Máxima Zorreguieta is living proof that little girl’s dreams of becoming a princess or queen can come true.
She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1971 to an upper-middle class family. She attended an English-style school (incidentally, she shared a desk with my good friend Isabel for two years. At school we don’t have individual seats but two-pupil desks) and later got a degree in Economics at the Universidad Católica de Buenos Aires.
Máxima got a job at Deutsche Bank in New York as vice-president of institutional sales and reportedly did very well. In April 1999, she went to Seville on holiday and met Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands during the Seville Spring Fair. He didn’t tell her the truth about his identity at first. When Prince Willem-Alexander finally came clean, she thought he was joking. Well, who wouldn’t?
When the couple announced their engagement in March, 2001, there was some controversy because Máxima ’s father had been Minister of Agriculture during the military dictatorship in Argentina and some members of the Dutch parliament objected fiercely. After long debates and an in-depth investigation, the Parliament allowed the couple to wed with a caveat: Máxima’s father could not attend the wedding. Her mother didn’t attend either in solidarity with her husband.
The wedding, held on 2 February, 2002, was a bitter-sweet moment. Máxima married the love of her life but her beloved father wasn’t allowed to give her away; she walked down the aisle by herself. The couple has three daughters, Catherina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. Máxima makes a point of teaching her daughters Spanish (they had an Argentinean nanny) and all about her native country’s culture. Like most Argentinean children, they love milanesas (I do too).
On Tuesday, 29 January, 2013, Queen Beatrix abdicated in favour of her son Willem-Alexander and Máxima will become queen consort. Their eldest daughter, Catherina-Amalia, will now be heir apparent.
Máxima has won the hearts of the Dutch people with her kindness, big smiles, spontaneity and Latin flair. Long live Queen Máxima ! ¡Viva la reina Máxima!
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