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The college-student heir to the Dutch throne said she secretly moved to Spain to avoid getting kidnapped

Mikhaila Friel   

The college-student heir to the Dutch throne said she secretly moved to Spain to avoid getting kidnapped
  • Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands relocated to Spain in 2023, citing safety concerns.
  • The Dutch princess faced a kidnapping threat while studying at the University of Amsterdam in 2022.

The heir to the throne of the Netherlands, Princess Amalia, said that her fear of being kidnapped forced her to move countries.

The royal spoke about her temporary move to Spain, saying she was able to find "freedom" after facing a kidnapping threat in her home country.

Amalia, who is 20, enrolled at the University of Amsterdam in 2022, studying politics, psychology, law, and economics.

Despite being destined for the throne, Amalia has tried to live a more normal life, rejecting a $1.7 million yearly allowance and trying to live like a regular student.

She moved to a regular accommodation block in 2020, even though the Dutch royals have a palace in Amsterdam.

It didn't last long — she left within a month, citing threats to her safety.

The BBC reported at the time that her name was flagged in messages by criminal gangs, though the network didn't give a source for that information.

One possibility was that she could be attacked or kidnapped. As a result, she moved back to the main Dutch royal residence in The Hague.

Her next move was a quiet one, to Spain where people might not notice her.

Amalia confirmed Dutch media reports that she had relocated, speaking about it at King's Day celebrations in Rotterdam on Saturday, according to Bild, the German tabloid.

"Of course it was strange circumstances that made me go there," Amalia said.

"I'm still very grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to walk around there in freedom," she said.

The princess' father, King Willem-Alexander, commented too.

"Of course it's terrible when you see that your own daughter, who was so excited to spread her wings after Corona, wasn't able to spread those wings," he said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Luckily it worked out in Madrid," he said.

Per a report in the Guardian, Amalia came back to Amsterdam after a year and lives with enhanced security.

In 2021, the princess publicly rejected an allowance worth 1.6 million euros, or around $1.7 million, that she was legally entitled to after turning 18.

In a letter published by NOS, a Dutch public broadcaster, and translated to English by People, the princess said: "I find that uncomfortable as long as I do not do anything for it in return, and while other students have a much tougher time of it, particularly in this period of coronavirus."

Royals across the globe have faced security threats and even kidnapping attempts through the years.

In 1974, Britain's Princess Anne famously escaped after a gunman attempted to kidnap her outside Buckingham Palace.

Four people, including a security guard, a driver, a journalist, and a police officer were injured during the incident, but all survived.

Multiple people have attempted to break into Buckingham Palace. One man, Michael Fagan, was successful.

In 1982, Fagan scaled the palace's 14-foot high wall and entered the palace, ultimately finding and entering Queen Elizabeth's bedroom.

The Royal House of the Netherlands did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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