Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

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Queen Maxima on a Caribbean Tour, 2013
Queen consort of the Netherlands
Tenure 30 April 2013 – present
Born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti[fn 1]
(1971-05-17) 17 May 1971 (age 44)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spouse Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (m. 2002)
Issue 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 1890.

Early life and education[edit]

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 President Jorge Rafael Videla during the National Reorganization Process dictatorship, 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 was a member 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 del Banco Provincial de Buenos Aires, first mayor of González Chaves, and the 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 in 1995, and later completed her studies with a Master's degree in the United States.[5] She subsequently worked for large international finance companies in Argentina, New York, and Brussels.[6] She also worked as an English language teacher to children and adults, and of Mathematics for high school students and freshmen.[7]

Through her father, she is a descendant of King Afonso III of Portugal, and other noble families of the Iberian Peninsula.[2][8][9]

Relationship with Willem-Alexander[edit]

Princess Máxima during her second pregnancy.

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.[citation needed]

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.[10] Even so, his possible presence at the royal wedding was debated for several months.[11]

Marriage and family[edit]

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.[12] Máxima was granted Dutch citizenship by Royal Decree on 17 May 2001 and now has dual citizenship: Argentine and Dutch.[13] The engagement was formally approved by the States General later that year—a necessary step for Willem-Alexander to remain heir to the throne.[14]

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").[15][16] She remained a Roman Catholic after her marriage.[17] 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.[18][19]

The couple has three daughters:

Máxima is also godmother of:

Royal duties[edit]

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima on the day of the investiture, Koninginnedag 2013
Willem-Alexander and Maxima meeting with the Prime Minister Mark Rutte in 2010.
Maxima in the City Hall of Hamburg (March 19, 2015).
Royal Standard of Máxima

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 actually the Queen's third language; she is also fluent in Spanish (her native language) and English. She speaks French to a conversational level.

The Queen participates in conferences around the world representing the Netherlands. She was granted a seat in the Dutch Council of State on 20 October 2004,[20] the highest advisory body and court of administration. She became a member of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Women’s Participation;[when?] 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 [21] and the University of Utrecht.[citation needed]

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.[22][23]

International appointments[edit]

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, 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.[24]

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 [25] and until 2009, was a member of UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors.

Titles, honours and arms[edit]

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 conferred upon her.[26]

By Royal Decree No. 42 of 25 January 2002, the Princess was granted her own personal coat of arms and a personal standard.[27]

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.[28] On 28 January 2013, it was announced that Queen Beatrix would abdicate on 30 April in favour of Willem-Alexander.[29] 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: Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti
  • 2 February 2002 – 30 April 2013: Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg
  • 30 April 2013 – present: Her Majesty The Queen of the Netherlands[30]


See also List of honours of the Dutch Royal Family by country

National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


Arms of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
Coat of Arms of Maxima, Queen of the Netherlands.svg
This coat of arms is used by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.[45] It was granted by royal decree-law of Queen Beatrix on 25 January 2002.[46]
Quarterly: I and IV azure billety or, a lion with coronet also or armed and langued gules, holding in his dexter paw a sword argent hilted or, and in his sinister seven arrows argent pointed and bound together or, which is of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; II and III or, a horn azure opened and bound gules, which is of the First House of Orange; an inescutcheon or bearing a castle of three towers gules flanked on each side by a poplar tree au naturel, and a river azure flowing from the base, ondoyant to the gate of the castle, which is of the house of Zorreguieta in Argentina.
Arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.svg The first and fourth quarters are the coat of arms of the Netherlands, based on the coat of arms of the House of Nassau.[45]
Arms of the Principality of Orange.svg The second and third quarters are the coat of arms of the Prince of Orange.[45]
Arms of the Zorreguieta Family.svg In the center is the coat of arms of Queen Máxima's paternal family, the Zorreguieta family.[45]


  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 ([makˈsima 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" Edizione 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
  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. ^ Genealogía Argentina
  9. ^ La Casa de Orange - Nassu y su parentesco político con Doña Máxima Zorroguieta
  10. ^ Human rights: Zorreguieta vs.humanrights, March 2001.
  11. ^ "Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands". Hello!. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Engagement period, Royal Wedding 2002.
  13. ^ Ook Beatrix heeft dubbele nationaliteit, (Queen Beatrix also has dual citizenship), Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 6 March 2007.
  14. ^ Joyful christening of Catharina-Amalia
  15. ^ Amsterdam Museum toont trouwtafel van Prins Willem-Alexander en Prinses Maxima, Royal Wedding 2002.
  16. ^ Princess Maxima & Prince Willem-Alexander's Wedding: A Look Back
  17. ^ We're all princesses now: The rise of the middle-class monarchy
  18. ^ Fox News
  19. ^ Dutch abdication: profile of Maxima Zorreguieta, Holland's new Queen consort
  20. ^ "Prinses Máxima krijgt zitting in Raad van State" (in Dutch). 19 October 2004. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Iss.nl
  22. ^ FreeForm | Chicago Free Press: Judge Not...
  23. ^ "Landelijke koploperovereenkomst lesbisch". Rijksoverheid. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  24. ^ Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands
  25. ^ "International Year of Microcredit 2005". Year of Microcredit. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  26. ^ Royal Decree nr. 41 of 25 January 2002, regarding the royal titles and predicate for Princess Máxima - Official gazette of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  27. ^ Royal decree nr. 42 of 25 January 2002, regarding the coat of arms and personal standard for Princess Máxima - Official gazette of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  28. ^ [1], www.nrc.nl
  29. ^ www.koninklijkhuis.nl
  30. ^ [2]
  31. ^ State visit of Beatrix in Belgium, 2006, Belga Pictures, group photo
  32. ^ Noblesse et Royautés (French), State visit of Netherlands in Brunei (01/2013), Photo
  33. ^ Getty Images
  34. ^ http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/queen-maxima-of-the-netherlands-attends-a-state-banquet-at-news-photo/466613980
  35. ^ Koning krijgt grootkruis van Legioen van Eer - website De Telegraaf
  36. ^ The royal forums, State visit of Luxembourg to Netherlands, 2006, Photo
  37. ^ Official decree, 02/11/2009
  38. ^ Kongehuset
  39. ^ http://c7.alamy.com/comp/D6C2FB/dutch-princess-maxima-receives-a-present-from-sultan-qaboos-bin-said-D6C2FB.jpg
  40. ^ [3] - The Queen wears the rosette of the order above her brooch.
  41. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  42. ^ Mad Hattery, pictures during Princess Victoria of Sweden's wedding
  43. ^ H.H Sheikh Khalifa welcomes HM Queen Beatrix of Netherlands - website of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  44. ^ Daily Mail
  45. ^ a b c d (Dutch) Wapens van leden van het Koninklijk Huis, Dutch Royal House. Retrieved on 2013-05-06.
  46. ^ Besluit van 25 januari 2002, houdende verlening van wapen en onderscheidingsvlag aan Hare Koninklijke Hoogheid Prinses Máxima (original Dutch text of the royal decree)

External links[edit]

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