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European RoyalsThe Netherlands

Queen Máxima’s birthday celebrations start early with three new photos

© RVD - Z.M. de Koning

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is starting her 50th birthday celebrations early with the release of three new photos.

The three photos were taken by her husband, King Willem-Alexander, in the gardens of their home at Huis ten Bosch earlier this month.

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti was born on 17 May 1971 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta (a government official and advisor) and María del Carmen Cerruti de Zorreguieta. Her Majesty has two brothers, one sister and three paternal half-sisters. Sadly, her sister, Inés Zorreguieta Cerruti, died by suicide in June 2018. She was named after her paternal great-grandmother Máxima Bonorino González.

Máxima met a Dutchman named Alexander (then Willem-Alexander, The Prince of Orange), in April 1999 at the Seville Spring Fair in Seville, Spain. An interview later revealed that The Prince of Orange only introduced himself as Alexander and didn’t reveal his true identity at their initial meeting. Máxima later admitted she soon completely forgot who he was. Máxima and Willem-Alexander were married on 2 February 2002 in a civil ceremony at the Beurs van Berlage, and the religious ceremony followed directly after at the Nieuwe Kerk, with thousands lining the streets to celebrate the couple.

The couple has three daughters: Catharina-Amalia “Amalia” (born 7 December 2003), Alexia (born 26 June 2005), and Ariane (born 10 April 2007).