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The Netherlands

Queen Máxima speaks with children of divorce in visit to buddy program

Photo: Grant Ellis/World Bank/CC/Flickr

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands spoke with the children of divorced parents during a visit to the Villa Pinedo buddy program in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

The program, which won an Apples of Orange Award from the King and Queen’s Orange Fund in 2020, supports young people who are living through their parents’ divorce by matching them with a peer who’s already had the experience.

During her visit, Queen Máxima spoke with Villa Pinedo’s founders and experts to learn more about what led to the creation of the buddy program and how they match young people. She also heard more about the program’s plans to expand into every province of the Netherlands.

Then, Queen Máxima spoke with young people who use the buddy program’s online and offline services. She also spoke with young people who’d started out needing the service to get through their parents’ divorce and had then become buddies themselves.

“It was very special,” said Luc van Schiebroek, a young person who uses Villa Pinedo’s services about meeting the Queen. “She was very interested. It was a very personal conversation.”

The Villa Pinedo website noted, “Our goal is that children with divorced parents can be just as happy, resilient, stress-resistant and promising as all other children and grow into healthy adults. Our ambition is to reach all children and young people with divorced parents and to offer the necessary support and thereby limiting the long-term impact of divorce on our society. We want to facilitate the largest community aimed at children with parents who are going or are divorced.”

Villa Pinedo posted on their Instagram account after Queen Máxima’s visit, “We thought it was a very successful day and are very grateful that the Queen wanted to talk to us personally today.”

The Apples of Orange Award is presented annually to three businesses or charities in the Netherlands that support social endeavours. Each winner receives €15,000 to support their projects.  

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.