Kingdom of the Netherlands


May 25, 2022

The Kingdom of the Netherlands (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) is a sovereign state based in Western Europe and the Caribbean. The Kingdom has four parts - Aruba, Curacao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten - "countries" that participate on the basis of equality and partnership in the Kingdom. Suriname was a constituent country (endowed with broad autonomy) as part of the Kingdom from 1954 to 1975, and the Netherlands Antilles was part of the Kingdom from 1954 to 2010. Suriname has since become an independent republic, the Netherlands Antilles has been reformed into the founding countries of Aruba (since 1986), Curaçao and Sint Maarten (since 2010), and the special municipalities of the Netherlands - Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius. The Netherlands of New Guinea was a dependent territory of the Kingdom until 1962, but not an autonomous country and is not mentioned in the Charter.


Prior to the signing of the 1954 Charter, Dutch Guiana, Dutch New Guinea and Curaçao and the dependent territories were colonies of the Netherlands. The Kingdom of the Netherlands dates back to the defeat of Napoleon in 1813. This year, the Netherlands regained the freedom and sovereignty of the Principality of the Netherlands by William, Prince of Orange, and Nassau declared independence. Reunification with the South of the Netherlands (roughly equivalent to what is now Belgium and Luxembourg) took place in 1814. In March 1815, the power of the King of the Netherlands was fully implemented. The King of the Netherlands was also the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, a province of the Kingdom, which was also the Grand Duchy of the German Confederation. 1830 Belgium secedes from the Kingdom, a step recognized by the Netherlands in 1839. Luxembourg then becomes a fully independent state in a personal union with the Netherlands. Luxembourg lost more than half of its territory to Belgium. To compensate for these losses, the German Confederation granted the Netherlands province of Limburg the same status as Luxembourg. This status was abolished when the German Confederacy was abolished in 1867 and Limburg was returned to its former status as a regular Dutch province, although the King of the Netherlands continues to use the additional title of Duke of Limburg now. The administrative reform of 1954 began on December 7, 1942 with a radio speech by Queen Wilhelmina, which