Ilse of the Netherlands

Queen of the Netherlands
ReignMarch 3, 2019 — present
InaugurationMarch 3, 2019
Prime MinisterMark Rutte
BornIlse Elisabeth Hans Frederik William Alexandra
(1996-08-12) 12 August 1996 (age 24)
Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Full name
Ilse Elisabeth Hans-Frederik William Alexandra
FatherHans-Frederik of the Netherlands
MotherJacoliene Sutherland
ReligionProtestant Church in the Netherlands
Military service
Years of service2014-2019 (active service) 2019-Present
RankAir Commodore(RNLAF)
Colonel-in-chief (BA)
UnitNo. 322 Squadron RNLAF
Grenadiers' and Rifles Guard Regiment
Coldstream Guards
Battles/warsDutch military intervention against ISIL
Mali War
Ilse of the Netherlands
Personal information
Born12 August 1996 (1996-08-12) (age 24)

Ilse (Ilse Elisabeth Hans-Frederik William Alexandra; born 12 August 1996) is the Queen of the Netherlands. She acceded to the throne upon the death of her father, Hans-Frederik. She is also a noted eventing rider, having represented her country in several eventing championships, and a staunch environmentalist.

Early Life

Ilse was born on the 12th of August 1996 to King Hans-Frederik and former Dutch actress Jacoliene Sutherland. As the eldest and only female sibling among her three younger brothers, she was joyously expected to become the country's fourth female sovereign, after her great great grandmother Queen Wilhelmina I, her great grandmother Queen Wilhelmina II and grandmother Queen Elisabeth. Her middle names consisted the first names of her grandmother, her father and subsequently those of the then King of England, a close friend of the Dutch king, and the then princess Alexandra.

She was baptised as a member of the Dutch Reformed Church on the 25th of September 1996. As heir apparent to her father, she was styled as the Princess of Orange, being the first to do so following an amendment which established the title's succession via absolute primogeniture in 1983. Additionally, Ilse's birth coincided with that of Queen Alexandra, who was born three months prior and whom she was partially named after.

Princess of Orange

Ilse attended the locally prestigious International School of Amsterdam from 2002 until 2008. Upon completing primary school, she then attended the Rotterdam International School for her secondary education. At the age of 13, with the encouragement of her father, Ilse undertook a private lesson in equestrianism for two years under the tutelage of a local Dutch equestrian, which the princess considerably excelled in, and at the same time, partook in several local competitions where she showed considerable success in her performance. Upon completing her training, she was chose to represent her country at the IEF Championships and later at the European Eventing Championships.

Military Career

Upon completing her secondary education, Ilse decided to pursue a military career in the Royal Air Force. On the 7th of November 2014, she completed her officer course at the Royal Military Academy in Breda and was commissioned as a Pilot officer.

As heir apparent to her father, there was much public debate among government officials in regards of potentially allowing the Princess of Orange to ever see combat. However, a subsequent compromise allowed the princess to be deployed to Iraq as part of the small group of Dutch F-16 Fighting Falcons tasked in executing air strikes against ISIL positions in the war-torn country, where upon reaching a specific period of evaluation, prospects of a continued service overseas would be evaluated once more. Subsequently, following her initial service period for three months, a follow-up evaluation found her eligible for further service.

In September 2015, she was promoted to Squadron Leader, amidst reports of her being transferred over to Mali as part of the MINUSMA mission in the country, in which the Netherlands is a contributing member. Ilse was then promoted to Group Captain for her services in July 2016, and later to the rank of Air Commodore on August 2017.

Due to unspecified reasons, it was then announced in December 2017 that the Princess of Orange was seconded to seek an alternative commission in the Royal Netherlands Army. Upon receiving her commission as an officer, she was assigned to the Grenadiers' and Rifles and was formally promoted to Captain on the June of 2018. As a later reservist in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, she was respctively promoted to Air Marshal on December 2017 and Commodore on January 2018.

As the Dutch constitution prohibits the head of state from being a serving member of the armed forces, Ilse was honorably discharged before her investiture as queen. However, she is allowed to wear a military uniform, albeit only with a royal insignia, opposed to that of her former rank. She was further compensated for her retirement when she was made Colonel-in-chief of the Coldstream Guards regiment of the British Army by Queen Alexandra in the days following her investiture as queen.


In the later years of her military career, Ilse began undertaking a series of state visits on her own behalf, beginning in 2017 when she attended the coronation of Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom.

In 2016, the princess attended the Wagenigen University, where she then acquired a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies.


Ilse's environmentalism began to informally develop during a state visit to Japan alongside her parents in December 2017. Following the visit to the country known for its highly progressive stance in environmental issues, she promptly began involving herself in local environmental organisations, coinciding with a gradual decline from activity in her military service. In February 2018, she was appointed Honorary Chairman or Ere-voorzitter of Milieudefensie, a Dutch environmental organisation. At the same time, Ilse established a close professional working relationship with the United Nations Environment Programme, as she frequently co-sponsored several environmental projects or initiative based either in the Netherlands itself or on the international scale.

Queen of the Netherlands

On the 3rd of March, King Hans-Frederik was declared to had passed away while residing at the Het Loo Palace. The cause of the former king's death, then promptly revealed to had been that of a previously undisclosed struggle against cancer was later followed by the investiture of Ilse as Queen of the Netherlands on the same day. In particular, she was uncommonly gifted a Kawasaki Ninja by the Crown Prince of Japan, who had been aware of the queen's avid interest in motorcycles.

Keeping in line with Dutch tradition and the constitution, Ilse chose to reinforce the notion of a "popular monarch" among the general public. Regardless, she is a staunch advocate of environmentalism and greater social tolerance between the multi-religious people of the Netherlands, which was first expressed in her opening speech at the 74th United Nations general assembly. Later that year, Ilse publicly expressed "deepest regrets and humility for the colonial atrocities" during her visit to Indonesia, a former and major Dutch colony from the 18th to 19th century.

As queen, Ilse holds weekly meetings with the Prime Minister, ministers and state secretaries. She also acts as the signatory for all Acts of Parliament and royal decrees. As the representative of the country, Ilse has conducted various state visits around the globe, including those performed during her capacity as Princess of Orange. As the head of state, she is also the chairman of the Council of State, of which she had been a member upon reaching 18 years old.

Personal Information

Generally, Ilse is known for her staunch dedication to the cause of environmentalism, which reportedly began during a trip to Japan. Since then, even as queen, she has been consistently active in raising environmental issues on both the national and foreign levels. In July 2019, she notably commissioned a grand amount of €50 million euros for the installation of a series of new wind turbines in the country. Additionally, she is also a royal patron of several other local environmental organisations, with the likes of FERN, Vereniging Natuurmonumenten and others.

As an ex-Royal Netherlands Air Force servicewoman, Ilse possess considerable knowledge and expertise in personally operating different types of aircraft. In January 2019, the then princess won acclaim when she singlehandedly rescued a group of fishermen from their broken-down ship off the West Frisian Islands by using her personal helicopter.

Unlike her contemporary royals, Ilse was confirmed to have never owned an automobile of her own, with the exception of the Mercedes Benz A-Class limousine, the current official state car for the Dutch royal family. The Queen instead owns a black Kawasaki Ninja motorbike and a Eurocopter EC135 as her private vehicles, both of which are used on a daily basis. An avid motorcyclist, Ilse revealed that she is a dedicated follower of the MotoGP championship, and is a royal patron of the locally based Kawasaki Motors Racing company. To that end, she is also described as being close friends with fellow royal and motorcycle enthusiast, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor.

In an interview with the Dutch national television station NPO 1, Ilse spontaneously addressed rumours regarding her alleged bisexuality arising from her friendship with her then fellow servicewoman in the RNLAF, Carolien Schoman which at often times had been described as "semi-platonic", further amplified when Schoman herself had came out as a lesbian prior to the interview. In response, Ilse reaffirmed the status quo on the nature of her friendship with Schoman, though at the same time, she presented herself as being "rather open to any possibilities" and is generally supportive of the LGBT cause.

Titles & Honours

  • 12 August 1996 - 3 March 2019 Her Royal Highness The Princess of Orange
  • 3 March 2019 - Present Her Majesty The Queen of the Netherlands




  •  Spain - Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
  •  Jordan - Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali
  •  France - Grand Cross of the National Order of the Legion of Honour
  •  United Kingdom - Stranger Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
  •  United Kingdom - Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle​
  •  Malaysia - Honorary Recipient of the Order of the Crown of the Realm
  •  Indonesia - First Class of the Star of Mahaputera
  •  Japan - Collar and Grand Order of the Order of the Chrysanthemum

Military Appointments

Netherlands 10 November 2013 - 7 November 2014: Officer Cadet, Royal Netherlands Air Force
Netherlands 7 November 2014 - 2 September 2015: Pilot Officer, Royal Netherlands Air Force
Netherlands 2 September 2015 - 13 July 2016: Squadron Leader, Royal Netherlands Air Force
Netherlands 13 July 2016 - 6 August 2017: Group Captain, Royal Netherlands Air Force
Netherlands 6 August 2017 - 11 December 2017: Air Commodore, Royal Netherlands Air Force
Netherlands 11 December 2017 - 3 March 2019: Air Marshal, Royal Netherlands Air Force
Netherlands 11 December 2017 - 15 June 2018: Second Lieutenant, Grenadiers' and Rifles
Netherlands 15 June 2018 - 3 March 2019: Captain, Grenadiers' and Rifles
Netherlands 2 January 2018 - 3 March 2019: Commodore, Royal Netherlands Navy

 United Kingdom
wikipedia:United Kingdom 17 March 2019 - Present: Coloniel-in-Chief of the Coldstream Guards, British Army