The Royal House

Willem-Alexander became King of the Netherlands in 2013. The King is the head of state and, together with the ministers, is part of the government.

Position and role of the King

The King and the ministers together make up the government. But it is the ministers, not the King, who are responsible to Parliament for what the government does. This is written in the Constitution. All decision-making is in the hands of the ministers, who together form the cabinet.


The Kingdom of the Netherlands,  as we know it, dates from 1815, when Willem Frederik became King Willem I. He was the son of the last stadholder of the Republic of the United Provinces, Willem V.

The ties between the House of Orange-Nassau and the Netherlands date back to stadholder William of Orange. William, who was known as the Father of his country, was stadholder between 1559 and 1584.

The Netherlands' unofficial national colour - orange - is directly inspired by the Orange-Nassau name.

The Orange-Nassau name

The Orange-Nassau name refers to the county of Nassau and the principality of Orange. The House of Orange-Nassau dates from 1544, when Willem, count of Nassau, inherited the principality of Orange from his cousin René de Chalon.


The Netherlands' motto, Je Maintiendrai ('I will maintain'), is taken from the coat of arms of the family of Orange-Nassau.