Princess Maxima“s parents will watch their daughter become Queen on 30 April, not in person like many royals and heads of state, but on TV.
Jorge Zorreguieta and Maria del Carmen Cerruti will see their daughter ascend to the Dutch throne alongside her husband, Willem-Alexander — who will become the new King of the Netherlands — on the small screen, since protocol dictates they may not attend.
The couple, who live in Santa Fe, Argentina, have not yet confirmed where they will gather with family for the celebrations and following of the ceremony, which will come after the abdication of Queen Beatrix after 33 years on the throne.
Their absence from proceedings follows Maxima“s father Jorge”s past involvement as an official of the Argentine junta in the 1970s, during the country”s brutal military dictatorship. And it won”t be the first time they miss out on one of the biggest days of their daughter”s life.
Maxima”s father, who would have walked her down the aisle, was not invited to his daughter”s wedding to the Dutch Prince in 2002, and her mother also stayed away out of solidarity.
The vivacious Princess, 41, who has won the hearts of the Dutch, spoke openly in an exclusive TV interview ahead of the coronation. “If my father could not come for the wedding then it was very clear: This is a constitutional celebration so my father doesn”t belong there.”
The decision was made by both her and her family that they would not travel to Amsterdam for the celebrations, instead watching the event on TV and, Maxima said, she is “at peace” with that decision.
Maxima”s parents won”t be the only ones to miss the coronation, which will see the swearing-in of the country”s first king in over a century. Willem-Alexander”s older brother Prince Johan Friso, who would have been next in line to the throne, has been in a coma for more than a year since being caught in an avalanche while skiing in the Austrian Alps.
“For the family, it is a very difficult moment,” Willem-Alexander, who will celebrate his 46th birthday on Saturday ahead of the coronation, said. “For my part, all I can do is… make sure I do my best on 30 April.”
And he is already showing confidence ahead of becoming king, demonstrating his desire to create a relatively laid-back monarchy.
“I”m not obsessed with protocol. I will be king, but also a human being,” Willem-Alexander explained in the candid, casual interview with Dutch journalists.
Although Maxima accepts the protocol that keeps her father away from the big days in her life, she has always been clear about keeping her Argentine roots close to her heart.
When speaking about her wedding, the blonde beauty said: “As a daughter I find it terrible that my father won”t be there,” adding, “but that”s the way it is, and I understand the feelings of the Dutch on the question.”
She also took the opportunity to assert her cultural identity: “I am Latin and I will continue being Latin. I dance, I sing and I will keep on dancing and singing.”