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Queen Máxima’s father was banned from Royal Wedding over controversial past | Royal | News

King Willem-Alexander celebrates his 55th birthday on Thursday (April 28). The occasion — known as King’s Day — will be marked across the Netherlands with parties, flea markets and street performances. In a visual honor of the King, people across the country wear orange, which has become Holland’s national color in relation to the Dutch Royal Family’s name — House of Oranje.

The nation has celebrated King’s Day since King Willem-Alexander ascended the throne nine years ago.

He became King just three days after his 46th birthday, making him Europe’s youngest monarch at the time — King Felipe VI of Spain later replaced him.

Just a few hours after the abdication of his mother, then-Queen Beatrix, Willem-Alexander and his wife, then-Princess Máxima became King and Queen of the Netherlands.

The couple had married 11 years previously in Amsterdam, but there was one thing missing from their extravagant ceremony — Máxima’s parents: Jorge Zorreguieta and María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart.

Jorge was a controversial figure having served as a member of the Argentinian junta — a dictatorship led by former Argentine President Videla — in the 1970s.

Having been a leading official in several agricultural bodies from 1961, Jorge was named vice undersecretary of agriculture in the 1976 military junta.

Videla’s government was responsible for human rights abuses during Argentina’s “Dirty War”, which started as an attempt to surpress terrorism but resulted in the disappearances and suspected kidnapping and murder of thousands of civilians.

Despite Máxima’s father claiming he had no knowledge of the disappearances and murders, his close ties to the Videla regime were investigated ahead of the Royal Wedding.

In fact, Máxima and Willem-Alexander were not permitted to marry until the Dutch parliament’s investigation came to a close.

It concluded that, although Jorge was most likely to have known of the “Dirty War” atrocities, his daughter Máxima — who was at primary school during the junta years — had clearly done nothing wrong.

However, Jorge was not able to walk his daughter down the aisle, or even be present at the nuptials.

Máxima’s mother, María, was technically allowed to be at the wedding, but chose to stay away with her husband.

Her siblings and half-siblings, all fathered by Jorge, did attend the ceremony.

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On February 2, 2002, Máxima married Willem-Alexander, then-Prince of Orange, in Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam.

In 2013, she and Prince Willem-Alexander acceded to the Dutch throne, becoming King and Queen.

Again, Jorge was not allowed to attend the important event in his daughter’s life, as it was deemed inappropriate for him to be at a Dutch state affair.

He and Maria, however, did attend the christenings of their grandchildren, since they were considered private — rather than state — matters.

In 2017, Jorge died at the age of 89 in Buenos Aires.

Máxima and Willem-Alexander have three daughters — Catherina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, 18, Princess Alexia, 16, and Princess Ariane, 15.

Willem-Alexander was the first male monarch in over a century when he ascended the throne, and his mother’s 33-year reign came to an end.

Now-Princess Beatrix ended her time on the throne in a nationally televised ceremony as thousands of orange-clad people cheered outside.

As she appeared on the balcony, overlooking her subjects, she said: “I am happy and grateful to introduce to you your new king, Willem-Alexander.”

In a final act, symbolizing a generational shift, Beatrix left the balcony where Willem-Alexander, Máxima and their three daughters stood waving to the crowd.


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