| Princess of the Netherlands
|Princess Laurentien in 2015|
|Spouse||Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands (m. 2001)|
| Countess Eloise|
|Father||Laurens Jan Brinkhorst|
|Religion||Protestant Church in the Netherlands|
HRH Princess Beatrix *
Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (née Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst; born 25 May 1966) is the wife of Prince Constantijn and sister-in-law of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
Early life Edit
Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst was born in Leiden on 25 May 1966, the daughter of the former Dutch minister of Economic Affairs, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and Jantien Brinkhorst-Heringa. She has one brother. She is known by her middle name, Laurentien, a portmanteau of her parents' given names.
Princess Laurentien started primary school in Groningen. Her family then moved to The Hague, where she completed her primary education. She spent four years at the Christelijk Gymnasium Sorghvliet, and a year at the Eerste Vrijzinnige Christelijk Lyceum, both in The Hague. In 1984, she passed the Baccalauréat A examinations at the Lycée français in Tokyo. Her father was working in Japan at the time, being the Permanent Envoy of the European Union.
Princess Laurentien studied History at the University of Groningen, where she received her propaedeuse in 1986. After this she studied at College of Queen Mary of the University of London where she received her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science in 1989 and subsequently at the University of California, Berkeley, where she obtained her Master of Journalism (MJ) degree in 1991.
Interests and activities Edit
Besides her official duties as a member of the Royal House, Princess Laurentien performs a wide range of professional activities.
The Princess has been active in promoting literacy since 2001. Stichting Lezen & Schrijven (the Reading and Writing Foundation) was set up on her initiative in May 2004 to prevent and reduce functional illiteracy. In 2009 Princess Laurentien was designated UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development. In this capacity, she acts as an advocate for the cause of literacy all over the world. In February 2011 the Princess was appointed Chair of the European Commission’s High Level Group of Experts on Literacy. The Group published its Final Report in September 2012. In November 2017 Princess Laurentien resigned as honorary chair of Stichting Lezen & Schrijven, but she continues to closely follow issues surrounding illiteracy in the Netherlands and abroad through her UNESCO role.
Princess Laurentien’s commitment to sustainability and nature conservation is reflected in her work for the Missing Chapter Foundation, which she set up in 2009. The foundation encourages decision-makers to take the perspective of children and young people into account. In 2014 the foundation launched the Kids Council, a platform which invites children to explore the strategic dilemmas facing businesses, NGOs and local and national government. Based on their own research and interviews with management board members, the Kids Council offers new insights and possible solutions.
In 2009 Princess Laurentien published the first in a series of children’s books which centre on a character called Mr Finney and deal with issues such as sustainability and climate change. The second book in the series was published in February 2011, and the third in November 2013. The Princess has written several other books, including De Sprookjessprokkelaar (with Paul van Loon, 2014) and Nog Lang en Gelukkig (with Jeroen Smit, 2016).
Since late 2012 Princess Laurentien has been the President of Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the oldest nature conservation organisation focusing on the protection of threatened animal species and ecosystems worldwide. The Princess was first associated with the FFI in 2003, initially as a member of the Executive Committee and then as Vice-President until she was appointed President. She is also Fellow of the European Climate Foundation, member of the Board of Trustees of the Oceano Azul Foundation and Special Advisor for Rewilding Europe for the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature).
In 2017 Princess Laurentien and Prince Constantijn set up the Number 5 Foundation, a charity which is currently developing various innovation initiatives to address a range of social issues.
Between 1996 and 2003 Princess Laurentien worked in international communications, for companies including Weber Shandwick and Edelman PR Worldwide. She then became an independent adviser, working for clients such as the World Wide Fund for Nature and Estée Lauder. In 2017 she launched her own social enterprise, House of Hi, a strategic and creative consultancy studio.
Marriage and children Edit
The engagement of Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhorst was announced on 16 December 2000. The civil marriage was conducted by Wim Deetman, the mayor of the Hague, in the Oude Raadzaal, Javastraat, the Hague, on 17 May 2001. The church wedding took place two days later on 19 May in the Grote of St Jacobskerk, with Reverend Carel ter Linden officiating.
Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien have three children:
- Countess Eloise Beatrix Sophie Laurence of Oranje-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg, born 8 June 2002
- Count Claus-Casimir Bernhard Marius Max of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg, born 21 March 2004
- Countess Leonore Marie Irene Enrica of Orange-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg, born 3 June 2006
Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien, and their children moved in 2015 from Brussels to The Hague.