All 17-year old girls in the Netherlands, including Princess Catharina-Amalia, will be receiving invitation letters for military service this week, the Dutch government has announced.

Active military service was abolished in 1997 but a 2018 change in law means girls too will be sent a letter in the year they turn 17.

Ank Bijleveld, the minister of defence, announced the move on Twitter Tuesday, saying boys and girls in the country not only have equal rights but also equal duties.

“But we don’t know what may happen in future and if the safety of the country is at stake it may be necessary for all boys and girls to call up,” she added.

The letter will also inform the girls about their chance to pursue a professional career in the military.

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