Mark Rutte has been the prime minister of the Netherlands for well over a decade. He is the longest-serving prime minister in the country's history. His tenure has seen multiple Dutch monarchs and the death of one of the nation's princess.

Scandals would emerge in Rutte's government, but his popularity would remain strong enough to persevere. Putting his name in the discussion as one of the most successful politicians in the world thus far of the 21st Century. Rutte has even been frequently mentioned as a favorite to become the next leader of NATO or the European Union.

But after another setback, he might be ready to leave the political arena altogether.

Says he will retire after the upcoming election

Mark Rutte is leaving politics. He remains as prime minister for the time being. Rutte says he will stay on in a caretaker role until a new Cabinet is formed, which would likely after be the next Dutch general election, scheduled for later this year.

His announcement comes shortly after his government coalition collapsed over disagreements regarding immigration policy. "This is not entirely without emotion," Rutte said. Adding, however, that "it also feels good to pass the baton."

A new leader will also have to be chosen for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy.

The centre-right political party that Rutte has been in charge of since 2006.

Rutte ascended to the prime minister's role following the 2010 general election. His party formed a coalition primarily with the centrist Christian Democratic Appeal. The 2012 election led to a coalition led by Rutte between his party and the centre-left Labour Party.

Offered his resignation in the past

Coalition negotiations following the 2017 general election proved to be exceptionally lengthy. But in the end resulted in a famed 'grand coalition' between the Netherlands' biggest centrist parties. Mark Rutte's party and the Christian Democratic Appeal joined forces with Democrats 66 and the Christian Union.

Afterward, though, things started getting a bit more tricky for him.

Among his issues would be a massive tax reform proposal that was unpopular with Dutch citizens. But most devastating would be the emergence of a childcare benefits scandal. The government wrongfully made accusations of mass fraudulent claims for financial childcare assistance. Often driving families innocent of charges in dire monetary straits. The false accusations began long before Rutte became prime minister. But also continued much longer after he'd assumed the office. All told, the wrongdoing by the government went on for roughly 15 years.

As a result, Rutte offered his resignation to King Willem-Alexander in early 2021.

An ensuing election was called for, but Rutte was kept on as the caretaker prime minister. Voters evidently did not place much blame on him for the problems. He was returned as prime minister following the election, forming the same coalition as before.

Worked as a schoolteacher while prime minister

Mark Rutte is a native of The Hague in the Dutch province of South Holland. He later graduated from Leiden University and went on to work for Unilever. Over time, he also became more politically active.

In 2002, Christian Democratic Appeal Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende appointed Rutte to his Cabinet. The following year, he was elected to the Dutch House of Representatives for the first time.

Rutte has garnered a reputation for his modest ways in his personal and political life. Even after becoming prime minister, he would continue to teach social studies at a secondary school. Rutte would frequently travel by bicycle on official business, including to visit the Royal Palace. When cars were used, his vehicles of choice were 1990s and 2000s-eras Saabs.