Royal Wedding Recollections – The Prince of Orange & Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti

© RVD - Jeroen van der Meyde

On 2 February 2002, Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti married the heir to the Dutch throne, Willem-Alexander, the Prince of Orange. They had met in Spain in 1999, and he proposed to her in late 2000 while skating on a frozen pond behind Huis ten Bosch. He proposed to her in English to make sure she would understand the question. The engagement was kept a secret for a while to avoid overshadowing the wedding of Willem-Alexander’s younger brother Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhorst. However, it was eventually announced on 30 March 2001 by Queen Beatrix. Although Máxima became a naturalized Dutch citizen, she did not convert from Roman Catholicism, which meant that upon marriage, her husband lost his (distant) place in the line of the British succession. He was reinstated with the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.

A civil ceremony was performed first by the Major of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, at the Beurs van Berlage. The following religious ceremony took place in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, where Willem-Alexander would receive his inauguration as King 11 years later. Unfortunately, due to controversy surrounding Maxima’s father, her parents were not present at the wedding. In honour of her parents, who were absent, Adiós Nonino, an Argentine tango by Astor Piazzolla, was played, leading to the iconic single tear on the bride’s face.

Máxima wore a dress of ivory mikado silk with a cowl neckline and three-quarter sleeves. It had a five-metre long train and was designed by Valentino. Her veil was made of silk tulle and was embroidered with a flower and tendril motif. She wore the Dutch Pearl Button Tiara, but the pearls had been swapped out for five diamond stars. She also carried a bouquet of white roses, gardenias and lilies of the valley.

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Willem-Alexander wore the dress uniform of a captain of the Royal Netherlands Navy with the riband and star of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, the star of a Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, the Officers’ Cross and the Queen Beatrix Inauguration Medal.

Afterwards, the newlyweds went a carriage ride in the Golden Coach before returning to the Royal Palace for a balcony appearance and, of course, a kiss.

Among the wedding guest were also many representatives of foreign royal families, such as the Prince of Wales and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the King and Queen of the Belgians, the Queen of Denmark and the King and Queen of Sweden.

Máxima became known as Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg by royal decree.1 Since then, they have gone on to have three children, Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane.


  1. Royal decree

About Moniek Bloks 2222 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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