retire..
The King and the Royal House need to review their PR and develop a better public antenna. There are too many easily avoidable bumps. As we know: (too) many little bumps can cause damage.
An example: is it really difficult to understand that flying a Fokker 70 all the way Down Under (and back) without passengers would raise a stir? If not about costs, what about the carbon footprint the royals always seem to care about? Once again the image is set that "the most expensive Royal House of Europe" is swallowing good taxpayers' money.
That then, to this discutable decision, fuel is added by not flying with the national carrier KLM but with Emirates. Again... probably because of very reasonable and logical reasons, but does one really need a crystal ball to understand that this would fall poorly in society?
That Princess Beatrix, besides her completely renovated Drakensteyn Castle, needs a pied-à-terre in The Hague, hmmm... maybe here and there there are Dutchmen with some understanding because of goodwill. But that then this pied-à-terre is the former mansion of Willem-Alexander, sold by him to the state with great profit, that then the same state had to restore and refurbish it completely for his mother, costing double the expected budget... all at the cost of the taxpayers... is that really too hard to understand the effect on public opinion?
That after his ill-fated mozambiquan adventure Willem-Alexander bought a holiday villa in Greece, okay. But that then the State had to pay for the fence and for a sea-pier "for security" but then at the same time the King bought a speedboat for 700.000 Euro. Is it too hard to understand that the Dutchies scratch their face and think: "Wait a minute, we have to pay for that security fence and a sea-pier and then the King uses that taxpayer-paid super pier to moor his expensive speedboat?" Is it really too hard to understand what the effect of this imago-building is?
That Her Majesty Queen Máxima, spouse to the King which has "the most expensive Royal House of Europe" and to be seen in Givenchy, Tom Ford, Jan Taminiau and bedecked with diamonds, visits classes in schools to "learn kids about the value of money and the importance of saving'. Is it really to hard to understand the sarcasm of this?
The King, who has a fabulous 17th C palace as private residence, has to spend a few years at Eikenhorst because -despite annual staggering amounts for maintenance- Huis ten Bosch needs to be restored for 60 million Euro (and this without the already expensively retored Oranjezaal). Hmmm... okay, maybe that is needed. But that then the King, residing in a city with lots, lots, lots of empty offices, orders containers (!) to be placed in his backyard for his staff. The taxpayer has to foot the bill for this temporary housing: € 400.000,--! For containers!
Is it too hard to understand that eyebrowns will be frowned when Queen Máxima uses the Netherlands Embassy in Vienna to host a brunch for the wedding guests of her brother Juan and did not need to pay at all?
Really... I am a monarchist and one can expect patience and understanding from me. But I really think the King (and more important: the Household) misses a good antenna.
|All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:26 AM.|
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2021