Constitutionally the PM did the right thing. No matter what was or wasn't discussed. In this case i could see a situation where weeks before the King stated to the PM during their weekly meeting that he and his family would go to Greece for the autumn break of his daughters if Greece would be yellow by that time.
At that stage the NL were doing better so the pm probably agreed possibly with mentioning something about things not getting worse in Greece. Neither the king nor the PM probably suspecting that things would get much worse in their own country. So the Royals left were faced with an avalanche of negative comments in the social media while the PM was in Brussels and his deputy was ambushed by journalists in The Hague.
WA's damage control video is just that. Damage control so he and Maxima will have something to refer to once they get back to work.
Yes it will have it's effects on the monarchy. Even if the Dutch royals were to be very open about their spending and the cost of running the Dutch system they are faced with other countries being far from that open. The problem for the Dutch monarchy is not so much being open about how much the system costs but the fact that in other European monarchies they are no way near as open about it. So the media will report about how expensive the Dutch monarchy is while there is little doubt that the Spanish monarchy or the other monarchies in the Benelux or Scandinavia would have to be more expensive simply due to either larger expenses or less people so the actual cost per head of the population will have to be higher.
If you look at Spain the king lives in the Pavillion of the Princes, works in the Zarzuela Palace where his mother and aunt princess Irene of Greece and Denmark live. He also has use of the Palacio del Oriente in Madrid that is huge and the Pardo Palace. The Pavillion, Zarzuela and the Pardo are together larger than the three palaces of the Dutch king. Leaving out the largest of the Spanish palaces it's simply inconceivable they spent less on those than we on ours. Not to start about security because the Spanish have not only ETA but also the Catalan separatist movement to deal with.
You could make equal estimated guesses about the other monarchies in Europe.
We have a fairly reliable source stating that Juliana and Bernhard had a personal fortune of about 200 million euro at the time of their deaths.
If you divide that by four Beatrix inherited 50 million including the Horsten Estate. Ground that is expensive but does not make money on its own.
In his post mortem interview prince Bernhard boasted about the fact that he paid for the boar hunt at 't Loo because prince Claus had concluded they could not afford it once Beatrix succeeded. Now im quite aware of Bernhard's tendency to tell fairytales and made up stories but this one sound quite real.
In the 1980's and 1990's much of the furniture of the royal palaces was sold to the Dutch state for much less than it would achieve on the free market. The only reason i can find for the Dutch royals to do so is that they needed the money and that the upkeep of those collections was too expensive for them. Had they been truly wealthy they could have maintained the collection and in case of the monarchy ending they could have decided to put things up for international auction making a lot more than they did now.
So yes it would be great if the had an easy number of what it costs to have a monarchy in the Netherlands but with other countries both monarchies and republics being very shady about their costs i understand that it is not that easy.
I also believe that the Dutch Royals are not nearly as wealthy as many thought they were during Juliana's reign. If you look at the lifestyle of her grandchildren it's comfortable but not extremely wealthy. Another reason not to want to cut the income of the Princess of Orange. She won't inherit a vast fortune. She and her sisters will some day split a decent inheritance but most likely she will have to provide for her family before her father dies.
That is beyond the simple principle that if someone is by all means the vice-president of our country that person should be paid for being so.
Thatís exactly why this situation will ultimately backfire: the government has been enabling this to the point where we ask the question: is there anyone who can say No to the royal family? Whether it concerns their behavior or finances. Rutte had great difficulty explaining why the King left for Greece in the first place. He ends the discussion by saying he will take what really happened to his grave. Heís ultimately responsible yes but this constituted a clear confession that something went terribly wrong here and the King proofed the point by going on TV! A normal discussion about the finances of the RF has never been possible. Till this day they still canít find all the costs of the monarchy. Its an estimate at best. As mentioned before the biggest challenge for WA is to overcome his urge to want to live a Jetset life.
Because in spite of the efforts of her grandparents the Dutch have decided that an 18 year old is old enough to step in as either regent or monarch the moment something happens to her father.
So if she has to be ready to be our head of state at 18 we have to be ready to pay her an income from that moment.
Don't get me wrong i'd be very much in favour of altering the age the heir(ess) has to step in to either 21, 23 or even 25 years old. That would also impact the moment they get a state income.
As for the personal finances of her parents you apparently know more than i do. As i don't know their exact wealth. With the exception of some in the court treasury and some in the department of finance dealing with the king's taxes most of us will have to do with guessing rather than knowing.
As for the uncle you are talking about. Her only remaining Royal uncle is to the best of my knowledge not a landlord but someone who bought a 1930's house, not a villa or mansion. We also saw him doing his own groceries and cooking supper for his family so he is not exactly living a jetset lifestyle.
If you are referring to Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven. He is one of the first cousins of HM and never got a penny from the Dutch taxpayer. He did get a free parking pass until a few years ago but he and the other people that co-own the company they run have managed to build up a large portfolio of properties. I personally don't think houses should be money making machines but they ought to be homes for those who live in them, but that is not the view of the Dutch governments of the past decades. Making property a very viable commodity to invest in and make a lot of money in.
You ask why Amalia has to save up to by her own home? Im just going on the information we do have. When the King was finishing his studies the then Queen spoke to the then PM Kok about the state potentially providing the heir to the throne with a residence and his short and clear answer was No.
I don't think things have changed that much. Noordeinde 66 has been incorporated into the complex of the Palace Noordeinde so it is no longer a separate unit. This was done by the Dutch state who owns the palace and bought Noordeinde 66. As the palace is one of the three official residences offered to the monarch the king was free to let that part of the palace by his mother's pied a terre in The Hague after she moved back into her privately owned castle Drakensteyn.
Had the Dutch state decided not to incorporate Noordeinde 66 into the palace complex after buying it the King would not have had that option. So in this case it was something that was decided in the political arena and not by the Royals.
In most republics i know, presidents, former presidents and vice-presidents (if they exist but otherwise the number 2 in the country) all have state incomes or pensions so why not the heiress to the crown?
The fact that we as a nation have decided she has to be able to step in from the age of 18 is not her fault that is our own stupidity and we had over 30 years to correct it between her father's coming of age and the current princess of Orange being on the verge of becoming an adult.
Why on gods earth do we have to give Amalia 1.5 milion euros so she can save for her own residence while studying at university. Her parents are multi-millionaires. Her uncle owns hundreds of properties. Until now Amalia has not spent one day in any official capacity and to be honest I think she should not be trying too hard to start acting royal anytime soon if she's not ready for what's undoubtably coming. If she steps into the limelight her spending a few days 'home alone' with her sister in the family's Jetset villa in Greece while their class mates are following government advice and stuck in Holland with a walk on the beach as the highlight of their fall break will also have negative PR ramifications for her. WA bought a house from his grandmother for a very low price, renovated it and then sold it to the state for a very decent profit. Now it's part of the State owned Noordeinde complex and used as a pied a terre for... Beatrix. But Amalia needs to save for a residence? Why? So she can also sell it to the state with a profit? Must be me but I have great difficulty digesting this and the reason for that is: Its absolutely bonkers! Pardon my French. The royals should be put on very short financial leash if you ask me. Enough is enough.
The Belgian and Dutch system are different so i think WA would be happy if the like the Belgian state the Dutch government would provide homes for not only the monarch but also for the abdicated monarch, the heir(ess) to the throne and both siblings of the King in line of succession. Not to forget that Astrid and Laurent get a state income as well.
Constitutionally it would be unfair to expect from the Princess of Orange to step into the role of regent or monarch if anything happens to her father from the day she turns 18 years old but for the Dutch not to pay her for that position. From her 18th birthday she will need a small staff and though she may plan all sorts of things the moment her father needs a regent or he dies/abdicates she is queen.
Most of her income will go into savings. The official part for the moment she has to buy or rent a residence for herself as heiress to the throne and for additional costs once she marries. The private component of her income will have to be used to create a trust fund once she gets more than one child so her younger children can be paid from that trust. That is how Juliana provided incomes for Irene, Margriet and Christina and Beatrix did so for Friso and Constantijn. Yes the two brothers of the king also had additional incomes from the jobs they worked in but they also had a basic income from their mother's trust.
This system assures that there is a decent income for younger Royals so the risk of them getting involved in less desirable activities is limited. Not biting the hand that feeds you is the basic principle behind this.
I do fear that this PR disaster will affect the financial arrangements of the Royals. However i always find it very curious how MP's have no trouble acting baffled by the fact that the income of the king increases but totally ignoring the fact that the same system also increases their own income. So somehow everybody in public offices and all civil servants can get an increase in income without it causing a commotion but when the Royals are part of that system their pay rise is unheard of.
The way that I see it, this is purely damage control, both socially and politically.
My bet is that the PM advised against going on a holidays days after the government called on the Dutch people to seriously restrict their travels. But Willem-Alexander is stubborn and, at times, arrogant and he thought he could get away with it.
Politically, he can, for now because the PM took the fall, as the PM is always responsible for what the King does. However, the PM is also the person who has warded off all sorts of financial investigations in the wheelings and dealings of the RF. And if that protection is no longer present, the financial future for the RF could change considerably in the years to come.
Starting with a strong political hint that the royals would be wise to check how the Belgian neighbours have handled the finances of the Duchess of Brabant.