The Dutch government have confirmed the death of Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who died on Tuesday at the age of 89. He had been ill with leukaemia for several years. He only recently visited the Netherlands to celebrate his son-in-law’s 50th birthday in April. He then joined the royal family in Salzburg for a brief holiday. Embed from Getty Images
Queen Máxima had spent last weekend at her father’s bedside in the Fundaleu clinic which specialises in leukaemia treatment and rushed back earlier this week to be by his side. The clinic is on the same street as where Queen Máxima grew up. She was in Argentina twice last year, once in October for her work with the United Nations and around Christmas to spend time with the rest of the family.
A date has not yet been set for the funeral, however, the government say it will be a private occasion with both King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima attending, alongside their children.
Jorge Zorreguieta was born in 1928, in Buenos Aires, the son of Cesina María Stefanini Borella and Juan Antonio Zorreguieta Bonorino. He became the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture after the 1976 Argentine coup d’état of General Videla and was the Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock from March 1979 until March 1981. He stepped down as Secretary in 1981 and became the president of the president of the Centro Argentino Azucarero, an advisory body for sugar producers in Argentina.
He was also chairman of the supervisory organization for food Coordinadora de la Industria de Productos Alimenticios (Copal). When the news broke that Jorge Zorreguieta’s daughter was to marry the future King of the Netherlands, it caused controversy due to the many atrocities against civilians under Argentine President Videla. He claimed to have been unaware of the estimated 10,000 – 30,000 people who were kidnapped and murdered.
A professor who carried out an inquiry into Jorge Zorreguieta concluded that it would have been unlikely for a person in such a position to have been unaware of what was going on. Despite this, the marriage between Máxima and Willem-Alexander was approved, because Máxima herself had done nothing wrong. However, Jorge Zorreguieta was not allowed to attend the wedding.