Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange (in Dutch: Prins van Oranje). (given names: Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand; born April 27, 1967) is the eldest son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and the heir apparent to the Dutch throne.
The prince is a member of the Raad van State, the highest council to the Dutch government that is chaired by his mother, Queen Beatrix. As part of his Royal duties, he holds commissions in the Dutch Army (as brigadier), Navy (as commandeur) and Air Force (as commodore) and was a patron of the Dutch Olympic Games Committee until 1998 when he was made a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of 1928 Summer Olympics held in Amsterdam, he has expressed support to bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
On behalf of the Crown, the Prince carries out various other representative duties.
Using the name "van Buren", one of the less well-known surnames of the House of Orange-Nassau, he has participated in the New York City Marathon, where his aunt, Princess Christina, and several cousins live. In the Netherlands, he was a participant in the Frisian Eleven Cities ice skating marathon.
The Prince was also seen cheering on the Netherlands' national football team during their hosting year, at Euro 2000. He memorably gave a nervous laugh of disbelief as the Netherlands missed their second penalty of normal time against the Italians in the semi-final.
In a 1999 television interview, the Prince declared that he wouldn't marry in the next 10 years. At the time, he was 32 years old, and his father didn't marry until he was nearly 40.
Nonetheless, on February 2 2002, he married Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (born May 17 1971), an Argentine woman of Spanish and Italian ancestry who, prior to their marriage, worked as an investment banker in New York City.
Like all Dutch monarchs, Prince Willem-Alexander is a nominal member of the Protestant Dutch Reformed Church but, unlike the highly controversial 1964 marriage to a Roman Catholic by his aunt, Princess Irene, religion was not a major issue in the Prince's marriage.
The prince is a direct descendant of Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, eldest daughter of British King George II. However, under the British Act of Settlement, Prince Willem-Alexander forfeited his (distant) succession rights to the throne of each of the sixteen Commonwealth Realms, because he married a Roman Catholic.
The issue of Máxima's father, Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini was rather sensitive. He was a civilian member of the Videla regime, a dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. As a result of the controversy, Mr. Zorreguieta agreed not to attend the royal wedding when representatives of Prime Minister Wim Kok requested him to stay away.
|Princess Catharina-Amalia||7 December 2003||The Hague|
|Princess Alexia||26 June 2005||The Hague|
|Princess Ariane||10 April 2007||The Hague|
His official title is "His Royal Highness Willem-Alexander , Prince of Orange, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg".
He is the first male heir-apparent to the Dutch throne since Prince Alexander, son of King William III, who died in 1884. Prince Willem-Alexander has indicated that upon succeeding his mother, he would assume the throne under the title of King William IV of the Netherlands. If he ascends the throne, he will be the Netherlands' first male monarch since 1890.
Prince Willem-Alexander is also heir-apparent to the following titles:
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