Sunday, June 26

Spontaneity and control, the secrets of Máxima from the Netherlands | People

The queen consort of the Netherlands, Máxima Zorreguieta, celebrates her 50th birthday this Monday, and the description of her character made in one of the three biographies that have been published for this reason may be the key to her success in her adopted land. It is the mixture of spontaneity and control, a well-managed contradiction, which has allowed him to adapt without apparent crisis. Máxima met her husband, now King Guillermo, in 1999 at the Seville April Fair, and she not only learned Dutch thoroughly before marriage. He explained to her the type of life she would lead and the Dutch Royal House prepared her for that task.

Now she inaugurates her fifties with a husband and three daughters, the princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, a close-knit family and a good reputation as an advisor to the UN for inclusive financing. At ease in his role, and with a marked personal style to dress, he must nevertheless overcome the first decline in popularity – from 83% to 68% – of his career. The pandemic has overshadowed all European monarchies, and Kings Guillermo and Máxima have taken their toll on a truncated vacation in Greece, in October 2020, when the Government had asked for restraint in foreign trips. Perhaps this has been one of the reasons why a great celebration of his birthday has been put aside and the queen and her family have decided to show a profile in accordance with the circumstances of the pandemic. Last Thursday the 12th, the kings, their daughters and the queen emerita, Beatriz, attended the Carre theater in the center of The Hague in full dress to listen to a concert in tribute to the queen. And this Sunday the royal house has distributed three new images of Máxima from the Netherlands taken by her own husband, a lover of photography, in the gardens of his residence in the Huis ten Bosch palace in The Hague. Regarding some other event related to her birthday, the Dutch sovereign said: “Everything will depend on the weather, but it is not the time for big celebrations either.” What is known is that this very Monday night Dutch public television will broadcast an interview with the queen, the first she has granted alone since she turned 40.

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Marcia Luyten, a Dutch economist and journalist, is the biographer who has pointed out the paradox of Máxima’s temperament in her work Moerderland (Mother country), where it indicates that the ease with which the queen moves is similar to that shown already in the nineties, when she went to New York to work in the bank. Máxima studied at the Northlands School, in Buenos Aires, a secular institution, bilingual in Spanish and English and select, whose motto is Friendship and Service. Many of her friends are the ones she did then and she herself has said that she chose the Economics career because she thought that the crisis that her country went through in her youth, “could be managed in another way so that the weakest would not pay the consequences.” Service, on the other hand, is the motto of the parliamentary monarchies, although having become a royal consort far exceeds the hopes of social advancement placed on her by her parents, Jorge and María del Carmen. The father was married in the first nuptials and had three daughters. With Máxima’s mother, three other children arrived. One of the hardest blows in the queen’s life had to do with the little girl, Ines, to whom she was very close: the young woman was a maid of honor at her wedding and godmother to the youngest of her three daughters, Ariane. Inés, who suffered from anorexia, took her own life in 2018 at the age of 33. Queen Máxima spoke about it to make the disease visible.

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Máxima and Guillermo de Holanda, at the concert for the queen's 50th birthday, on May 12 in The Hague.
Máxima and Guillermo de Holanda, at the concert for the queen’s 50th birthday, on May 12 in The Hague.Patrick van Katwijk / Getty Images

The three biographies that have appeared these days – two in the Netherlands and one in Argentina – coincide in the tenacity and diplomatic gifts of his father and in the strict education received from his mother. In the semblance entitled Maxima, building a queen (Plaza & Janés), Argentine journalists Paula Galloni and Rodolfo Vera Calderón explain that according to the conversations they have had with their youth, the Dutch queen consort was educated since she was a child to climb as high as possible. His family was upper-middle class, but did not have the heritage of the great fortunes of the country. According to Galloni, as a result of her research to write the book, when Máxima was a student at Northlands “she said she was going to get married well”. “I don’t think she expected to marry a prince, but she always had well-off boyfriends, with a good time,” explains the Argentine journalist.

Dutch writer Marcia Luyten points out at least one long and serious relationship before Prince William, a husband in love who always praises his wife’s naturalness. She, who has always shown her frankness, did not hesitate to confess, when she was still little known in the Netherlands, that she had not fallen at the prince’s feet on the first day. Although what did happen is that something must have worked well between them from the beginning because Guillermo visited her in New York within three weeks of meeting, and returned regularly from 1999. Until the Dutch press discovered them in New York They would go for a walk and dinner together, and Máxima moved without pressure around the city. She had arrived at the age of 24, and between 1996 and 1999 she became vice president of institutional sales, and later of the emerging markets division, in both financial institutions. Galloni and Vera Calderón have reconstructed their landing through contacts in Southampton, “the exclusive stronghold of the wealthiest families in Manhattan,” they point out in the book. “Already at that moment she pretended to be someone she was not, she was in another country and she had to pretend. I don’t understand why you don’t want to tell about that stage, which I think is the most fun. I think she hides it because it is not in line with who she is now ”, continues Galloni. The last apartment where he lived, in the Chelsea neighborhood, rents for $ 3,000 a month, according to Dutch television.

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Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in another of the images captured by her husband, King William on the occasion of his 50th anniversary.
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in another of the images captured by her husband, King William on the occasion of his 50th anniversary.Royal house Holland

When the Dutch press discovered the relationship, the photographers were the lesser evil. Jorge Zorreguieta, Máxima’s father (who died in 2017), had been Secretary of Agriculture during the dictatorship of General Jorge Videla (1976-1981), and the Dutch Parliament rejected him. According to Michiel Baud, the Latin American affairs expert who investigated the role of the parent, it was a personal tragedy for her to hear his conclusions. Baud said that while there was no evidence that Zorreguieta was involved in the repression, “he should be informed of the human rights violations.” He was the flip side of the good, hardworking father she knew as a daughter. According to Vera Calderón, the final push for a wedding was given by the former Argentine president, Raúl Alfonsín. “The Dutch Prime Minister [en ese momento, el socialdemócrata Wim Kok] was a friend of his and called him to ask if he thought that [Máxima] he had democratic values. Alfonsín said yes ”, he adds. They married, but the government vetoed the bride’s parents. Since the link in 2002, her popularity as a princess and then queen has been on the rise until this year’s slump. Her expensive outfits have not received criticism. Getaways during the pandemic and luxury yachts have damaged its image.

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