Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
Princess Laurentien in 2010
|Spouse||Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands (m. 2001)|
|House||House of Orange-Nassau (by marriage)|
|Father||Laurens Jan Brinkhorst|
25 May 1966 |
|Religion||Protestant Church in the Netherlands|
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.
Marriage and children
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.
Princess Laurentien wore a wedding gown designed by Edouard Vermeulen.
Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien have three children:
- Countess Eloise of Orange-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg (born 8 June 2002, The Hague)
- Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg (born 21 March 2004, The Hague)
- Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg (born 3 June 2006, The Hague)
Princess Laurentien's niece, Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien of the Netherlands, second daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, received "Laurentien" as her fourth given name. Her cousin, Paola Cecilia Laurentien ten Cate, second daughter of Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parma, received "Laurentien" as her third given name. Princess Laurentien is also the godmother of Leah Isadora Behn, the daughter of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway.
Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien, and their children live in Brussels.
Titles, styles, and honours
Titles and styles
Laurentien's full title and style is: Her Royal Highness Princess Petra Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg.
Laurentien was not legally created a princess, but custom allows a wife to use her husband’s titles. All children of the marriage hold the titles Count or Countess of Orange-Nassau and Jonkheer or Jonkvrouw van Amsberg.
By Royal Decree of 15 January 2003, nr. 36, Princess Laurentien was granted her own personal standard.
- Netherlands : Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange
- Netherlands : Royal Wedding Medal 2002 (2 February 2002)
- Netherlands : King Willem-Alexander Investiture Medal (30 April 2013)
Work as Princess of the Netherlands
|Dutch Royal Family|
HRH Princess Beatrix *
Princess Laurentien has a long record of fighting against illiteracy in the Netherlands, which is now to be considered an underestimated problem. In 2009, she was designated UNESCO Special Envoy on "Literacy for Development" in recognition of her “outstanding commitment to the promotion of education and her profound dedication to the Organization’s ideals and objectives”. In 2010 she was co-recipient of the Major Bosshardt Prize for her work in combating illiteracy.
- Spokesperson for "Scouts for Climate" for the World Organization of the Scout Movement's initiative up to COP15 in Copenhagen.
- Vice-President of Fauna & Flora International.
- Chair of the European Cultural Foundation.
- Chair of the Dutch Reading and Writing Foundation (Stichting Lezen & Schrijven)
- Honorary chair of the Dutch Association of Public Libraries (Vereniging van Openbare Bibliotheken)
- Patron of the Dutch language society Genootschap Onze Taal
- Patron of the Netherlands Listening and Braille Library (Nederlandse Luister- en Braillebibliotheek)
- UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development
In October 2014 questions were raised in the Dutch parlement about the illiteracy organization she was running about the expensive parties and prime location of the office of the organization. Furthermore, her own children books appear to have been promoted through the subsidized organization.
- The Dutch Royal House
- Belga Pictures, Victoria of Sweden's wedding, Constantijn & Laurentien
- PPE Agency, Opening of Dutch Parliament 2012, photo showing the red-crossed badge of the order
- PPE Agency, Group photo
- PPE, Laurentien
- "Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development". UNESCO.