Strange photos from history

by Susan Flantzer

Official Portrait; Photo Credit – Photo: Jeroen van der Meyde

On February 2, 2002, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, then The Prince of Orange and strange photos from history heir to the Dutch throne, married Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti in a civil ceremony at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, followed by a religious ceremony at Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Kerk.

King Willem-Alexander’s Early Life

Willem-Alexander, second from the right, with his family; Photo: Hello

Born a Prince of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand was born on April 27, 1967 at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, The Netherlands, the first of three sons of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus von Amsberg. Willem-Alexander had two younger brothers: Prince Friso (1968 – 2013) and Prince Constantijn (born 1969). At the time of his birth, Willem-Alexander’s grandmother Queen Juliana sat upon the Dutch throne and his mother was the heir to the throne.

Willem-Alexander lived with his family at Drakensteyn in Baarn, The Netherlands until 1981 when the family moved to Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, The Netherlands. Along with his brothers, he attended Nieuwe Baarnse School and Het Baarnsch Lyceum in Baarn. After moving to Huis Ten Bosch in 1981, Willem-Alexander attended the Eerste Vrijzinnig Christelijk Lyceum in The Hague. He completed his secondary education at Atlantic College in Llantwit Major, Wales, where he received an International Baccalaureate in 1985. From 1985 – 1987, Willem-Alexander received military training at the Royal Netherlands Naval College in Den Helder, The Netherlands. In 1987, Willem-Alexander enrolled as a history student at Leiden University in Leiden, The Netherlands and received his Master of Arts degree in 1993. From 1995 – 1998, Willem-Alexander was a patron of the Dutch Olympic Games Committee. In 1998, he became a member of the International Olympic Committee, a position he held until he became king in 2013.

Like her mother Queen Wilhelmina had done, Queen Juliana also abdicated in favor of her daughter and Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands on April 30, 1980. Willem-Alexander then became The Prince of Orange, the traditional title of the heir apparent of the Dutch monarch.

For more information about Willem-Alexander see:

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti’s Early Life

Máxima Zorreguieta in 1977; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 17, 1971, the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta and María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart. She has two brothers, one sister and three half-sisters from her father’s first marriage. Through her father’s family, she is a direct descendant of King Alfonso III of Portugal.

 Maxima’s parents,Jorge Zorreguieta and María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart in 2016

Following her secondary education at the Northlands School in Buenos Aires, Máxima earned her degree in Economics from the Universidad Católica Argentina. During this time, she worked for two different financial firms in Buenos Aires as well as tutoring students and adults in English and math. After receiving her degree, Máxima worked for HSBC James Capel, Inc. in New York, serving as Vice President of Latin American Institutional Sales. In early 1998, she began working for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson as Vice President of the Emerging Markets Division. She then moved to Deutsche Bank in 1999, working first in New York and then in the European Union Representative Office in Brussels, Belgium.

For more information about Máxima see:

The strange Engagement

Engagement Photo; Photo Credit – By RVD, photographer Graciela Rossetto –, CC0,

In April 1999, Willem-Alexander met his future wife Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti in Seville, Spain during the Seville Spring Fair. He did not introduce himself as a Prince and at a later time when he told Máxima who he was, she thought he was joking. They met again a few weeks later in New York and their romance blossomed.

Huis ten Bosch Palace, where Willem-Alexander proposed to Máxima; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Willem-Alexander proposed to Máxima on January 19, 2001, at Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague. The couple had been rollerblading and Willem-Alexander lured Máxima to a pond where he had hidden roses and champagne. By the side of the pond, Willem-Alexander proposed in English, so he could be sure Máxima would understand him, and she immediately said yes. Willem-Alexander presented his bride with a platinum-set engagement ring. The central gem is a unique oval orange diamond surrounded by two emerald-cut diamonds set in bands that were encrusted with brilliant-cut diamonds.

Máxima’s engagement ring; Photo Credit –

On March 30, 2001, at 18:00 (6 PM) in a live television broadcast, Queen Beatrix announced the engagement of Willem-Alexander and Máxima in the presence of the couple and Prince Claus, Willem-Alexander’s father.

However, the relationship was controversial to many in the Netherlands, due to Máxima’s father,  Jorge Zorreguieta’s service as a cabinet member (March 1979 – March 1981) in the Argentine regime of President Jorge Rafael Videla during the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Zorreguieta served as Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries. The National Agricultural Technology Institute, a research institute associated with Zorreguieta’s ministry, was put under control of the Argentine Navy. Employees from this institute “disappeared” during Zorreguieta’s time as Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries. A formal inquiry regarding her Zorreguieta’s role found that he was not directly involved with mass deaths that took place. However, it was determined that it was very unlikely that someone in his position would not have had knowledge of what was going on.

Members of the Dutch Royal Family are required to have Dutch citizenship, but Argentine law does not allow for a citizen to lose or waive citizenship. Máxima was granted Dutch citizenship by royal decree on May 17, 2001, and would have dual citizenship, Argentine and Dutch. Although the traditional religion of the Dutch Royal Family is the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Máxima would remain Roman Catholic after the marriage.

On May 21, 2001, a bill was submitted to the States General of the Netherlands, the legislature of the country, proposing the granting of permission for the marriage. The bill was discussed on June 12, 2001 in the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles and on June 14, 2001 in the Parliament of Aruba. Both Parliaments approved the bill. The States General of the Netherlands then approved the bill on July 3, 2001, and official approval of the marriage was proclaimed on July 4, 2001. Approval of the marriage by the States General and the Parliaments of constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was necessary for Willem-Alexander to remain in the line of succession to the Dutch throne.

On January 25, 2002, Queen Beatrix issued a royal decree establishing the titles of Máxima Zorreguieta and the titles of the children who were born from the marriage. Máxima was to be granted the titles Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau and the style Royal Highness. Children born from the marriage would bear the titles Prince/Princess of the Netherlands, Prince/Princess of Orange-Nassau and the style Royal Highness.

Pre-Wedding Festivities

The event at Amsterdam ArenA on February 1, 2002; Photo Credit –

Two days before the wedding on January 31, 2002, a dinner and a ball were held for 500 guests at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam to celebrate not only the upcoming wedding, but also the 64th birthday of Queen Beatrix. The next day, February 1, 2002, 1600 guests attended a concert and a luncheon at the Concertgebouw, a concert hall in Amsterdam. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra played Sergei Prokofiev’s orchestral suite, Romeo and Juliet. As a surprise for the Argentinean bride, a tango was played. Later that evening, Willem-Alexander, Máxima and 50,000 people attended an event organized by the National Orange Committee and the city of Amsterdam in the Amsterdam ArenA, the largest stadium in the country and the home of the football (soccer) club AFC Ajax. The varied program included music, theater, variety acts, and dance.

Wedding Guests


Family of the Groom

  • Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands, the groom’s mother and father
  • Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands, the groom’s brother
  • Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, the groom’s brother and his wife
  • Prince Bernhard of the Netherland, the groom’s maternal grandfather
  • Princess Irene of the Netherlands, the groom’s maternal aunt
  • Prince Carlos of Bourbon and Parma, the groom’s first cousin
  • Prince Jaime of Bourbon and Parma, the groom’s first cousin
  • Princess Carolina of Bourbon and Parma, the groom’s first cousin
  • Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven, the groom’s maternal aunt and her husband
  • Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène van Orange-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, the groom’s first cousin and his wife
  • Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette van Orange-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, the groom’s first cousin and his wife
  • Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Orange-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, the groom’s first cousin
  • Prince Floris van Orange-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, the groom’s first cousin and his wife
  • Princess Christina of the Netherlands, the groom’s maternal aunt
  • Bernardo Guillermo, the groom’s first cousin
  • Nicolás Guillermo, the groom’s first cousin
  • Juliana Guillermo, the groom’s first cousin
  • Sigrid Jencquel née von Amsberg, the groom’s paternal aunt
  • Joachim and Stephanie Jencquel, the groom’s first cousin and his wife
  • Baron Karl and Baroness Theda von Friesen née von Amsberg, the groom’s paternal aunt and her husband
  • Baron Alexander von Friesen, the groom’s first cousin
  • Baroness Renate von Friesen, the groom’s first cousin
  • Baroness Isabell von Friesen, the groom’s first cousin
  • Baron Hans and Baroness Christina von der Recke née von Amsberg, the groom’s paternal aunt and her husband
  • Baroness Katinka von der Recke, the groom’s first cousin
  • Baroness Sophie von der Recke, the groom’s first cousin
  • Baroness Theresa von der Recke, the groom’s first cousin
  • Baron Christoph and Baroness Jutta von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen, relatives of Prince Claus
  • Baron Boris and Baroness Suzanne von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen, relatives of Prince Claus
  • Baron Julius Constantin von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen, relatives of Prince Claus
  • Baron Johann-Casper von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen, relatives of Prince Claus
  • Baron Axel and Baroness Barbara von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen, relatives of Prince Claus


Family of the Bride

Máxima’s parents were not present at the wedding. Her father was told he could not attend because of his role as a cabinet minister during the National Reorganization Process in Argentina, and her mother chose not to attend without her husband.

  • Marcela Cerruti Carricart, the bride’s maternal aunt and godmother
  • María Zorreguieta López Gil, the bride’s half-sister
  • Ángeles Zorreguieta López Gil and Adrián Vojnov, the bride’s half-sister and her husband
  • Dolores Zorreguieta López Gil and Harmond Grad Lewis, the bride’s half-sister and her husband
  • Martín Zorreguieta Cerruti and Mariana Zorreguieta, the bride’s brother and his wife
  • Inés Zorreguieta Cerruti, the bride’s sister
  • Juan Zorreguieta Cerruti, the bride’s brother

 Queen Noor of Jordan and The Prince of Wales were among the many royal guests attending the wedding

Royal and Noble Guests

  • Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and Begum Inaara Aga Khan
  • Jonkheer Paulo Alting von Geusau
  • Jonkheer Frans de Beaufort
  • King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians
  • Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duke and Duchess of Brabant
  • Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
  • Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduchess and Archduke of Austria-Este
  • Prince Laurent of Belgium and Claire Coombs
  • Prince Ferdinand and Princess Elisabeth von Bismarck
  • Count Carl-Eduard and Countess Celia von Bismarck
  • Countess Gunilla von Bismarck
  • Prince Kardám and Princess Míriam of Bulgaria, Prince and Princess of Tirnovo
  • Tijo Baron Collot d’Escury
  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
  • King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • Prince Nikolaos of Greece
  • Prince Ernst August and Princess Caroline von Hannover, Princess of Monaco
  • Prince Philipp von Hessen
  • Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan
  • Queen Noor of Jordan
  • Prince Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath el Hassan of Jordan
  • Prince Rashid el Hassan of Jordan
  • Princess Badiya el Hassan of Jordan
  • Princess Sumaya el Hassan of Jordan and Mr. Nasser Sami Judeh
  • Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
  • Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
  • Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
  • Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg
  • Hereditary Prince Albert of Monaco
  • Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco
  • King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn
  • Princess Alexandra zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Wallerstein
  • The Duke of Parma
  • Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark
  • Hereditary Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Prince Georg and Princess Benedikta zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein
  • Princess Pauline zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein
  • Prince Alexander and Princess Gabriela zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn
  • Thurlow Bradbrooke Smith and Renée Smith née Jonkvrouwe Roëll
  • Queen Sofia of Spain
  • The Prince of Asturias
  • Infanta Cristina of Spain Duchess of Palma de Mallorca and Iñaki Urdangarín y Liebaert
  • Duke of Palma de Mallorca
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
  • Princess Madeleine of Sweden
  • Prince Wittekind and Princess Cecilia zu Waldeck und Pyrmont
  • Count Franz-Clemens and Countess Stephanie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems
  • Countess Leonie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems
  • The Prince of Wales
  • The Earl and Countess of Wessex

 Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Mrs. Nane Annan


Other Guests

  • Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Mrs. Nane Annan
  • Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, former President of South Africa, and Graça Machel
  • Valentino, designer of the wedding dress
  • Mabel Wisse Smit, the future wife of Prince Johan Friso
  • James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, and Mrs. Wolfensohn
  • Prime Minister of the Netherlands
  • Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • State Secretaries
  • Speakers of both Houses of the States-General
  • Prime Ministers and Speakers of the Parliaments of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba
  • High Councils of State
  • Upper and Lower Houses of the States-General
  • Queen’s Commissioners
  • Senior military figures
  • Members of the judiciary
  • Mayor and Aldermen of Amsterdam and members of Amsterdam City Council
  • Mayors of The Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht
  • Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps
  • Representatives of community organizations and the business community
  • Representatives of various religious communities
  • Delegations from the Dutch provinces

The Witnesses

 Prince Constantijn, one of the witnesses, and his wife Princess Laurentien

Witnesses for the Prince of Orange at the civil ceremony

  • Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands: youngest brother of the Prince of Orange
  • Marc ter Haar: a friend of Willem-Alexander, attended university with the Prince
  • Frank Houben: close acquaintance of the Prince and friend of the Prince’s parents

Witnesses for Máxima Zorreguieta at the civil ceremony

  • Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands: mother of Willem-Alexander, was asked because she provided great support for Máxima from the start of her serious relationship with Willem-Alexander and during the period of her adjustment to her future life in the Netherlands
  • Marcela Cerruti Carricart: Máxima’s godmother and her maternal aunt
  • Martín Zorreguieta: Máxima’s brother

Witnesses for the Prince of Orange at the church ceremony

  • Tijo Baron Collot d’Escury: a friend of the Prince since nursery school
  • Jonkheer Frans de Beaufort: childhood friend of the Prince and the son of good friends of the Prince’s parents

Witnesses for Máxima Zorreguieta at the church ceremony

  • Samantha Deane: a friend of Máxima, attended school together
  • Florencia Di Cocco: a friend of Máxima, attended school together

Wedding attendants for the church ceremony

Willem-Alexander, Maxima, their families and the attendants; Photo Credit – Photo: KOEN SUYK/AFP/Getty Images


  • Valeria Delger: childhood friend of Máxima, attended school together
  • Juliana Guillermo: daughter of Princess Christina of the Netherlands and first cousin of the Prince
  • Theresa Baroness von der Recke: daughter of Prince Claus’ youngest sister Christina and first cousin of the Prince
  • Inés Zorreguieta: Máxima’s younger sister


  • Jonkheer Paulo Alting von Geusau: son of Jonkheer Michiel and Mrs. Monika Alting von Geusau-Von Perjès Dömölky, friends of the Prince and Máxima
  • Johann-Casper Freiherr von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen: son of Freiherr Boris and Freifrau Susanne von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen. Mr. Von dem Bussche is a second cousin of Prince Claus
  • Alexandre Friling: son of Antoine and Nicole Friling-von Oswald, friends of the Prince and Máxima
  • Floris ter Haar: son of Marc and Carien ter Haar-de Bruijn, friends of the Prince and Máxima

Flower Girls

  • Countess Leonie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems : daughter of Count Franz-Clemens and Countess Stéphanie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems, friends of the Prince and Máxima
  • HSH Princess Pauline zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein: daughter of Prince Georg and Princess Benedikta zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, friends of the Prince and Máxima

The Wedding Attire

Máxima’s wedding dress was designed and manufactured by the Valentino fashion house in Rome. The dress was made of ivory mikado silk, a blend of silks that results in a heavier fabric frequently used for cool weather weddings, and had long sleeves and a benitier neck, a cowl-like neck. It was close fitting to the waist with a slightly flared skirt with embroidered lace panels and a five meter (16.4 foot) long train. The long veil of silk tulle was dotted with hand-decorated motifs of flowers and tendrils of lace. Máxima had an elongated bouquet of white roses, gardenia, lily of the valley, and two kinds of greens.

Máxima’s tiara was composed of pieces from the jewel collection of the Royal House of the Netherlands. The five sparkling diamond stars come from Queen Emma, the second wife of King Willem III. Maxima’s mother-in-law mostly wears them as brooches. The base of the tiara was from of one of the Dutch royal family’s existing tiaras: the Pearl Button Tiara, which belonged to Queen Sophie, the first wife of King Willem III. The pearl buttons were replaced by the five sparkling diamond stars. The diamond earrings belonged to Queen Wilhelmina, first wife of King Willem I.

Willem-Alexander wore the Grand Uniform (Uniform 1) of the Dutch Royal Navy in the rank of Captain at Sea and the following honors:

  • Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, Knight Grand Cross
  • Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, Knight, Officer’s Cross
  • Queen Beatrix Inauguration Medal 1980

The bridesmaids wore a skirt of red satin duchesse and a blouse of red velvet with satin duchesse and matching red satin shoes. Bridesmaids and flower girls wore burgundy-colored floral wreaths in their hair.

The pageboys wore short jackets and pants with red velvet, white cotton poplin shirts, white tights and black patent leather shoes. Over the jacket, a sash of red silk taffeta was worn. The flower girls wore dresses of red velvet with a sash of red silk taffeta, white tights, and black patent leather shoes. See the group photo above in the Wedding Attendants section.

The Civil Ceremony

Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam where the civil ceremony took place; Photo Credit – By No machine-readable author provided. Iijjccoo assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0,

The civil marriage took place at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam on Saturday, February 2, 2002 at 10:15 AM. The Beurs van Berlage was originally designed as a commodities exchange, but now is used for concerts, exhibitions, and conferences. About 650 people attended the civil ceremony which was officiated by Mr. Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam.

The Religious Ceremony

Nieuwe Kerk on the Dam Square in Amsterdam. The Royal Palace is on the left; Photo Credit – Susan Flantzer

On Saturday, February 2, 2002 at 11:30 AM, the religious ceremony took place in the Nieuwe Kerk on the Dam Square in Amsterdam.  A 15th-century church, it is no longer used for regular church services, but is used instead as an exhibition space and a recital venue. The church is the site for Dutch royal investiture ceremonies for new monarchs and some royal weddings. Approximately 1700 guests attended the religious service. The officiating at the religious ceremony was Carel Ter Linden, Minister Emeritus of the Kloosterkerk in The Hague.

The music was provided by Bernard Winsemius, organist of the Nieuwe Kerk; Miranda van Kralingen, soprano; Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon player (a bandoneon is a type of concertina, an accordion-like instrument popular in Argentina); Netherlands Chamber Choir and the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ed Spaniard.

Music During the Religious Ceremony

  • The Entrance – Organ Voluntary
    • Georg Böhm – Prelude in C
    • Antonio Vivaldi  – Concerto in A, arranged for Organ by J.S. Bach
    • Joseph Ximenez  – Batalha de 6. Tono
  • Arrival of the Families
    • Galliarda in D by Heinrich Scheidemann
  • Entrance of the Bride and Groom
    • Entrata by Jurriaan Andriessen
  • Hymn (in Dutch)
    • Dankt, dankt nu allen God (Now thank we all our God)
  • Choir and Orchestra
    • Kyrie from Missa Solemnis K 337 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Hymn (in Dutch)
    • Lof zij de Heer, Hij omringt met zijn liefde uw leven (Praise to the Lord! Who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth)
  • Bandoneon and Piano
    • Adios Noniño (Adieu little papa) by Astor Piazzolla for choir, orchestra, bandoneon and piano (in Spanish)
  • Soprano and Piano
    • Ellens Gesang III (Ave Maria) by Franz Schubert (in German)
  • Choir a capella
    • Hemelsche Vader (The Lord’s Prayer) adapted by Constantijn Huygens, music by Jaap Geraedts (in Old Dutch)
  • Choir and Orchestra
    • À toi la gloire, ô ressuscite (To you glory, O risen one!) (in French), sung to the music from the chorus See the conquering hero comes from Judas Maccabeus by Georg Friedrich Händel
  • Choir and Orchestra
    • Dutch National Anthem, Wilhelmus
  • Choir and Orchestra
    • Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah by Georg Friedrich Händel
  • Organ (as congregation leaves the church)
    • Johann Sebastian Bach – Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547
    • Friedrich W. Marpurg – Fuga in A, Capriccio in C
    • Christian Friedrich Ruppe – Air favorit “où peut-on être mieux” varié
    • Johann Sebastian Bach – Fantasia in C, BWV 573

Readings were by Dr. Rafael Braun (in Spanish) and Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands, the groom’s brother, and the sermon was given by the officiating clergy Carel Ter Linden.

Before the bride and groom exchanged vows, the witnesses were asked to make some promises. Máxima’s witnesses were addressed in Spanish.  The officiating clergyman asked, “Do you accept the task of witnessing the trust that this man and this woman have already expressed to each other, and are about to reaffirm in the sight of God, and will you continue to follow and support them in their life together, in friendship and loyalty?” (Witnesses answered, “Yes.”) “May you be given strength to keep this promise.”

When Willem-Alexander responded with a “Ja” (yes) after being asked his vows, there was an enormous cheering from the crowd outside the church on the Dam Square who were watching the ceremony on large screens. They responded with an even louder cheer when Máxima said her “Ja”.

At the end of the ceremony, Willem-Alexander and Máxima left the church accompanied by the minister, the bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys while the choir sang The Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah by Georg Friedrich Händel.

  • (Händel – Hallelujah, exit from the church, balcony, and kiss)

The Wedding Reception

After the religious ceremony, Willem-Alexander and Máxima rode through the central part of Amsterdam in the Golden Carriage which the City of Amsterdam had given to Queen Wilhelmina, Willem-Alexander’s great grandmother, in 1898. After returning to the Royal Palace, the couple appeared on the balcony of the palace and kissed several times to the thundering cheers of the people assembled on the Dam Square.

A luncheon wedding reception took place at the Royal Palace on the Dam Square. Unfortunately, Prince Claus, Willem-Alexander’s father, could not attend the reception due to illness. Prince Claus suffered from various health issues. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. Claus underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer in 1998, but the radiation for the cancer caused urinary tract problems. In 2001, a kidney was removed and he had problems with the other kidney. Respiratory infections kept him in the hospital during the spring of 2002, shortly after the wedding of Willem-Alexander. On August 9, 2002, he had a coronary angioplasty. Prince Claus, aged 76, died on October 6, 2002 from Parkinson’s disease and pneumonia.  In the photo below, taken at the civil ceremony, it is evident that Prince Claus is leaning on Queen Beatrix for support.

Queen Beatrix gave a speech on behalf of Prince Claus. The Queen praised Máxima’s parents for the way they raised her and for the values they had given her. She also praised Máxima for being a secure and strong person and thanked her for bringing joy into her life and her husband’s life. Next, Martín Zorreguieta, Máxima’s eldest brother, gave a speech. He made the wedding guests laugh by telling anecdotes about their childhood.  Finally, Willem-Alexander thanked the wedding guests and talked about the important role his father played in his life.

Cutting the cake; Photo Credit –

The Menu

  • Cocktail de langoustines
  • Tartelette au turbot
  • Sauce au vin blanc
  • Medaillons de chevreuil rôtis
  • Sauce au thym
  • Chou rouge
  • Golden delicious aux airelles rouges
  • Pommes de terre duchesse
  • Tarte de la mariée


  • Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru
  • Morgeots 1996
  • Chateau Figeac 1975
  • Argentina Chandon Brut

The Honeymoon

St. Moritz with a frozen Lake of St. Moritz on a winter evening; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Willem-Alexander and Máxima left the reception around 5:30 PM for their honeymoon. The couple left Amsterdam soon afterward and after a brief stopover in London to see Maxima’s parents, landed in St. Moritz, Switzerland late Sunday to enjoy some skiing. They then traveled to Maxima’s homeland, Argentina, for family visits and sightseeing. Finally, they made their way to Huka Lodge, a luxury resort in Taupo, New Zealand.

Works Cited

  • Beauty, Health et al. “Crown Jewels: The Fabulous Rings Which Sealed The Love Of Europe’s Royal Couples”. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • “Huwelijk Zijne Majesteit Koning Willem-Alexander En Hare Majesteit Koningin Máxima”. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • “Netty Royal”. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • “King Willem-Alexander Of The Netherlands”. Unofficial Royalty. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • “Willem-Alexander Of The Netherlands”. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • “Queen Máxima Of The Netherlands”. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • “Queen Máxima Of The Netherlands”. Unofficial Royalty. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • “Royal Wedding”. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.


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