Officially the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. Many years of state and media propaganda have lead many Dutch people to believe that the Queen has no political power. But the last decades Queen Beatrix has steadily worked to enlarge her political powers. In a recent speech at the university of Leiden she praised the politicians that she that the last decades they have given her much more freedom.
There have been many incidents. Not a long a go it became public that the royal family gave direct orders to the intelligence service, without the responsible minister even knowing about it. Not generally know but a long time practice is that the Queen even has her own shadow cabinet and every Monday prime Minister Balkenende goes to her “working” palace to speak through the current affairs of the country. She also can order any minister to her palace to let him or her explain his or her actions. There is much more to tell, but I think this shows that she is certainly not only ceremonially figure. Queen Beatrix and her son Willem Alexander the heir to the thrown, have already said several times that they are not interested in a pure ceremonial role.
Theo van GoghAfter the murder on Theo van Gogh the royal family wrote in a letter to the family of Theo van Gogh that they did not had time to attend the funeral. But a day after the funeral they could be seen at all kind of multi culture events. That same week, the queen was even giving rewards to ‘liberal’ Muslims. Who in the press blamed Dutch sociaty for the circumstances that lead to the murder of Theo van Gogh. The royals seem to be one of the staunchest supporters of the multicultural society (See also: Royal Support for Muslims)
The queen does not change her political agenda, but the Dutch politicians do not feel comfortable with the low legitimacy the have. Trust in the government has never been so low. Many political parties are rewriting their manifesto’s. Also the Dutch liberal party (VVD) recently wrote a new liberal manifest. But now newspaper AD reports that the writers of the new liberal manifest wanted to propose the removal of the political power of the Queen. But they did not include it in the manifesto, because they where afraid it would get to much media attention.