Who’s Who – The Dutch Royal Family

As Royal Families go, the Dutch one is relatively young. Although the Netherlands has had members of the House of Orange-Nassau at the helm since 1559, it was not until 1815 that the Kingdom of the Netherlands became it’s own independent Monarchy. 200 years on, here are the current members of the family.

King Willem-Alexander

Like the Monarchy he now rules, King Willem-Alexander is fairly new to his role, having ascended the throne on the 30th April 2013, following the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix. The abdication of the Monarch, to allow the younger generation to take over, has become common practice in The Netherlands, with both Willem-Alexander’s mother, grandmother and great-grandmother stepping aside.

Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand was born on the 27th April 1967 in Utrecht. He was the first boy to be born into the Royal Family since Prince Alexander in 1851.

Like many other royals, the King is a keen sportsman. In 1986, he took part in the Frisian Elfstedentocht, a 200km (120 miles) ice skating tour. He skated under the pseudonym “W. A. van Buren” which was also the name he used to run the New York City Marathon in 1992.

Queen Máxima

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti was born in Argentina on the 17th May 1971. Prior to meeting Willem-Alexander, the future Queen worked in finance as well as teaching English and Maths.

It was in April 1999 that Máxima met the then Prince of Orange, who introduced himself as “Alexander”. It was not until later on that she found out he was heir to the Dutch throne. The couple married on 2nd February 2002 and have three daughters together.

Their marriage was surrounded by some controversy because of her father’s involvement with the National Reorganisation Process, an Argentinian dictatorship. Her father was ultimately not invited to the wedding and as such, her mother also chose not to attend.

The Queen is an open supporter of LGBT rights and in 2008 became the first member of any Royal Family to attend an LGBT conference.

Children of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima

The King and Queen with their daughters. From left to right; Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Ariane, Princess Alexia


Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria, Princess of Orange and heir to the throne; born 7th December 2003
Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien; born 26th June 2005
Princess Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Inés; born 10th April 2007

Princess Beatrix

The former Queen Beatrix was born at Soestdjik Palace, Baarn on the 31st January 1938 but spent some of her early childhood in Ottawa, Canada while her family where in exile during World War II. Beatrix became heir apparent in 1948, at the age of 10.

The then Princess married Claus von Amsberg of Germany on the 10th March 1966. Prince Claus died in 2002 following a long battle with illness. Together the couple had three children, King Willem-Alexander, Prince Friso (b. 1968) and Prince Constantijn (b. 1969). Prince Friso sadly passed away in 2013 due to complications following a skiing accident.

On the 30th April 1980, Beatrix ascended the throne and was much loved throughout her reign. Following her abdication on the 33rd anniversary in 2013, Beatrix reverted back to using the title of Princess as her mother, Queen Juliana, did before her. She still undertakes engagements and Royal duties but at a much lower rate.

Photos: World Bank, GlynLowe, Surtsicna, Vee de RodgersTom Jutte

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