Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands

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Template:Dutch Royal Family His Royal Highness, Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand of Orange-Nassau, Prince of Orange, (born April 27, 1967) is the Crown Prince of the Netherlands. The eldest son of Queen Beatrix and Claus von Amsberg, he is the first male heir-apparent to the Dutch throne since Prince Alexander, son of William III, died in 1884. He would assume the throne and the regal name William IV of the Netherlands or Alexander I of the Netherlands upon his mother's eventual abdication or death. When he ascends the throne he will be the Netherlands' first male monarch in over a century.

Prince Willem-Alexander was born in Utrecht, and educated at a Protestant grammar school in The Hague, where he mixed with children from all social backgrounds. He has been groomed in state affairs to assume the Dutch throne one day. He earned an academic degree in history from Leiden University and is interested in international water management issues. Prince Willem-Alexander is an honorary member of the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century and patron of the Global Water Partnership, a body established by the World Bank, the UN, and the Swedish Ministry of Development.

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, Navy and Air Force and was a patron of the Dutch Olympic Games Committee until 1998 when he was made a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). On behalf of the Crown, the Prince carries out various representative duties.

He is an avid aircraft pilot and sportsman. In 1989, the Prince flew as a volunteer for the "African Medical Research and Education Foundation" (AMREF) in Kenya and in 1991 he spent a month flying for the Kenya Wildlife Service. Using the name "Van Buren," one of the other, lesser-known surnames of the House of Orange-Nassau, he has participated in the New York City marathon where his aunt, Princess Christina, and several of the Royal family cousins live. In the Netherlands, he was a participant in the Frisian Eleven Cities ice skating marathon.

HRH The Prince of Orange
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HRH The Prince of Orange

On February 2, 2002, he married Mxima Zorreguieta (born 1971), an Argentine woman of Basque, Spanish, and Italian ancestry who, prior to their marriage, worked as an investment banker in New York City. In choosing her, the prince upheld the Dutch monarchy's tradition of choosing a controversial partner. 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 an issue in the Prince's marriage. Rather, it was the issue of Mxima's father, Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini, who was a civilian member of the Videla regime, a brutal military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. As a result of the controversy, Zorreguieta senior was not allowed to attend the royal wedding.

Willem-Alexander and Mxima have one child. Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria, Princess Catharina-Amalia for short (the royal family calls her Amalia) was born 7 December, 2003, 17:01 at The Hague. She is second in line to the Dutch throne and named after Amalia von Solms. In December 2004, it was announced that the Prince and Princess's second child was due to be born in July 2005.

The family lives at the estate 'De Horsten' in Wassenaar.

External link

fy:Prins Willem-Alexander nl:Willem-Alexander van Oranje-Nassau ja:ヴィレム・アレクサンダー no:Willem Alexander av Nederland pl:Willem-Alexander

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