The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. This means that the Netherlands has government in which a queen acts as head of state, but her work is mostly restricted to ceremonial duties. The governance of the country is conducted by a democratically elected cabinet and parliament.
The Dutch monarchy dates back all the way to 1813. After the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Willem Frederik I of Orange-Nassau was proclaimed Prince of the Netherlands. The family of Orange-Nassau have been monarchs of the Netherlands ever since. The current monarch is Queen Beatrix. Her son, Prince Willem-Alexander is the heir apparent.