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European RoyalsThe Netherlands

Queen Máxima’s sister Inés has died in an apparent suicide

The Dutch government has confirmed that Queen Máxima’s younger sister Inés Zorreguieta Cerruti has died at the age of 33. She reportedly committed suicide after battling depression and an eating disorder. She had been briefly admitted to a psychiatric ward. Queen Máxima is from a large family and has two brothers and also three half-sisters from her father’s first marriage to Marta López Gil.

Inés Zorreguieta Cerruti studied psychology at a university in Argentina and went to work for the United Nations. She worked for them in Panama between 2009 and 2011. She returned to Argentina in 2012 after divorcing her husband, according to the Argentine newspaper La Nacion. Inés was a bridesmaid in her sister’s wedding to the then Prince of Orange, and she was asked to be godmother to the couple’s third child, Princess Ariane.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a statement, “The sudden death of the sister of the Queen comes as a great shock. It is intensely sad and heartbreaking news, that is comprehend for those that are left behind.” He wished the Queen and her family, “all the strength needed to carry this awful loss.”

Queen Máxima has cancelled all her planned engagements for the next few days. She won’t be attending the opening of the Holland Festival tonight in Amsterdam, nor will she visit Driebergen as planned. A visit to Groningen on Friday to open a new proton therapy centre is also cancelled. The state visits to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania next week will go ahead as planned but King Willem-Alexander will go without his wife.

It has been less than a year since the death of Queen Máxima’s father, Jorge Zorreguieta. He died last year on 8 August at the age of 89 after suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He had a private burial.