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About Máxima

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands (born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti on 17 May 1971) is the wife of King Willem-Alexander. On 30 April 2013, she became the first Dutch queen consort since 1890.

Queen Máxima is the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta (born 1928), and his second wife, María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart (born 1944). She grew up in the Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, and studied at Northlands School, a bilingual school of the city of Olivos. She graduated with a degree in Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in 1995, and later completed her studies with a Master in the United States. She subsequently worked for large international finance companies in Argentina, New York, and Brussels. She also worked as a teacher of English language to children and adults, and of Mathematics for high school students and freshmen.

Máxima met Willem-Alexander in April 1999 in Seville, Spain, during the Seville Spring Fair. In an interview, they stated that he introduced himself only as "Alexander", so that she did not know he was a prince. She thought he was joking when he later told her that he was not only a prince, but the Prince of Orange and heir apparent to the Dutch throne. They agreed to meet again two weeks later in New York, where Máxima was working for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. 

The couple announced their engagement on 30 March 2001; Máxima addressed the nation in fluent Dutch during the live televised broadcast. Máxima was granted Dutch citizenship by Royal Decree on 17 May 2001 and now has dual citizenship: Argentine and Dutch. The engagement was formally approved by the States General later that year—a necessary step for Willem-Alexander to remain heir to the throne.

Máxima and Willem-Alexander were married on 2 February 2002 in a civil ceremony in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, which was then followed by a religious ceremony at Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk ("New Church"). She remained a Roman Catholic after her marriage. Máxima's parents were not present at the wedding; her father was told he could not attend due to his role as a cabinet minister during the National Reorganization Process, and her mother chose not to attend without her husband.

The couple has three daughters:

- The Princess of Orange (Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria), born 7 December 2003

- Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien of the Netherlands, born 26 June 2005

- Princess Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Inés of the Netherlands, born 10 April 2007

Queen Máxima focuses on the issue of integration of immigrants into Dutch culture. She was a member of a special parliamentary commission which sought to recommend ways to increase the participation of female immigrants in the workforce. Máxima stresses the importance for immigrants of learning the Dutch language (as she did) in order to fully participate in Dutch society.

The Queen participates in conferences around the world representing the Netherlands. She was granted a seat in the Dutch Council of State on 20 October 2004, the highest advisory body and court of administration. She became a member of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Women’s Participation; has a seat on the board of governors of the Chair on the Management of Diversity and Integration at the Free University of Amsterdam; she (along with her husband) is a patron of the Orange Fund (established to promote social welfare and cohesion in the Netherlands); and she also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity of the International Institute of Social Studies and the University of Utrecht. Máxima is one of the few royals in the world to be an open supporter of gay rights, and was the first royal to attend an LGBT rights conference on 5 March 2008.

Source: Wikipedia.com