‘Preferential treatment for members of the Royal Family at the Defense Ministry’

Several members of the royal family have favored the Defense organization or have used their influence to favor others, the BNNVARA program reports. ANGRY and Free Netherlands. Together they conducted research into the relationship between the Oranges and the armed forces.

In 2019, Pieter van Vollenhoven, the husband of Princess Margriet, was awarded the rank of commodore in the Air Force, a rank at the level of chief officer. Unlike others with that title, Van Vollenhoven has never been on broadcast.

His son Pieter-Christiaan used his influence in 2006 to give some soldiers a higher rank than their colleagues who did exactly the same work. Four embassy liaisons became captains, six others major. The majors earned about 1000 euros more per month, Vrij Nederland writes.

Pieter-Christiaan, who worked at the Operations Directorate of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, is said to have personally promised the higher rank for the six, while he was not allowed to do so at all. The Defense Personnel Department called him to account. In 2014, the four captains were finally compensated after years of litigation.

Fast promotion

A son of Prince Maurits, who is also a grandson of Pieter van Vollenhoven, he was promoted to officer within a year of entering the service. Lucas van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven had no technical training, which is a condition within Defense to be able to receive such a rank.

The Government Information Service (RVD) does not want to respond substantively to the findings to the ANP news agency. The RVD does state that there is a “long historical link between the royal family and Defense”. “The bond goes back centuries. In the past, members of the royal family were even commanders of the army. That bond is very important to the royal family.”

Defense says in a response that with the exception of the king, who cannot be an active soldier as a member of the government, there are no special rules for members of the royal family. For them “the rules that apply to everyone apply”.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the award of the rank to Pieter van Vollenhoven is “not a promotion, but a special tribute”. Someone who has meant a lot to the armed forces can be awarded such a title, the ministry says.

‘Historical relationship’

According to Defense, Pieter-Christiaan has had no direct influence on the promotion of six embassy liaisons to captains: “In his position as a policy officer at the KMAR, the Prince has written draft job descriptions for liaisons at various embassy posts on behalf of the Director of Operations KMAR.”

The Ministry of Defense says about the career of Lucas van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven: “Because of the importance that
Defense attributes to the historical relationship with the royal family, the Royal Netherlands Army has drawn up a route for him for an appointment as a reserve officer.”

According to the Ministry of Defense, the lack of technical training “did not stand in the way of employment in a general position, with a view to gaining practical experience within the army”, and there was “customization”, as is often the case.

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