Dutch Princess Amalia is no longer living on-campus because of security threats

The Netherlands’ Princess Amalia headed off to college this fall. The Dutch royal family announced everything in June: Princess Catharina-Amalia’s plan to study the law at University of Amsterdam, and live in some kind of campus-housing situation with a few friends. Well, sad/awful news – Amalia is still going to college, but she is no longer living in student housing. There were apparently very real and specific security issues and threats, and Amalia had to return to the palace to live. The first headlines I saw about this made it seem like it was a situation where Amalia was homesick and she was choosing to live at home, perhaps temporarily. But no, it’s really bad.

The goal for Princess Amalia of the Netherlands as she went off to college last month at the University of Amsterdam was for her to live life like a regular student as much as possible, moving into a house with other students and studying politics and law.

The reality for the 18-year-old future queen turned out to be something altogether different. On Thursday, her parents, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, said that she had moved back home and was largely confined to one of the royal family’s palaces in The Hague because of fears that she would be attacked or abducted.

“It has enormous consequences for her life,” Queen Maxima said at a news conference on Thursday during a state visit to Sweden. “It means that she’s not living in Amsterdam and that she can’t really go outside.”

Princess Amalia got a taste of life in the spotlight when her first day at the university caused a small press frenzy, with photographers snapping pictures of her walking into a building for her first class. The initial commotion after she arrived soon dissipated, but then came the threat to her security. “It’s not a student life like other students have,” Maxima said. “I’m very proud of how she is persevering through all of this.”

The University of Amsterdam declined to comment about any potential changes to its security. The Dutch Government Information service, which handles press relations for the royal family, declined to elaborate on the remarks.

It is not clear when Amalia might be able to leave the palace to roam more freely again. For now, she is allowed to attend classes, but that’s all, her mother said. “You can see it’s making me a bit emotional,” Maxima said. “It’s not nice to see your child like this.”

[From The NY Times]

Cryptic enough? Well, the Times then went on to suggest some of the security issues facing the Dutch royals these days. In September, Dutch security agencies ramped up protection for and around Amalia and there was a suggestion that she was under a specific threat of attack or kidnapping. Even more specifically, it could have something to do with organized crime and drug cartels in the Netherlands? There have been a number of particularly horrific “gangland murders” tied to the drug trade in the Netherlands, and in the summer of 2021, a crime journalist named Peter R. de Vries was assassinated.

I have to think that what was happening around Amalia was not some vague “heightened security issue” and that there were probably several big, specific threats to her safety. Countries like the Netherlands have the reputation of being so safe and free. I guess there’s just as big of a crime problem as everywhere else.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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44 Responses to “Dutch Princess Amalia is no longer living on-campus because of security threats”

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  1. R says:

    Yup, cartels and drug crimes have been on the rise since covid_19 in the Netherlands and Belgium, unfortunately. I have to say that Peter R Vries has had a target on his back since the very beginning of his career though…Having gone to school with aristo kids, im no fan of aristocrats and royals in general, but I love the way King William Alexander and Queen Maxima look after their kids and how they talk about their kids and in general seems to be hands on with them. They seem like normal parents lol.

    • Mariana says:

      Just more evidence that the various monarchies have outlived their purpose and the perpetuation of the institution is ruining the lives of those within in. Amalia should be free of all of this so that she can live a life of her choosing.

      • R. says:

        @Mariana says: Oh, for sure. I remember one of my profs saying a royal family cost less than a president (and his/her family) but I think that also wildly depends on which country’s president as well. I don’t think for example Macron costs as much as Biden for example, but also, as we have seen more and more entitled behaviour from royals, it’s getting harder and harder to defend their costs to us, the taxpayers.The Dutch royal family in particular have invested mightily well (I think twas Queen Juliana or queen Beatrix who stressed about the importance of being able to do business and should they ever step down (which they won’t, let’s be honest), they’re gonna be fine. And from my own personal experiences, aristo people are…literally a class of their own (read entitled, in their own bubble and social circles, secretly think they are more special because of their bloodlines ) so 🤷🏻‍♀️ really don’t care about them either way lol

  2. Jennifer+Smith says:

    1. This is terrible and heartbreaking in a million different ways. Drug lords must have so many people under their thrall to pose such a danger, and so many lives destroyed or thrown into confusion is tragic.

    2. Now these are royals who know how to dress! Wow!

    3. (Clearly, I contain multitudes)

    • Colby says:

      They do look so stylish! How do the British royals manage to look so terrible and stuffy with all the money and access the have?! It makes me unreasonably mad. If you’re going to leach off taxpayers and spend hundreds of thousands on clothes, at least have the decency to look good!

    • gah says:

      YES! Queen M’s dress is by the designer benchellal- just exquisite draping for truly innovative silhouettes. it’s a dream of mine to have some of their clothing for my day to day life lol.

      • JustBitchy says:

        I too dream of owning pieces from the amazing designer. I have to be content with an occasional McDuggal – Amalia’s dress designer.

        My heart goes out to her.

    • A says:

      The Dutch royals are, I think, one of the richest royal families in the world. They have a ton of money in terms of their personal fortune, so it stands to reason that they dress well.

  3. SAS says:

    This is awful, I’m assuming she’s the eldest that they’ve never had to deal with anything to this extent before?

    It must be a very serious threat if they don’t feel that ANY accommodation in Amsterdam is secure enough. She looks like a sweet girl, I hope this doesn’t affect her studies too much.

    • Liz in A says:

      Yes Amalia is the oldest of the kids. Amsterdam (the A in Liz from A) is so safe but the threats were very specific and apparently from the drug cartels that have money/ connections / level of skill so its highly specific and credible. Recently the mayor of Amsterdam suggested legalizing cocaine or looking at paths to curtail the huge criminal profits possible. The Prime Minister Rutte has also been named as under threat.

      • C-Shell says:

        This whole post and commentary is so informative. This royal family seems the closest to a real family to me — parents who genuinely love and care about their children, children who look forward to having a life and education rather than sit on their privilege. It’s very sad that Amalia’s first taste of independence was cut short, but thank goodness the NL has such effective intelligence and security services (as we saw with Harry and Meghan during the IG).

      • ML says:

        @Liz in A summed up the situation nicely. I don’t live in a big city, but no matter where I’ve been since moving to the NLs, I rarely feel unsafe. I feel safer here than in the US, which is where I’m from.
        As to Halsema calling for legalizing hard drugs, a few years ago I would have been against it. Now, I would be willing to try it because not having it legal gives criminals a lot of power and money. If people are using anyway, it’s better to regulate it.
        A Dutch article from a few days ago with the details.

      • Jess says:


        Umm The Dutch monarchy is a bit fragile. The entire family went to their Greek villa during the initial Covid lockdown and they were forced to come back after criticism. I see William and Maxima as out of touch, Maxima is loved by fashion bloggers but that doesn’t automatically translate to taxpayers. At Amalia’s first balcony appearance an adult the family was booed.

  4. Cessily says:

    That sounds frightening. I hope she is ok.

    On a side note, that picture of QM in the blue long dress is gorgeous. I love that dress and color.

    • Christine says:

      Seriously, that dress is a work of art, she looks stunning.

    • ML says:

      Fun story: Maxima’s dress is from the Dutch-Morrocan designer, Mohamed Benchellal. Back in March he “sent out a bat signal” and said he’d love to dress Queen Maxima sometime. She showed up in one of his dresses during Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day) in September.
      Amalia wore a green dress by Asos.

  5. Colby says:

    Poor thing.

    This is the only way in which royals have my sympathy. They can’t live a normal life even if they wanted to – they were born into these security issues.

    • FHMom says:

      I agree. I really feel for her parents, also. They must be terrified.

    • Carrotface says:

      Yes, this is so sad! I read elsewhere that Amalia has also chosen to forego the taxpayer funding she is entitled to to have a more normal college experience. Here is a young royal trying to do what I think is the right thing – go to college and try to live as a regular student as much as possible before assuming royal duties – and she can’t. It must be so heartbreaking for her and her family.

      • R. says:

        @Carrotface, though they approached the situation correctly, there was a bit of pressure to forego the taxpayer funding from the public. Costs are getting really high over here in West Europe, and at the time it wouldn’t have gone well for the royal family had the crown princess accepted the donation. Royals everywhere have to deal with declining popularity. +Dutch royalty really do have the habit to go to universities and earn (a couple) of degrees.

  6. HeyKay says:

    Colby, well said and I agree.

    A drug cartel making threats to harm a family member, nightmare even with the best security.

  7. Chaine says:

    I’m honestly surprised, if children of US presidents can live in dorms to attend college, in our country that is riddled with gun violence and subject to mass terrorist attacks like 9/11, surely the Dutch government can provide the proper security for their future monarch to do the same?

    • ML says:

      Most universities here in the NL don’t really have a campus like in the US—the buildings are often in the city. And as a student, you rent rooms, or a house together (which was Amalia’s plan), or you live at home: dorms are next to nonexistent here.

  8. Concern Fae says:

    “ Countries like the Netherlands have the reputation of being so safe and free. I guess there’s just as big of a crime problem as everywhere else.”

    There is a reason organized crime is talked of as something different from street crime. Organized crime will often suppress street crime, because it attracts police attention and also “safety” helps gain support from the residents of areas where they operate.

    Of course, the organized criminals are horrific themselves and the human cost of their crimes is immense. The tragedy of it all is that taking down a bad criminal organization invariably simply means that you are clearing the way for a worse one.

    But targeting a member of the royal family like this is a horrific escalation. Best wishes to her and everyone involved in bringing an end to this.

  9. k.tate says:

    @Colby I agree! These royals are showing us how it’s done! I love both of these dresses! Does anyone know the designers? ALSO: Why are drug cartels interested in this princess? Kidnapping her? Is she a threat to them somehow?

    • Jaded says:

      Can you imagine the money the cartels could get from the royal family if they managed to kidnap her? In places like Mexico where the drug cartels literally run the country, people are constantly being kidnapped — sometimes whole groups of them at once — and held for ransom. These cartels are insidious and work their way into government hierarchies by paying big money for *special treatment* from the military and police forces who look the other way. Kidnapping Amalia would be a real coup for them.

    • ML says:

      @K Tate, Maxima wore Mohamed Benchellal and Amalia wore Asos.

      • JustBitchy says:

        Ah, up thread I was wrong. I checked my go to / best source @lindazoom on Indra! Thanks for the correct info!!!!

    • Paisley25 says:

      Years ago, the Norwegian crown prince was nearly kidnapped. An Eastern European crime syndicate wanted to use him as leverage to get one of their kingpins out of a Norwegian prison.

  10. Southern Fried says:

    Agree w all here, besides the fabulous clothing, did you see the female carriage foot(man) ? Cool.

  11. Well Wisher says:

    The contrast between two or more specific monarchies is vast as to how they choose to treat their offspring in terms of security.
    One may add that the princess refuses to take state monies until she actually starts doing royal duties.
    She offered to repay what she’s receiving for university.
    She’s as smart as her mother, another monarch who was not afraid to marry a woman of substance.

  12. BeanieBean says:

    On a slightly different note, I’ve been streaming various non-American TV shows, some of which are police dramas set in Amsterdam or Belgium. Crime is everywhere, sophisticated organized crime or otherwise. Some I’ve found very interesting include: Hidden Assets, Van der Valk, & Professor T. (original series, not the English version).

    • Jaded says:

      Thanks for the recommendations, I much prefer the English and European police and political dramas to the American stuff, much more realistic and gritty.

  13. ohhey says:

    She like oks so much like her title that it’s kinda mesmerizing. It’s great seeing a genuine smile on a royal waving to her people. It’s giving me strong Disney Princess. Obviously she’s also a real human who deserves to be able to live life without side helpings of trauma and PTSD. That’s some bull crap.

  14. Greeneyedgirl says:

    This is very sad and must be very frightening for her and her parents. She looks very sweet. I hope she has adequate security while she attends classes!

  15. JustBitchy says:

    I follow and prefer the Dutch royals much more than UK counterparts. The DRF is much more expensive per capita than the British. But they do work a lot more. K-WA and QC-M did a visit to Sweden then she hopped over to DC for 2 days for her UN work. That is a busy schedule – an English Royal would need 6 months just to recover from that. It doesn’t hurt that they have a brand new 738 that they share with the PM.

    • ML says:

      I understand where you’re coming from, @Just Bitchy. Personally, I think royalty is somewhat ridiculous, but if I need to choose, then yes, I prefer a monarchy like the Dutch, which views king-/queenship like a business.
      As to the expense: I no longer believe that the DRF is more expensive (though it is on paper) than the BRF. The BRF (unlike the DRF) owns all the land in the water off the coast of GB, for instance. And there are families working the land in Cornwall, for instance, that have been renting the land there for 100s of years without owning it—that’s unthinkable in Holland. Plus, because of new transparency in Scotland, we know KC wants an exception to rent protection for Balmoral, which is absolutely amoral! Those sources of untaxable income are not available to the DRF, and no one ever includes them in how much the system costs the taxpayer. And the DRF works a lot more.

    • ML says:

      My comment on the cost of the Dutch vs British royal family has disappeared/ is being vetted. I wasn’t in time to edit it to include the King’s Consent law in Scotland: https://amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/oct/04/king-charles-allowed-to-vet-proposed-scottish-rent-freeze-law.
      The DRF doesn’t have families stuck in the same positions (sort of feudal) that they were 100s of years ago, and they aren’t trying to force their tenants into greater poverty like the BRF with Balmoral. You can’t compare the tax euros/ pounds that go to the Dutch and British royal families 1:1 because the BRF makes money in ways that the DRF does not.

  16. Lisa says:

    Penny knatchbull looks like princess Amelia in the face. Maybe prince Philip is penny father?

    Are we sure princess Amelia just got tired of living the poor life.

  17. Abbie says:

    I’m sorry but are we now supposed to pity the poor royals when they experience some sort of inconvenience in their over-privileged filthy rich lives? Is this a joke? What was she expecting exactly? To be able to cosplay as an ordinary person and pretend she’s not a super-privileged person compared to the rest of the students around her? What level of delusion is this?

    If she wants to live a normal life then she can always give up her title, money and status, become a commoner, get a job and a student loan and actually live like everyone else. Then she’ll have no problems going wherever she wants to.

    Also, as sad as it is to hear about drug crime on the rise, it is obviously a symptom of deep social inequality and injustices, exacerbated by the pandemic and inflation. You think most people want to turn to illegal activities to make a living? Maybe the royals should look into what is causing the rise in crime in the Netherlands in the first place.

    • ML says:

      @Abbie, On the one hand you’re 100% right: this is a family that doesn’t always act like the rules for the rest of society apply to them. In a country where “tall poppy syndrome” is not appreciated, this has had an impact on the DRF.
      On the other hand, Amalia biked to school, worked incognito (supposedly as “Claire”) at the Oase Beachclub serving drinks to the public, and lives in a country where the prime minister (and several other members of parliament) bike to work. So, of course, she should be able to have a life here! That has been the norm.

  18. lucy2 says:

    I feel for her. It must be scary living under that threat, and she can’t do anything a normal person her age wants to.