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Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti

Princess Máxima (born May 17, 1971 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is the wife of Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, thus a member of the Dutch monarchy. They married on February 2, 2002.

The news of their relationship and eventual marriage plans caused a great deal of controversy in the Netherlands. Máxima father's, Jorge Zorreguieta, was the former (civilian) minister of agriculture in the Videla[?] regime, a brutal military dictatorship which ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1981 and which was responsible for many atrocities against civilians. (An estimated 10,000 people disappeared during this and subsequent military regimes before democracy was restored to Argentina in 1976). The signifigance of his potential connection, albeit indirectly, to the Dutch royal family, and his possible presence at a royal wedding was hotly debated for several months.

Prime minister Wim Kok gained much respect for his negotiation of the situation. In the end, approval for the marriage was granted by the Dutch parliament (necessary by law for Willem-Alexander to remain heir to the throne) but Máxima's father was not allowed to take part in the wedding.

Máxima was granted Dutch nationality on May 17, 2001. This provoked complaints from the left, since such a grant before marriage is not customary in the Netherlands (but required by Dutch law for a royal bride). Under normal circumstances, it is only possible after the marriage and usually takes several years to obtain.

On June 18, 2003, the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst[?] (National Bureau for Government Information) announced that Princess Maxima is pregnant. The birth of the first child of the couple is expected for January 2004. This will be the second grandchild for Queen Beatrix.



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