| Queen consort of the Netherlands
|Queen Máxima in 2013|
|Reign||30 April 2013 – present|
|Spouse||Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands|
| Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange|
|Father||Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini|
|Mother||María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart|
|Born|| 17 May 1971 |
Buenos Aires, Argentina
HM The King *
HRH Princess Beatrix *
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands (née Máxima Zorreguieta; born 17 May 1971) is the wife of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. On April 30 2013, she became the first queen consort of the Netherlands since 1890 and the first Latin American-born queen consort in the history of the Netherlands.
Born Máxima Zorreguieta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 May 1971, Princess Máxima is the daughter of Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini (b. 1928) and his second wife María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart (b. 1944). She has two brothers, a sister (deceased) and three half-sisters by her father's first wife Marta López Gil. She is named after her paternal great-grandmother Máxima Bonorino González (1874–1965).
Her father was a scion of the Zorreguieta family who had been landed gentry, professionals, regional politicians, and statesmen for generations. Her maternal great-grandfather was also from the landed gentry; Domingo Carricart Etchart (1885-1953) was a landowner, politician, Director of the Banco Provincial de Buenos Aires, first mayor of González Chaves, and mayor of Tres Arroyos.
She studied at Northlands School in Argentina and worked as an investment banker before graduating with a degree in Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) in 1995. She later completed her studies with a Master's degree in the United States.
She speaks Dutch, English, and her native Spanish.
From 1989 to 1990, while still in college, she worked for Mercado Abierto Electrónico S.A. From 1992 to 1995, she worked in the sales department of Boston Securities SA in Buenos Aires, where she conducted research on software for financial markets. From July 1996 to February 1998, she worked for HSBC James Capel Inc. in New York City, where she became vice president of institutional sales for Latin America. From then until July 1999, she was vice president of the emerging markets division of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in New York. From May 2000 to March 2001 she worked in the Deutsche Bank in Brussels. She also worked as an English language teacher to children and adults, and of mathematics for high school students and freshmen.
Relationship with Willem-AlexanderEdit
Máxima met the heir to the Dutch throne in April 1999 in Sevilla, Spain, during the Seville Spring Fair: "Feria de abril de Sevilla." In an interview, they stated that he introduced himself only as "Alexander," so that she did not know he was a prince. She thought he was joking when he later told her he was a Prince. They agreed to meet again two weeks later in New York, where Máxima was working for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. Their relationship apparently began in New York, but the Princess did not meet the Prince's parents, Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus, for some time.
The news of the couple's relationship and eventual marriage plans caused controversy in the Netherlands, due the involvement of Máxima's father as a cabinet minister during the regime of Argentine President Jorge Rafael Videla, a military dictator who ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1981 and who was responsible for many atrocities against civilians. An estimated 10,000–30,000 people disappeared during Videla's and subsequent military regimes before democracy was restored to Argentina in 1983. Zorreguieta claimed that, as a civilian, he was unaware of the "Dirty War" while he was a cabinet minister. On request of the Dutch Parliament, Michiel Baud, a Dutch professor in Latin American studies, did an inquiry into the involvement of Zorreguieta in the "Dirty War". Although Zorreguieta claimed that, as a civilian, he was unaware of the "Dirty War" while he was a cabinet minister, Baud concluded that it would have been unlikely for a person in such a powerful position in the government to be unaware of the Dirty War. However, Baud's research determined that Máxima's father had not been directly involved with the many deaths during that period. Even so, his possible presence at the royal wedding was debated for several months.
Approval for the marriage was granted by the Dutch parliament (necessary by law for the Prince of Orange to remain heir to the throne), but Máxima's father chose not to attend the wedding. Out of solidarity with her husband, Máxima's mother also remained absent from the wedding, held on 2 February 2002 in Amsterdam.
Máxima was granted Dutch citizenship by Royal Decree on 17 May 2001. The Princess has dual citizenship: Argentine and Dutch.
Máxima remained a Roman Catholic instead of converting to the denomination of the Prince, although they agreed that their children would be raised as Protestants.
Engagement and marriageEdit
- See Engagemant of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta and Wedding of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta
The couple announced their engagement on 30 March 2001; Princess Máxima addressed the nation in fluent Dutch during the directly televised broadcast.
Princess Máxima and Prince Willem-Alexander were married on 2 February 2002 in a civil ceremony in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, which was then followed by a religious ceremony at Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk ("New Church"). Máxima addressed the nation in Dutch (which at the time she only spoke to basic conversational extent) during the live televised broadcast.
Máxima's parents were not present at the wedding; her father was told he could not attend due to his role as a cabinet minister during the National Reorganization Process, and her mother chose not to attend without her husband.
She is the first Dutch queen consort to have been born outside Europe.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have three daughters:
- Her Royal Highness Princess Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria born 7 December 2003
- Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien born 26 June 2005
- Her Royal Highness Princess Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Inés born 10 April 2007
The second names of all three of their daughters are after Dutch queens: Beatrix for Amalia's grandmother, Queen Beatrix, Juliana for Alexia's great-grandmother, Queen Juliana and Wilhelmina for Ariane's great-great-grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina.
Máxima is also godmother of:
- Countess Sophie Philippa Máxima Walburga Marie of Waldburg-Zeil, born 29 June 2000.
- Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway, born 3 December 2005 (son of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway).
- Countess Leonore Marie Irene Enrica of Orange-Nassau, born 3 June 2006 (daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands).
Princess Máxima focuses on the issue of integration of immigrants into Dutch culture. She was a member of a special parliamentary commission which sought to recommend ways to increase the participation of female immigrants in the workforce. Princess Máxima stresses the importance for immigrants of learning the Dutch language, (as she did), to fully participate in Dutch society. The Princess herself is trilingual.
Princess Máxima was a member of the Advisers Group for the United Nations' International Year of Microcredit 2005. She traveled to many countries in Africa and South America to promote Microcredit, and attended many UN functions related to the International Year of Microcredit.
She participates in conferences around the world representing the Netherlands. The Princess was granted a seat in the Dutch Council of State on 20 October 2004, the highest advisory body and court of administration (established by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1531). She became a member of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Women’s Participation, has a seat on the board of governors of the Chair on the Management of Diversity and Integration at the Free University of Amsterdam, she (along with her husband) is a patron of the Orange Fund (established to promote social welfare and cohesion in the Netherlands), and she also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Prince Claus Chair of the University of Utrecht. The Princess was appointed in September 2009 by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development because of her "extensive knowledge and expertise" on financial matters in developing countries. Similarly, in June 2011, Maxima became Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion to "strengthen the synergy between the UN and the G20 nations on promoting universal access to financial services".
Máxima has toured all across the Netherlands and has visited many different countries in the past years on official visits and state visits with the Queen.
She is one of the few royals in the world to be an open supporter of gay rights, and was the first royal to attend an LGBT rights conference on 5 March 2008. The Princess signed an accord at the end of the conference calling for the full acceptance of gays in The Netherlands. "The Princess is in favor of equal rights of all groups in the Netherlands," her spokesperson said. Queen Beatrix has spoken out a number of times in support of LGBT rights.
Queen Máxima has been honorary chair of the Money Wise Platform since 2010. In this capacity, the Queen focuses attention on the importance of financial education and managing money sensibly, especially where children and young people are concerned. The Queen acts as special advisor to the Platform and consults with interested parties on ways of increasing people's financial awareness and resilience.
Since 10 June 2015, Queen Máxima has been the honorary chair of the Ambassadors for Music at School Platform. Queen Máxima has for some years been committed to giving as many children as possible the opportunity to create music.
Queen Máxima is a member of the Committee for Enterprise and Finance, which succeeded the Microfinance Council in 2011. The Queen is committed to extending the reach of various financing opportunities, both through coaching and by providing credit for new and existing small businesses in the Netherlands. She also works to increase the number of women entrepreneurs and the scope they have to expand their businesses.
Titles, styles, honors, and armsEdit
Titles and stylesEdit
- 1971-2002: Miss Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti
- February 2, 2002-present Her Royal Highness Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg
As wife of the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima does not carry the title "Princess of Orange" - the title of Prince or Princess of Orange is reserved for, and only used by, the heir apparent to the throne. When Prince Willem-Alexander ascends the throne, the current Hereditary Princess of Orange, Princess Catharina-Amalia, will become the Princess of Orange.
By Royal Decree nr. 41 of 25 January 2002, upon the solemnization of marriage Máxima Zorreguieta was taken up into the Dutch nobility and the titles Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau, and the predicate Royal Highness, were formally granted to her.
By Royal Decree nr. 42 of 25 January 2002, the Princess was granted her own personal coat of arms and a personal standard.
On 13 May 2011 the Dutch parliament confirmed that when the Prince of Orange ascends the throne, Princess Máxima will take the style and title of Her Majesty The Queen of the Netherlands.
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Belgium: Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown (Belgium)
- Oman: First Class of the Order of Sultan Qaboos (10 January 2012)
- UAE: Member of the Union Order (9 January 2012)
- Sweden: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Polar Star (2010)