It’s a happy day in the Netherlands as orange-bedecked cheering crowds welcome King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima as the newest Dutch monarchs.
And it was quite a day for Máxima in particular, who was born a commoner and had never dreamed of becoming a royal, let alone queen.*
The Argentinian-born beauty has been a beloved royal in the Netherlands for more than 10 years now, and with her new title she is about to take the world by storm.
*NOTE: Technically, Maxima only takes the style and title of “Her Majesty Queen Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands.” She will not receive the title “Queen of the Netherlands.”
Máxima can speak three languages — Dutch, Spanish, and English — and has a degree in economics. She worked as the Vice-President of Institutional Sales at Deutsche Bank in NYC before marrying the prince.
Maxima is not just any commoner. Through her father Jorge Zorreguieta she is a descendant of King Afonso III of Portugal and his son King Denis of Portugal as well as many other noble families.
The couple's marriage plans originally caused controversy in the Netherlands because Máxima's father served in the cabinet of Argentine President Jorge Rafael Videla, who was prosecuted for large-scale human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.
Eventually, the marriage was approved by the Dutch parliament, but Máxima's parents were not invited to the wedding. Princess Máxima and Prince Willem-Alexander were married on February 2, 2002 in Amsterdam's 600-year-old Nieuwe Kerk church.
The couple now have three daughters together, including the nine-year-old heir to the throne Princess Catharina-Amalia.
Máxima is a dual Argentine and Dutch citizen, and focuses on the issue of integration of immigrants into Dutch culture, particularly women in the workforce.
She is also one of the few royals in the world to be an open supporter of gay rights. She even attended a LGBT rights conference on March 5, 2008.
She currently serves as the United Nations Secretary Generals' Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, which focuses on poverty alleviation, food security, and education.
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