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Queen Máxima
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
Royal Wedding Stockholm 2010-Konserthuset-398.jpg
Princess Máxima at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, 19 June 2010
Born 17 May 1971 (1971-05-17) (age 49)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spouse Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange
Issue Catharina-Amalia, Hereditary Princess of Orange
Princess Alexia
Princess Ariane
Father Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini
Mother María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands (born as Máxima Zorreguieta; 17 May 1971) is the wife of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, the King of the Netherlands.

Early life and education

She was born Máxima Zorreguieta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 May 1971. Máxima is the daughter of Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini a farmer and a politician. He was the under-secretary of Agriculture under Jorge R. Videla's military dictatorship. She studied in Northlands School, in Argentina. She has two brothers, a sister and three half-sisters by her father's first wife. She graduated with a degree in Economics from the Universidad Católica Argentina in 1995 before working for large international companies in Finance in Argentina, New York and Europe.

Relationship with Prince Willem-Alexander

Máxima met the crown prince in April 1999 in Sevilla, Spain, during the Seville Spring Fair. This is an important annual event, to which many people from other countries come and dress in typical Spanish Andalusian costume. 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 told her he was a Prince. They agreed to meet in New York, where Máxima was working for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, two weeks later. 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. Máxima's father had been the Minister of Agriculture during the regime of former Argentine President Jorge Rafael Videla, a military dictator who ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1981 and who was responsible for many atrocities against civilians (non-military people). An estimated 10,000–30,000 people disappeared during this and later military regimes. Democracy was restored to Argentina in 1983.

Jorge Zorreguieta claimed that, as a civilian, he did not know about the Dirty War while he was a cabinet minister. Professor Baud was asked by the Dutch Parliament to research in what way Jorge Zorreguieta was involved in the war. He concluded that it would have been unlikely for a person in such a powerful position in the government to not know about the Dirty War. But the research also found that Máxima's father had not been directly involved with the many deaths in question.

The Dutch parliament gave permission for Máxima and Willem-Alexander to marry. This is necessary by law for the Prince of Orange to be able to become king. Because of the research around his involvement in the Dirty War, Máxima's father offered not to attend the wedding. Out of solidarity with her husband, Máxima's mother also did not come to the wedding on 2 February 2002 in Amsterdam.


The couple announced their engagement on 30 March 2001. Princess Máxima talked to the nation in fluent Dutch during the live broadcast on the occasion of the engagement.

Princess Máxima and Prince Willem-Alexander were married on 2 February 2002 in a civil ceremony in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam. After that they had a religious ceremony at the Nieuwe Kerk (also in Amsterdam).


The second names of all three of their daughters are also the names of the last 3 Dutch queens: Amalia's for her grandmother, Queen Beatrix, Alexia's for her great-grandmother, Queen Juliana and Ariane's for her great-great-grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina.

Queen Máxima is also godmother to two royal babies: Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau (daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands) and of Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway (son of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway).

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