Queen Beatrix's successor will be her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, the first male heir to the Dutch throne in over 100 years. His birth was celebrated with a 101 gun salute fired at five locations in the Dutch kingdom. The boys were raised out of the public eye and rarely attended public events. Their parents sought to raise them as normally as possible. Wilhem Alexander as a young boy took a dim view of the press. He created considerable controsesy in 2001 with his choice of a bride, an Argentine who is the daughter of a cabinet minister is the Vidella Adninistration which conducted the brutal "Dirty War". The Prince developed the reputation as an intelectual light-weight, but in recent years has been improving his reputation.
Willem Alexander is the eldest child of Princess Beatrix and German diplomat Claus von Amsberg. Queen Beatrix's successor will be her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, the first male heir to the Dutch throne in over 100 years.
Willem Alexander has two younger brothers: Johan Friso (1968- ) and Constantijn (1969- ).
Willem-Alexander was born in Utrecht The Prince's birth was celebrated with a 101 gun salute fired at five locations in the Dutch Kingdom. The boys were raised out of the public eye and rarely attended public events. Their parents sought to raise them as normally as possible. By all accounts the boys had a carefree and pleasant childhood, especailly before their mother ascended the throne. They were raised at modest Kasteel Drakestein, a private royal residence at Baarn. Once Beatrix became Queen they moved to the more public Hague. Wilhem Alexander as a young boy took from an early point took a dim view of the press. Once as a boy of 11 years o age, he told a group of reporters to 'get lost'. He was reprimanded by his mother.
As a teenager he had some diificulty with his parents. They decided to give him some space and he was sent to an international college (secondary school) in Wales. He then attended Leiden University. He was photographed there drinking beer and the resulting image published in Dutch newspaper convinmced many that he was not a serious student, but out for a good time. The incident did not improve the Prince's attitude toward the media.
The Prince's greatest pasion is sport. He has participated in the traditional 200-km skating event in Freisland as well as the New York marathon. He spent time with the Dutch Olympic team in Atlanta and was invited to serve on the board of the Intermational Olympic Committee (OIC). He also loves flying, like his Grandfather Prince Dernard. He earned his pilot license at age 18. He has flow for Flying Doctors in Kenya (AMCEF) and the Kenyan Wildlife Service.
The Prince developed the reputation as an intelectual light-weight, but in recent years has been improving his reputation. While he had some misgivings about being king, in recent years he has decided to make the most of it. At his father, Prince Clause's urging, he has persued issues of water management--obviously an subject of great importance to the Netherlands. He cahired the Second World Water Conference.
Willem-Alexander became Prince of Orange and heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands (1980). This was at the time his mother became queen regnant.
Prince Willem Alexander created considerable controversyin 2001 with his choice of a bride, an Argentine, Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, who was the daughter of a cabinet minister is the Vidella Adninistration which conducted the brutal 'Dirty War'. The young lady was born in Argentina (1971). She was raised there, but as a young adult worked in New York for a German Bank. She is a commoner of Basque ancestry. The Prince asked her to marry him on a cold day while skating on a palace pond. She speaks suprisingly good Dutch after going with the Prince for 2-years. The Prince's choice under the Dutch Consitution must be approved by Parliament. After some misgivings, they relented. They married at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam (2002).
Queen Beatrix, abdicated in favour of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (2013).
The royal couple has three daughters: The Princess of Orange (Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria (2003- ), Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien of the Netherlands (2005- ), and Princess Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Inés of the Netherlands (2007- ).
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