Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, heir apparent to the Dutch throne, has made history by turning down the whopping £1.4 million annual allowance that she is supposed to receive once she turns 18.
The eldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, who will mark her milestone 18th birthday in December this year, said she feels "uncomfortable" accepting the taxpayers' money when she is not working for it. In a hand-written letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday, the 17-year-old clarified that she will only accept the allowance once she takes up royal duties.
"On 7 December 2021 I will be 18 and, according to the law, receive an allowance. I find that uncomfortable as long as I do not do anything for it in return, and while other students have a much tougher time of it, particularly in this period of coronavirus," she said in a letter that has been published by Dutch public NOS.
The future queen would have received 111,000 euros (the equivalent of about 95,445 pounds) this year. Next year, the allowance would have increased to 1.5 million euros (1.2 million pounds).
The teen royal recently graduated and passed her final high school exams with distinction, and has decided to take a gap year before starting her undergraduate studies to "travel a little and discover the world." In her letter to the Prime Minister, the princess said that she would also repay the nearly £300,000 she was entitled to during her time as a student and would not claim over £1 million in expenses "until I incur high costs in my role as Princess of Orange."
With her unprecedented move, the royal has become the first member of the Dutch royal family to waive their rights to a tax-free salary.
The Princess has been the heir to the throne since the age of 9, when her father Willem-Alexander's acceded as the King in April 2013. Upon the King's coronation, she was given the title of Princess of Orange, which can only be held by the heir apparent.