Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Zorreguieta and the second or maternal family name is Cerruti.
Queen Máxima
Queen Maxima in 2015
Queen consort of the Netherlands
Tenure 30 April 2013 – present
Born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti[fn 1]
(1971-05-17) 17 May 1971 (age 45)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spouse Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (m. 2002)
Issue Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange
Princess Alexia
Princess Ariane
Father Jorge Zorreguieta
Mother María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart
Religion Roman Catholic

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands (born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti;[1] 17 May 1971) is the wife of King Willem-Alexander.

On 30 April 2013, she became the first Dutch queen consort since Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the second wife of King William III in 1890.

Early life and education[edit]

Máxima aged six, 1977.

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 May 1971. Queen Máxima is the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta (born 1928), Secretary of Agriculture under General Jorge Rafael Videla during Argentina's last civil-military dictatorship (1976-1983), and his second wife, María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart (born 1944). She has two brothers, a sister, and three half-sisters by her father's first wife, Marta López Gil.[2][3] She is named after her paternal great-grandmother Máxima Bonorino González (1874–1965). Her father is a scion of 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.[4]

She grew up in the Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires city, and studied at Northlands School, a bilingual school of the city of Olivos. She graduated with a degree in Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) in 1995. This private university is governed by a directory of local bishops, including the current Pope Francis, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires and Grand Chancellor of UCA. During her student years, Francis presided over the traditional Mass at the beginning of classes. She later completed her studies with a Master's degree in the United States.[5]

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, the current queen Máxima 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.[6] She also worked as an English language teacher to children and adults, and of mathematics for high school students and freshmen.[7]

Relationship with Willem-Alexander[edit]

Máxima and Willem-Alexander 2001

Máxima met Willem-Alexander in April 1999 in Seville, Spain, during the Seville Spring Fair. 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 that he was not only a prince, but the Prince of Orange and heir apparent to the Dutch throne. 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 she did not meet his parents, Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus, for some time.[8]

The news of the couple's relationship and eventual marriage plans caused controversy in the Netherlands, due to the involvement of Máxima's father Jorge Zorreguieta as a cabinet minister during the National Reorganization Process, the latest Argentinian dictatorship. Her father's tenure as a minister took place during the beginning stages of the Dirty War, a period of repression that saw 10,000–30,000 people killed or disappeared during the seven-year military regime. At the request of the States General, Michiel Baud, a Dutch professor in Latin American studies, carried out an inquiry into the involvement of Zorreguieta in the Dirty War (roughly, 1974-83). Zorreguieta claimed that, as a civilian, he was unaware of the Dirty War while he was a cabinet minister. Baud determined that Máxima's father had not been directly involved in any of the numerous atrocities that took place during that period. However, Baud also concluded that Zorreguieta was almost certainly aware of them; in Baud's view, it was highly unlikely that a cabinet minister would not have known about them.[9] Even so, his possible presence at the royal wedding was debated for several months.[10]

Marriage and family[edit]

The Royal Wedding, February 2002.
Willem-Alexander, Maxima and their daughters; on the balcony of the Royal Palace, after the abdication of Queen Beatrix in 2013.

The couple announced their engagement on 30 March 2001; Máxima addressed the nation in Dutch (which at the time she only spoke to basic conversational extent) during the live televised broadcast.[11] Máxima was granted Dutch citizenship by Royal Decree on 17 May 2001 and now has dual citizenship: Argentine and Dutch.[12] The engagement was formally approved by the States General later that year—a necessary step for Willem-Alexander to remain heir to the throne.[13]

Máxima and 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").[14][15] She remained a Roman Catholic after her marriage.[16]

She is the first Dutch queen consort to have been born outside Europe although, through her father, she is a descendant of King Afonso III of Portugal and other noble families of the Iberian Peninsula who moved to the Argentine viceroyalty during the early nineteenth century.[2][17][18]

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.[19][20]

The couple has three daughters:

Máxima is also godmother of:


Willem-Alexander reads, with his side Queen Maxima, the throne speech for Budget Day to members of the Senate and House in the Knights.

Queen Máxima has a particular concern for the 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. Máxima stresses the importance for immigrants of learning the Dutch language (as she did) in order to fully participate in Dutch society. Dutch is the Queen's third language; she is also fluent in Spanish (her native language) and English. She speaks French to a conversational level.

She participates in conferences around the world representing the Netherlands. She was granted a seat in the Dutch Council of State on 20 October 2004,[21] the highest advisory body and court of administration. She was a member of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Women’s Participation from July 2003 until 2005. She 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 in Development and Equity of the International Institute of Social Studies [22] and the University of Utrecht.[23]

Máxima is one of the few members of royal families anywhere in the world to be an open supporter of gay rights, and was the first member of a royal family to attend an LGBT rights conference, having attended a conference concerned with LGBT rights on 5 March 2008.[24][25]

Controversy over statement on Dutch identity[edit]

In 2007 Maxima inadvertently caused a wave of massive criticism when in a speech to the Scientific Council for Government Policy she said that in the seven years that she had been in the Netherlands, she had been unable to find the Dutch identity.[26] Maxima is quoted as having said the following:

Critics felt that with this statement she unwisely entered a politically very sensitive area. During an interview in May 2011, on the occasion of her fortieth birthday, Maxima told that she was shocked by the commotion her words had caused. She claimed she was misunderstood and that she wanted to make a compliment to the Netherlands for being a many-faceted society[citation needed].

International appointments[edit]

Maxima in 2015.

Queen Máxima currently serves as the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon designated her to this role in September 2009 in order to raise awareness on the importance of inclusive financial systems for achieving economic and development goals such as poverty alleviation, food security and education. In her work as UNSGSA, the Queen focuses on how formal financial services such as savings, insurance, and credit can prevent people from falling into poverty due to expenditures on healthcare, and people who are not able to protect themselves against rising food prices and poverty because they do not have access to basic savings accounts. The role of the UNSGSA is to foster action by governments, private sector, financial system standard setters, and others towards a more inclusive financial system that works for the poor.[28]

Máxima is also the Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since June 2011. In this role she works with governments and partners to advance the G20 Action Plan on Financial Inclusion, and the G20 Financial Inclusion Peer Learning Program. Previously, the Queen was a member of the Advisors Group for the United Nations' International Year of Microcredit 2005 [29] and until 2009, was a member of UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors.

Titles, honours and arms[edit]

By a decree issued on 25 January 2002, upon the solemnization of marriage, Máxima Zorreguieta was granted the titles Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau, and the style Royal Highness, were formally conferred upon her. She also became "mevrouw van Amsberg (Mrs. van Amsberg)".[30]

Another decree issued on the same day also granted her own personal coat of arms and a personal standard.[31]

On 13 May 2011, the Dutch parliament confirmed that Máxima would become queen consort of the Netherlands upon her husband's accession, after a debate over her future title and style.[32] On 28 January 2013, it was announced that Queen Beatrix would abdicate on 30 April in favour of Willem-Alexander.[33] Máxima is the Kingdom's first queen consort since Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the second wife of William III. She is the first Dutch queen consort to have been born as a commoner, and the first to have been born outside Europe.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 17 May 1971 – 2 February 2002: Miss Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti
  • 2 February 2002 – 30 April 2013: Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg
  • 30 April 2013 – present: Her Majesty the Queen[34]


Royal Standard of Máxima

National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]



  1. ^ Due to Spanish naming customs her full name used a paternal surname and a maternal surname. The maternal surname is sometimes omitted.
  1. ^ Pronunciation in Spanish ([ˈmaksima soreˈɣjeta ˈseruti]) and Dutch ([ˈmɑksimaː]).
  2. ^ a b Reitwiesner, William Addams. "Ancestry of Maxima Zorreguieta". WARGS. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Andrea Borella Annuario della Nobiltà Italiana, Edition XXXI Teglio (SO) 2010 S.A.G.I. Casa Editrice, vol. 1 and Ascendencia de Da. Máxima Zorreguieta, Princesa de la Corona de los Paises Bajos Archived 3 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Ancestry of Maxima Zorreguieta
  5. ^ "From Commoner to Queen - The Story of Máxima Zorreguieta". Euro Channel - The Best of Europe. Retrieved 10 November 2015. After moving to the United States to complete a master’s degree 
  6. ^ "Studie en werk vóór 2002". Het Koninklij Huis. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hats off to birthday girl Queen Máxima of the Netherlands". Hello Magazine. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Princess Maxima". Hello magazine. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Human rights: Zorreguieta vs.humanrights Archived 19 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine., March 2001.
  10. ^ "Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands". Hello!. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Engagement period Archived 22 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Royal Wedding 2002.
  12. ^ Ook Beatrix heeft dubbele nationaliteit Archived 21 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine., (Queen Beatrix also has dual citizenship), Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 6 March 2007.
  13. ^ Joyful christening of Catharina-Amalia
  14. ^ Amsterdam Museum toont trouwtafel van Prins Willem-Alexander en Prinses Maxima Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Royal Wedding 2002.
  15. ^ Princess Maxima & Prince Willem-Alexander's Wedding: A Look Back
  16. ^ We're all princesses now: The rise of the middle-class monarchy
  17. ^ Genealogía Argentina Archived 3 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ La Casa de Orange - Nassu y su parentesco político con Doña Máxima Zorroguieta
  19. ^ Fox News
  20. ^ Dutch abdication: profile of Maxima Zorreguieta, Holland's new Queen consort
  21. ^ "Prinses Máxima krijgt zitting in Raad van State" (in Dutch). 19 October 2004. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  22. ^ Iss.nl
  23. ^ "Queen Maxima at the Utrecht University in Utrecht". Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  24. ^ FreeForm | Chicago Free Press: Judge Not... Archived 7 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ "Landelijke koploperovereenkomst lesbisch". Rijksoverheid. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  26. ^ Speech Máxima on identity, NIS, July 17, 2008
  27. ^ Translated from the Dutch original.
  28. ^ Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands Archived 8 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  29. ^ "International Year of Microcredit 2005". Year of Microcredit. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  30. ^ Decree of 25 January 2002 laying down the titles and styles of Máxima Zorreguieta and titles, names, and styles of the children who might be born from the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, Prince of Orange, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg with Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs van Amsberg. Official Gazette of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. No. 41. Published: 31 January 2002
  31. ^ a b Decree of 25 January 2002, regarding the coat of arms and personal flag of Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima. Official Gazette of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. No. 42. Published: 31 January 2002
  32. ^ Pinedo, Danielle; Versteegh, Kees (15 February 2013). "Deskundigen in NRC: Máxima kreeg te snel titel 'koningin'". nrc.nl (in Dutch). 
  33. ^ www.koninklijkhuis.nl
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  35. ^ http://c7.alamy.com/comp/HABDAY/amsterdam-the-netherlands-28th-nov-2016-king-philippe-and-queen-mathilde-HABDAY.jpg
  36. ^ http://c7.alamy.com/comp/HACH5G/front-l-r-belgian-queen-mathilde-king-philippe-dutch-king-willem-alexander-HACH5G.jpg
  37. ^ State visit of Beatrix in Belgium, 2006, Belga Pictures, group photo Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  38. ^ Noblesse et Royautés Archived 25 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (French), State visit of Netherlands in Brunei (01/2013), Photo Archived 1 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ Getty Images Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/queen-maxima-of-the-netherlands-attends-a-state-banquet-at-news-photo/466613980
  41. ^ Koning krijgt grootkruis van Legioen van Eer - website De Telegraaf
  42. ^ Daily Mail
  43. ^ The royal forums, State visit of Luxembourg to Netherlands, 2006, Photo
  44. ^ Official decree, 2 November 2009
  45. ^ Kongehuset[dead link]
  46. ^ http://c7.alamy.com/comp/D6C2FB/dutch-princess-maxima-receives-a-present-from-sultan-qaboos-bin-said-D6C2FB.jpg
  47. ^ [1] - The Queen wears the rosette of the order above her brooch.
  48. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  49. ^ Mad Hattery, pictures during Princess Victoria of Sweden's wedding
  50. ^ H.H Sheikh Khalifa welcomes HM Queen Beatrix of Netherlands Archived 29 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine. - website of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  51. ^ a b c d (Dutch) Wapens van leden van het Koninklijk Huis Archived 23 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Dutch Royal House. Retrieved on 6 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Dutch royalty
Title last held by
Claus von Amsberg
as prince consort
Queen consort of the Netherlands
30 April 2013 – present