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The Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander in mourning for best friend’s son

willem alexander
© RVD - Martijn Beekman

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is in mourning after the son of his best friend died.

Jan de Beaufort, 19, died on 9 May. He was the son of the King’s best friend, Frans de Beaufort.

Jan de Beaufort was a student at the University of Utrecht, where he was taking veterinary courses. No cause of death has been announced.

King Willem-Alexander put an obituary message in NRC over the weekend. The message said: “The atmosphere will never be the same without you. We are going to miss you so incredibly. Our hearts go out to your sweet, warm, happy family. Know that we will always be there for them.”

It was signed by ‘Alexander’, Máxima, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. Other friends of Beaufort also signed the letter in the newspaper.

The King and Beaufort have been friends for many years, and Beaufort’s mother served as a governess for Princess Beatrix.

Frans de Beaufort was one of the witnesses at Willem-Alexander and Máxima’s 2001 wedding. Willem-Alexander served as the master of ceremonies for Frans’s wedding to Suzanne in 1997. Frans is also a godfather to the King and Queen’s second child, Princess Alexia.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.