King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have released a message of thanks for all the messages of support and condolences they have received following the death of Queen Máxima’s father Jorge Zorreguieta on 8 August 2017.
“We would like to give our sincere thanks for all the messages of support we have received after the death of my father, father-in-law and the grandfather of our children. Your compassion has been a great source of support for us.”
Jorge Zorreguieta 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.
He 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.