THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The heir to the Dutch throne, Princess Amalia, has decided for the next few years not to accept the allowance -- worth some 1.6 million euros ($1.9 million) per year -- that she is entitled to receive annually once she turns 18 in December.
The princess sent a hand-written letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte informing him of her decision on Friday. She said she would repay the money — which will still be deposited in her account — while she is still a student.
The payment is made up of about 300,000 euros directly to the princess and 1.3 million to cover staff costs and other expenses.
The princess heard Thursday that she had passed all her high school final exams and now is planning to take a gap year before going to university.
“I find it uncomfortable as long as I can offer little in return and other students have it so much more difficult, especially in these uncertain corona times,” the princess wrote.
Rutte wrote back to congratulate Amalia on graduating high school and said he understood and appreciated her decision.
The move comes at a time of declining popularity for the House of Orange in the Netherlands.
Amalia’s parents, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, came in for harsh criticism last year when they took the family on vacation to their holiday home in Greece amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The family cut short the trip and hurried home after a public outcry at the vacation.
In a video message issued after their return in October last year, a somber Willem-Alexander told the nation: "It hurts to have betrayed your faith in us.”
The vacation did not breach coronavirus restrictions, but came just days after the Dutch government introduced what it called a “partial lockdown” in a bid to rein in soaring infections.