With the introduction of absolute primogeniture in most European monarchies, there are now several Queens in waiting. With our series Female Heirs, we’ll be taking a look at those young women who will one day rule in their own right. Today we’ll be taking a look at Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange.
The current King of the Netherlands was born on 27 April 1967, and he became the Prince of Orange on 30 April 1980, when his mother Beatrix succeeded her mother as Queen. When he married Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002, she did not become Princess of Orange due to a recent change in the law, which limited the title to the heir apparent alone. On her wedding day, she was granted the titles Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau with ‘Her Royal Highness’ as the style of address.
They had three daughters together, Catharina-Amalia was born in 2003, Alexia was born in 2005 and Ariane was born in 2007. When Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother on 30 April 2013, his eldest child automatically became Princess of Orange as the title no longer differentiated between a male or female heir. Catharina-Amalia is the first woman to hold the title in her own right, despite the Netherlands having had three Queens regnant before her. Mary of Baux did hold the title as sovereign Prince of Orange from 1393 to 1417.
Catharina-Amalia was born on 7 December 2003 at 5.01 PM in the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague. She was baptised on 12 June 2004 with Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Baroness Rengers-Deane, Prince Constantijn, Martin Zorreguieta, Herman Tjeenk Willink and Marc ter Haar as godparents. Her full name is Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria. Catharina-Amalia and her sisters attend mayor functions, such as King’s Day and the press moments, but not much more.
Catharina-Amalia’s first major function, as well as her sisters’, was their grandmother’s abdication and their father’s accession. Catharina-Amalia was just ten years old at the time. She has been attending a school like a regular child since 2007. She reportedly already speaks two languages, and she speaks some Spanish, no doubt taught to her by her mother! She will assume a seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State of the Netherlands upon reaching the age of majority at 18 and is expected to become Queen regnant someday.