Monday, August 11, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau

Mabel Martine Los aka Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau was born on 11 August 1968, the daughter of Hendrik Cornelis "Henk" Los (1944-1978) and Florence Malde Gijsberdina "Flos" Kooman (b. 1944), and the stepdaughter of Peter Wisse Smit (1939-2000) {Source} When her mother remarried when she was 16 years old, she and her sisters took their stepfather's last name thus, she became Mabel Martine Wisse Smit{Source}. She has two younger sisters{Source}:
  • Nicoline Wisse Smit (1970) 
  • Eveline Wisse Smit (b. 1982)
Mabel met her future husband through his sister-in-law and her good friend, Princess Laurentien in 2000{Source}. The pair dated for three years, mostly long distance, before Prince Friso popped the question during a trip to Mexico {Source}. Their engagement was announced by then Queen Beatrix on 30 June 2003{Source}. They were married on 24 April 2004{Source}.After announcing the engagement of Prince Friso with Mabel in June 2003, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende wrote in a letter to parliament that Mabel Wisse Smit had given "incomplete and incorrect information" about the duration and extent of her contacts with known drug lord, Klaas Bruinsmaand that because of this, the government had decided not to seek permission for the marriage from parliament{Source}.

Together, they have two daughters:

In February 2012, her husband was in a skiing accident that left him in a vegetative state since {Source}. In November 2012, he showed small signs of improvement as he woke up, looked at her, smiled and returned to sleep {Source}. On 12 August 2013, he died due to complications from the accident {Source}.

Princess Mabel gained her VWO (pre-university education) exam at the Gemeentelijk Gymnasium in Hilversum in 1986. She studied economics and political science at the University of Amsterdam, graduating in 1993 {Source}. Princess Mabel attended the International Human Rights Law Summer School at the University of Oxford in 2001 {Source}. She also attended the Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century executive education programme at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2008 {Source}.During her university years, she also finished internships at the United Nations, Shell, ABN AMRO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs {Source}.During her university years, she showed special interest in human rights situations around the world, and later specialized in Balkan diplomacy and international relations {Source}. She speaks several languages, including:
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
Princess Mabel is a co-founder of European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans, a postition in which she served as Executive director from 1993-1997 {Source}.In 1995, she was a co-founder of War Child Netherlands in 1995{Source}.In 1997, she was appointed as a director of EU Affairs of the Open Society Institute in Brussels {Source}. From 2002-2008, she served as a International Advocacy Director for the London office of Open Society Institute. She was selected as one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.She is a member of the worldwide Forum of Young Global Leaders, a thinktank and lobbygroup that aims to tackle global issues. The Princess is a founding member of the European thinktank called European Council on Foreign Relations{Source}. From 2008-2012 she was the 1st CEO of The Elders {Source}. Princess Mabel is patron of The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN){Source}.From 2003 to 2007 the Princess was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe{Source}. She is active in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and in promoting international criminal law, including the creation of the International Criminal Court in 2002{Source}.

Since her marriage, Mabel Wisse Smit may use the courtesy titles of Princess of Orange-Nassau, Countess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. Van Amsberg. Her official courtesy title is HRH Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau, Countess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. Van Amsberg{Source}.She was not legally created a princess, but received courtesy titles due to her marriage, since it is customary for wives of members of the royal family to take the titles of their husbands{Source}.It was decided that their children each would receive the titles of Count or Countess of Orange-Nassau and Jonkheer or Jonkvrouw van Amsberg. Professionally uses the name Mabel van Oranje{Source}.

For her brother-in-law's investiture in April 2012, she wore a black dress with a white sleeve from her wedding dress to signify that she was in mourning for her husband but had hope for the new monarchy{Source} {Photo}. Her wedding dress reportedly took 600 hours to make for Dutch designers Victor & Rolf {Source}. 

She is active in social media, mostly on Twitter campainging for rights and causes{Follow her}. She has campaigned for Gay Rights {Source}.

Prior to her husband's death, she resided in London with her family, however, I believe since his death she has returned to The Netherlands and lives with Princess Beatrix. During the summer months of 2013, she and her family with Princess Beatrix at Huis ten Bosch {Source}. She spent many months living in seclusion with her girls after her husband's accident. She re-emerged onto the Dutch society for a concert in London by the Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with her sister-in-law {Photo}. Since her husband's accident, she has seemingly grown close to her mother-in-law, Princess Beatrix.

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