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Crown Prince Willem & Máxima Zorreguieta

The marriage of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Máxima Zorreguieta - February 2, 2002

Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, Prince of Orange, was born on April 27, 1967 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Máxima Zorreguieta was born on May 17, 1971 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The engagement

After months of speculation, on March 30, 2001 at 6 p.m. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix announced the engagement of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his Argentine girlfriend Máxima Zorreguieta.

willem_maxima_engagementThe press presentation took place at Palace Noordeinde in The Hague. Immediately after Prime Minister Wim Kok addressed the nation explaining how it was dealing with the situation concerning the bride's father. Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta is a former Minister of Agriculture in General Videla’s regime in the 1970s, one of the most brutal dictatorships in Latin America. Questions had arisen on whether Jorge was aware of or involved in the torture, killing and disappearance of thousands of Argentineans. Zorreguieta himself decided not to attend the engagement and the wedding.

willem_maxima_ring

After a press conference from the Prime Minister, the newly engaged couple had their first press meeting at Noordeinde, where Máxima made her first public appearance. Both the bride and groom-to-be addressed the nation in Dutch. Máxima openly distanced herself from the Videla regime. The couple also took time to answer questions from reporters.

Willem-Alexander proposed to Máxima on January 19 at Palace Huis ten Bosch. Alexander asked his girlfriend to go skating at one of the ornamental lakes, where he popped the question. Máxima was surprised, but immediately answered 'yes'. The engagement ring was designed by Willem-Alexander himself.

After the press conference, the couple had a photo session and then walked from Palace Noordeinde to Willem-Alexander's residence, which is next to the Palace. The couple took time to greet the crowds awaiting them, shaking hands and taking flowers.

Family life

Since their marriage, the couple have had three daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia, who was born on December 7, 2003, Princess Alexia, who was born on June 26, 2005, and Princess Ariane, born on April 10, 2007. All three girls were born in The Hague.

dutch-princesses

Source: www.koninklijkhuis.nl

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