Several members of the royal family have advanced to Defence or have used their influence to benefit others, report the Bnnvara program BOOS and Vrij Nederland. Together, they investigated the relationship between the Oranjes and the armed forces.
Pieter van Vollenhoven, the husband of Princess Margriet, was awarded the rank of commodore titular in the Air Force in 2019, 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 rank some soldiers higher than their colleagues who did exactly the same job. Four embassy liaisons became captain, six others major. The majors earned about 1000 euros per month more, writes Vrij Nederland.
Pieter-Christiaan, who worked in the Operations Directorate of the Royal Military Police, is said to have personally promised the higher rank for the six, even though he was not allowed to do so at all. The Defence Human Resources Department called him to account. In 2014, after years of litigation, the four captains were finally compensated.
A son of Prince Maurits, also grandson of Pieter van Vollenhoven, was promoted to an officer within a year of joining the service. Lucas van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven had not received any technical training, which is a prerequisite within the Defence to be able to obtain such a rank.
The National Information Service (RVD) does not want to respond to the findings in terms of content vis-à-vis the ANP news agency. However, the RVD states that there is a “long historical link between the royal family and the Defence”. “The band has been going back for centuries. In the past, members of the royal family were even army commanders. That bond is very important to the royal family.”
Defence says in a response that with the exception of the king, who cannot be an active military member as a member of the government, no special rules apply to members of the royal family. For them “the rules that apply to everyone” apply.
According to the Defence, the award of the rank to Pieter van Vollenhoven is “not a promotion, but a special honour”. Someone who has meant a lot to the armed forces can get such a title, says the ministry.
According to the Defence, Pieter-Christiaan had no direct influence on the promotion of six embassy aisons as captain: “From his position as a policy officer at the KMAR, the prince has written draft job descriptions for liaisons on behalf of the Director of Operations KMAR. various embassy posts.”
About the career of Lucas van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven, Defence says: “Because of the importance that Defence assigns to the historical relationship with the royal family, the Royal Army has drawn up a trajectory for him to be appointed as a reserve officer.”
According to the Ministry of Defence, the lack of professional technical training “did not hinder employment in a general position, with a view to gaining practical experience within the army”, and there was talk of “customization” as often happens.