The Story of Máxima Zorreguieta


Máxima Zorreguieta

From Commoner to Queen
The Story of Máxima Zorreguieta

Today everybody knows her as Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, but 40 years ago, the Zorreguieta family did not think their daughter would be ruling one of the oldest European royal families.

Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) Máxima Zorreguieta was raised in Recoleta, an affluent neighborhood of the Argentinean capital. She is the daughter of an important land owner, businessman and politician in the South American country and has three siblings. During her childhood, she studied at Northlands School, one of the most exclusive schools in Argentina, where she graduated in 1988.

Thanks to the influence of her father in matters related to business, she decided to study Economics at the Catholic University of Argentina. After moving to the United States to complete a master’s degree, she started to work for large international finance companies in Argentina, New York, and Brussels, In those companies she rose to high executive positions such as Vice President for Emerging Markets and Vice President of Institutional Sales.

While working in New York for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, she was invited to a party during the Seville Spring Fair in Spain where she met Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange. According to her inner circle, the couple agreed to meet in New York two weeks later and started dating in mid-1999.

Some sources have suggested that the meeting was planned by Prince Bernhard, who was looking for a suitable woman for his son and secretly arranged everything with his Argentinean friend, Jorge Zorreguieta (Máxima’s father), to make sure Máxima met Willem-Alexander.

Máxima and Willem-Alexander announced their engagement on March 30, 2001, causing controversy in the Netherlands because of Máxima's father’s role within the Argentinean dictatorship. The couple married on February 2, 2002 in a civil ceremony in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, which was then followed by a religious ceremony at Amsterdam.

The couple have three children, the Princess of Orange (Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria), born December 7, 2003, Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien, born June 26, 2005, and Princess Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Inés, born April 10, 2007.

Amongst Máxima’s duties as Queen of the Netherlands, she focuses on the integration of immigrants –- being one herself -– and holds a seat in the Dutch Council of State, the highest advisory body and court of administration. She also serves as the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, a position from where the Dutch queen raises awareness on the importance of inclusive financial systems for achieving economic and development goals such as poverty alleviation, food security and education.

Queen Máxima will be in the throne until King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands abdicates in favor of their first daughter, Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange.

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