Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
|Willem-Alexander at his inauguration|
|Reign||30 April 2013 – present|
|Prime Minister||Mark Rutte|
|Spouse||Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (m. 2002)|
|Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange
|Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand|
|House||House of Orange-Nassau (modern)
House of Amsberg
|Father||Claus von Amsberg|
|Mother||Beatrix of the Netherlands|
27 April 1967 |
|Religion||Protestant Church in the Netherlands|
Willem-Alexander (pronounced [ˈʋɪləm ɑlɛˈksɑndər]; Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand; born 27 April 1967) is the reigning King of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of the countries of the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten. He is head of the Dutch royal house and the House of Amsberg and upon coming to the throne became the first male monarch of the Netherlands since the death of William III in 1890.
Willem-Alexander was born in Utrecht and is the eldest child of Princess Beatrix and German diplomat Claus von Amsberg. He became Prince of Orange and heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands on 30 April 1980, when his mother became queen regnant, and he ascended the throne on 30 April 2013 when his mother abdicated. Upon his accession, he was Europe's youngest monarch.
He went to public primary and secondary schools, served in the Royal Netherlands Navy, and studied history at Leiden University. He married Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti in 2002 and they have three daughters: Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange (born 2003), Princess Alexia (b. 2005), and Princess Ariane (b. 2007).
Willem-Alexander is interested in sports and international water management issues. Until his accession to the throne, he was a member of the International Olympic Committee (1998–2013), chairman of the Advisory Committee on Water to the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment (2004–13), and chairman of the Secretary-General of the United Nations' Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (2006–13).
Early life 
HM The King *
Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand was born on 27 April 1967 in the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands. He was the first child of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus, and the first grandchild of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard. He was the first male Dutch royal baby since the birth of Prince Alexander in 1851, and the first immediate male heir since Alexander's death in 1884.
From birth, Willem-Alexander has held the titles Prince of the Netherlands (Dutch: Prins der Nederlanden), Prince of Orange-Nassau (Dutch: Prins van Oranje-Nassau), and Jonkheer of Amsberg (Dutch: Jonkheer van Amsberg). He was baptised as a member of the Dutch Reformed Church on 2 September 1967 in Saint Jacob's Church in The Hague. His godparents are Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, Prince Ferdinand von Bismarck, former Prime Minister Jelle Zijlstra, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
He has two younger brothers: Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, born in 1968, and Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, born in 1969. He lived with his family at the castle Drakesteijn in the hamlet Lage Vuursche near Baarn from his birth until 1981, when they moved to the larger palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. His mother Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands in 1980, after his grandmother Juliana abdicated. He then received the title of Prince of Orange as heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Willem-Alexander attended Nieuwe Baarnse Elementary School in Baarn from 1973 to 1979. He went to three different high schools: the Baarns Lyceum in Baarn from 1979 to 1981, the Eerste Vrijzinnig Christelijk Lyceum in The Hague from 1981 to 1983, and the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales near Llantwit Major (1983 to 1985), where the prince had friends, and from which he received his International Baccalaureate.
After his military service from 1985–1987, Willem-Alexander studied history at Leiden University from 1987 onwards and received his academic degree in 1993. His final dissertation was on the Dutch response to France's decision under President Charles de Gaulle to leave NATO's integrated command structure.
Willem-Alexander speaks English, Spanish and German in addition to his native Dutch.
Military training and career 
Between high school and his academic studies, Willem-Alexander performed military service in the Royal Netherlands Navy from August 1985 to January 1987. He received his training at the Royal Netherlands Naval College and the frigates HNLMS Tromp and HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen, where he was an ensign. In 1988 he received additional training at the ship HNLMS Van Kinsbergen and became a lieutenant (junior grade) (wachtofficier).
As a reservist for the Royal Netherlands Navy, Willem-Alexander was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1995, Commander in 1997, Captain at Sea in 2001, and Commodore in 2005. As a reservist for the Royal Netherlands Army, he was made a Major (Grenadiers' and Rifles Guard Regiment) in 1995, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1997, Colonel in 2001, and Brigadier General in 2005. As a reservist for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, he was made Squadron Leader in 1995 and promoted to Air Commodore in 2005. As a reservist for the Royal Marechaussee, he was made Brigadier General in 2005.
Before his investiture as king, Willem-Alexander was honorably discharged from the armed forces. According to the Constitution of the Netherlands, the head of state cannot be a serving member of the armed forces. As king, Willem-Alexander may choose to wear a military uniform with royal insignia, but not with his former rank insignia.
Royal duties 
Since 1985, when he became 18 years old, Willem-Alexander has been a member of the Council of State of the Netherlands. This is the highest council of the Dutch government and is chaired by the head of state (then Queen Beatrix).
As part of his royal duties, he held commissions in the Dutch Army (as brigadier), Navy (as commander), and Air Force (as commodore)., he resigned his commissions on his ascension to the throne.
On 28 January 2013, Queen Beatrix announced that she planned to abdicate in favour of Willem-Alexander. The official programme for the abdication and investiture took place on 30 April 2013. The Queen signed the Instrument of Abdication at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam. The inauguration of Willem-Alexander as king took place at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.
After the abdication of his mother Queen Beatrix, Willem-Alexander was inaugurated as king on 30 April 2013. The abdication was signed at 10:07 am at the Moseszaal (Moses Hall) at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. The Royal Inauguration, together with the United Assembly of the States-General, took place at 2:30 pm at the Nieuwe Kerk.
Social interests 
King Willem-Alexander is interested in water management issues. He is an honorary member of the World Commission on Water for the 21st century and patron of the Global Water Partnership, a body established by the World Bank, the UN, and the Swedish Ministry of Development. He was appointed as the Chairperson of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation on 12 December 2006.
He was a patron of the Dutch Olympic Games Committee until 1998 when he was made a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1928 Summer Olympics held in Amsterdam, he has expressed support to bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Leisure activities 
He is an aircraft pilot and sportsman. In 1989, Willem-Alexander flew as a volunteer for the African Medical Research and Education Foundation (AMREF) in Kenya, and in 1991 he spent a month flying for the Kenya Wildlife Service. To make sure he flies enough hours each year to retain his license, he also regularly flies the Dutch royal airplane when he and his family travel abroad.
Using the name "W. A. van Buren", one of the less well-known titles of the House of Orange-Nassau, he participated in the 1986 Frisian Elfstedentocht, an ice-skating marathon. He ran the New York City Marathon under the same pseudonym in 1992.
On 2 February 2002, he married Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (born 17 May 1971) at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Máxima is an Argentine woman of Basque, Portuguese and Italian ancestry, who prior to their marriage worked as an investment banker in New York City. The marriage triggered significant controversy due to the role the bride's father, Jorge Zorreguieta, had in the Argentinian military dictatorship.
Family privacy and the press 
In an attempt to strike a balance between privacy for the royal family and availability to the press, the Netherlands Government Information Service (RVD) instituted a media code on 21 June 2005 which essentially states that:
- Photographs of the members of the royal house while performing their duties are always permitted.
- For other occasions (like holidays), the RVD will arrange a photo-op on condition that the press leave the family alone for the rest of the holiday.
During a ski vacation in Argentina, several photographs were taken of the prince and his family during the private part of their holiday, including one by Associated Press staff photographer Natacha Pisarenko, in spite of the media code, and after a photo opportunity had been provided earlier. The Associated Press decided to publish some of the photos, which were subsequently republished by several Dutch media. Willem-Alexander and the RVD jointly filed suit against the Associated Press on 5 August 2009, and the trial started on 14 August at the district court in Amsterdam. On 28 August, the district court ruled in favour of the prince and RVD, citing that the royal couple has a right to privacy; that the pictures in question add nothing to any public debate; and that they are not of any particular value to society since they are not photographs of the royals "at work". Associated Press was sentenced to stop further publication of the photographs, on pain of a €1,000 fine per violation with a €50,000 maximum.
Machangulo affair 
On 10 July 2008, the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima announced that they had invested in a development project on the Mozambican peninsula of Machangulo. The development project was aimed at building an ecologically responsible vacation resort, including a hotel and several luxury vacation houses for investors. The project was to invest heavily in the local economy of the peninsula (building schools and a local clinic) with an eye both towards responsible sustainability and maintaining a local staff. After contacting Mozambican president Armando Guebuza to verify that the Mozambican government had no objections, the couple decided to invest in two villas.
In 2009, controversy erupted in parliament and the press about the project and the prince's involvement. Politician Alexander Pechtold questioned the morality of building such a resort in a poor country like Mozambique. There were allegations of corruption involving a contractor on the project and project delays in constructing the schools and clinic.
Parliamentary debates were held in November 2009 and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende explained that the project was a private affair of the prince, but that extra distance had been created between the prince and the business of the project to avoid entanglements by creating a foundation to manage the prince's interests. The press called the independence of that foundation into question, because it was run by a personal friend of the prince's and a co-investor in the project.
- Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange (born 7 December 2003)
- Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien of the Netherlands (born 26 June 2005)
- Princess Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Inés of the Netherlands (born 10 April 2007)
Titles, styles, honours and arms 
Titles and styles 
- 27 April 1967 – 30 April 1980: His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
- 30 April 1980 – 30 April 2013: His Royal Highness The Prince of Orange, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
- 30 April 2013 – present: His Majesty The King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
He was the first male heir apparent to the Dutch throne since Prince Alexander, son of King William III, who died in 1884. Prince Willem-Alexander had earlier indicated that when he would become king, he would take the name William IV, but it was announced on 28 January 2013 that his regnal name would be Willem-Alexander.
Military ranks 
- Royal Netherlands Navy – Conscription
- Royal Netherlands Navy – Reserve
- Lieutenant (1988–1995)
- Lieutenant Commander (1995–1997)
- Commander (1997–2001)
- Captain at Sea (2001–2005)
- Commodore (2005–2013)
- Royal Netherlands Air Force – Reserve
- Royal Netherlands Army – Reserve
- Major, Grenadiers' and Rifles Guard Regiment (1995–1997)
- Lieutenant Colonel (1997–2001)
- Colonel (2001–2005)
- Brigadier General (2005–2013)
- Royal Marechaussee – Reserve
- Brigadier General (2005–2013)
- Dutch orders and decorations
In his capacity as the Sovereign, Willem-Alexander is Grand Master of the Military Order of William (Militaire Willemsorde) and the other Dutch orders of merit.
- Grand Cross of the Military William Order (30 April 2013)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (27 April 1985)
- Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau (30 April 1980)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange (27 April 1967)
- Queen Beatrix Investiture Medal (30 April 1980)
- Royal Wedding Medal 2002 (2 February 2002)
- Officer's cross for long service, with numberal XX (6 December 2006)
- Knight of the Order of Saint John in the Netherlands (8 June 1996)
- Foreign orders
Honorary appointment 
- Aide-de-camp to Her Majesty The Queen (until 2013)
Through his father, a member of the House of Amsberg, he is descended from families of the lower German nobility, and through his mother, from several royal German/Dutch families such as the House of Lippe, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the House of Orange-Nassau, Waldeck and Pyrmont, and the House of Hohenzollern. He is descended from the first King of the Netherlands, William I of the Netherlands, who was also a ruler in Luxembourg and several German states, and all subsequent Dutch monarchs. By his mother, Willem-Alexander also descended from Paul I of Russia and thus from German princess Catherine the Great. Through his father, he is also descended from several Dutch/Flemish families who left the Low Countries during Spanish rule, such as the Berenbergs. His paternal great-great-grandfather Gabriel von Amsberg (1822–1895), a Major-General of Mecklenburg, was recognized as noble as late as 1891, the family having adopted the "von" in 1795.
King Willem-Alexander is a multiple descendant of Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, eldest daughter of British King George II. However, under the British Act of Settlement, King Willem-Alexander forfeited his (distant) succession rights to the throne of the United Kingdom, because he married a Roman Catholic.
- "Dutch Crown Prince quits IOC in preparation to become king", Sports Illustrated, 2013, retrieved 2013-04-19.
- "Prins Willem-Alexander neemt afscheid van Adviescommissie Water", de Volkskrant (in Dutch) (NL), 2013, retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Who We Are, United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation. Retrieved on 2013-04-19.
- (Dutch) Willem-Alexander neemt afscheid als 'waterprins', Trouw, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-04-19.
- The Prince of Orange. Dutch Royal House. Retrieved on 2009-07-19.
- Doop Willem-Alexander. Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. Retrieved on 2009-12-13.
- 40 meest gestelde vragen. Dutch Royal House. Retrieved on 2009-12-13.
- Doopplechtigheid Prins Willem-Alexander in Sint Jacobskerk. Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved on 2009-12-13.
- Z.M. koning Willem-Alexander , koning der Nederlanden, prins van Oranje-Nassau, Parlement.com. Retrieved on 2013-05-04.
- "Prins Willem-Alexander blundert tijdens staatsbezoek Mexico". 925.nl. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Military career. Dutch Royal House. Retrieved on 2009-12-17.
- King will retain close relationship with armed forces (press release), Ministry of Defense, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-05-03.
- Home > Encyclopedie > Wie is wie > De Prins van Oranje > Lijst van functies
- "Time and place of abdication and investiture". Royal Dutch House. 28 January 2013.
- (Dutch) Troonswisseling in Nederland (2013), Dutch Wikipedia, 2 May 2013
- "About UNSGAB". UNSGAB. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Netherlands May Bid For 2028 Games, Gamesbids.com
- "FAQ – Dutch royalty". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Han (4 October 2012). "FAQ: eleven facts about the Eleven Cities Race | Radio Netherlands Worldwide". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Brooks, James (19 April 2013). "Dutch abdication: Ten things you never knew about the royal family of the Netherlands - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- "Media Code on protecting the privacy of members of the Royal House". Netherlands Government Information Service. 21 June 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- "Royals sue Associated Press over holiday photos". NRC. 5 August 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- (Dutch)"Willem-Alexander wint rechtszaak tegen AP". 28 August 2009.
- (Dutch)"Willem-Alexander wil huis voor kust Mozambique". Nieuws.nl. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- Bruno Waterfield (13 June 2010). "Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander accused over Mozambique villa". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- (Dutch)"Prins had contact met president Mozambique". Algemeen Dagblad. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- "Crown prince bows to public pressure over Mozambique villa". NRC. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- (Dutch)"Villa van kroonprins zorgt weer voor ophef". Algemeen Dagblad. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Interview with Paul Witteman, September 1997, Racchvs.com
- Prince of Orange to become King Willem-Alexander
- Belga Pictures, group photo
- King Baudouin's funerals (08/1993), Willem-Alexander on third row
- Noblesse et Royautés (French), State visit of Netherlands in Brunei, Photo
- The royal forums, State visit of Luxembourg to Netherlands, 2006, Photo
- Official decree
- His Majesty receives Queen Beatrix – website of the Oman Observer
- Viva Maxima Blog, State visit of Juan Carlos in Netherlands 2001, Group photo
- 3rd Photo of this gallery shows the Prince wearing the order
- H.H Sheikh Khalifa welcomes HM Queen Beatrix of Netherlands – website of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- "Dutch Royal House – Coat of Arms and standard". Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
- The Coat of Arms, Vol. 9, 66–72, p. 112, Heraldry Society
- F. J. J. Tebbe, W. D. E. Aerts, Arnout van Cruyningen, Jean Klare (eds.), Encyclopedie van het Koninklijk Huis, p. 17, Winkler Prins, 2005
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange|
- Willem-Alexander van Oranje-Nassau (1967) on Familypedia (open wiki)
- The Prince of Orange, biography on the official website of the Dutch Royal House
Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
Cadet branch of the House of AmsbergBorn: 27 April 1967
|King of the Netherlands
Title last held byAlexander
|Prince of Orange
|Titles in pretence|
Prince Claus of the Netherlands
|— TITULAR —
Head of the House of Amsberg
Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau