How does the European royal family deal with homosexuality?

Holland made it clear that if the future heir to the throne decided to marry a same-sex, he would not lose his right to the throne. This was announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday. Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001 – until now there has been no clarity as to whether it is compatible with royal office.

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But how do other European royals deal with homosexuality? If you take a look at members of the royal family in Great Britain, Spain or Scandinavia, you will find that there have not been any heirs to the throne who have appeared in the recent past. The image of the royal family is still traditional: father, mother and a handful of children – this image is celebrated again and again, in various seasonal images. Whether it’s with William, Kate and the offspring at Christmas or with the extended royal family from Sweden in the summer garden.

In the history of kings, there are always queens or kings, heirs to the throne who are now presumed to be gay. Princess Isabella of Bourbon-Parma (1741-1763) wrote passionate letters to her sister-in-law. It is said that the English King Edward II (1284-1327) had three lovers. Current examples of high gentry? no one. But what about the legal situation?

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Great Britain

Prince William was featured on the cover of the gay magazine Attitude in Great Britain in 2016 and spoke out against discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community. But three years later, at an event organized by the Albert Kennedy Foundation, which supports people in the LGBTQ community who are at risk of homelessness, he said on the topic of homosexuality: “I wish we lived in a world where it’s really normal and great, but I’m nervous, especially for my family and the situation that I’m in. We’re in it.” At the same time, he would give his kids full support if they were gay.

One thing is the opinion of the members of the royal family themselves, and the other is the opinion of the church: because the Anglican Church, headed by a king or queen, still currently refuses same-sex marriages in the church. The Church in Wales is an exception: same-sex couples can receive a special blessing here, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported in September.

But there are certainly examples of members of the high-ranking nobility in Great Britain. Lord Ivar Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin, married his longtime partner James Coyle on September 22, 2019. His ex-wife Penelope led him to the altar. Members of the royal family did not attend the wedding due to scheduling problems.

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In Sweden, the question of how the heir to the throne perceives his homosexuality fancifully revolves around the Netflix series “Young Royals”. In fact, there are no current examples. However, in 2020, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband Prince Daniel visited the LGBTQ Community Federation, indicating their support.

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The Swedish constitution states that a child must be born in wedlock – and therefore adoption by a same-sex couple is excluded to secure the inheritance of the throne. In addition, the marriage of the prince or princess must be approved by the Swedish government. If these rules are not followed, the prince or princess loses the right of succession to the throne. However, the same-sex royal couple will receive the blessing of the Church in Sweden: since 2009, there have been blessings that also contain the term marriage for same-sex couples.


The situation in Norway is similar to that in Sweden: the royal family is LGTB friendly. For example, Crown Princess Mette-Marit herself traveled to India in search of a girlfriend of her gay husband to pick up a child carried by a surrogate mother. The child’s parents were unable to travel on their own due to visa issues.

According to the constitution, whether marriage, including same-sex marriage, can be concluded depends on the consent of the king in Norway: at present, Harald V. children are only entitled to inherit the throne if they were born in marriage and in a direct line descended from the king . According to the current legal situation, a child adopted by a same-sex couple will not claim the throne.

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Registered partnerships of same-sex couples have been possible in Denmark since 1989, and same-sex marriage since 2002. In the Lutheran Church in Denmark, same-sex couples have been able to marry in the church since 2012. Adoption rights exist for same-sex couples since 2009. With these Regulations, the Scandinavian country has very progressive laws. Whether the heir or heir apparent can enter into a same-sex marriage depends on the consent of Queen Margaret II. She also approved the same-sex marriage law in 2012. But even if Margaret II agreed to same-sex marriage, there is still an unresolved question of succession to the throne.


In 2008, then-Queen Sophia spoke out against same-sex marriage and angered the LGBTQ community. Her son, King Philip VI. He obviously wanted to change this image of the Spanish royal family and was on the cover of gay magazine “RAGAP” in 2015. According to the report, he is the first Spanish monarch to have an open ear for the community’s concerns.

Unlike Sweden, for example, the government does not have to directly consent to marriage, but it does have the option to ban it. There is also no other obstacle in Spain: there is no distinction between legal and illegitimate children in Spain – so an adopted child or a child created through a sperm donation can certainly guarantee the succession to the throne in a same-sex marriage.

However, one obstacle may be the Catholic Church: it is known to oppose same-sex marriage.

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