Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Royal Profile: King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands

Prince Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand of The Netherlands, now known as King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands was born on 27 April 1967, the first child of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus of The Netherlands {Source}. He was baptized on 2 September 1967, with the following as his godparents {Source}:
  1. Prince Bernhard (maternal grandfather)
  2. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  3. Ferdinand von Bismarck
  4. Prime Minister Jelle Zijlstra 
  5. Ms Renée Smith-Roëll
He has two brothers, two sisters-in-law, three nieces and a nephew:
  1. Prince Friso of Oranje-Nassau (1968-2013)
    1. Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau (1968)
      1. Countess Luana van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkvrouw van Amsberg (2005)
      2. Countess Zaria van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkvrouw van Amsberg (2006)
  2. Prince Constantijn of The Netherlands (1969)
    1. Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands (1966)
      1. Countess Eloise van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg (2002)
      2. Count Claus-Casimir van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg (2004)
      3. Countess Leonore van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg (2006)
Alongside his two brothers,  he grew up in his family's residence of Drakensteyn Castle {Source}. When his grandmother, Queen Julianna, abdicated in favor of his mother in 1980, he and his family moved to Huis ten Bosch Palace {Source}.

The future Dutch monarch was primarily educated in The Netherlands and Wales, and did graduate studies in the United States{Source}. He began his primary education at the Nieuwe Baarnse School, before attended Baarns Lyceum{Source}. He obtained an International Baccalaureate from Atlantic College in Wales in 1985{Source}. Upon graduation, the future monarch began a career in the military, where he served in the Royal Netherlands Navy from August 1985 to January 1987, where he received training at the Royal Netherlands Naval College and served on the board of the frigates HNLMS Tromp and HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen{Source}. In 1988, after a refersher course at the Naval Academy, he began serving as a duty officer aboard the frgate HNLMS Van Kinsbergen {Source}. Upon completion of his service in the military, he began studying history at Lieden University, where he was awarded a bachelors degree in history in 1993 {Source}. After graduation, he returned to the military, this time with the Royal Netherlands Air Force, where he gained a Military Pilot's license in the Royal Netherlands Air Force{Source}. In 1994, Prince Willem-Alexander spent several months studying aspects of the Royal Netherlands Army and Air Force at the Netherlands Defense College {Source}. Upon completing his military studies, he began a course to familiarize himself with every facet of Dutch Society, studying the constitutional and legal systems, learning how central government and other authorities function, visiting European institutions, Dutch ministries, and High Councils of State, Dutch business community aspects, before undertaking a program of Advanced Development at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the USA{Source}.

Before succeeding his mother in 2013, he held a number of specific positions in a wide range of areas which reflected his commitment to Dutch society {Source}. His main interests have included water management, infrastructure and ICT, sport and defense {Source}. During his time as Prince of Orange, he became a member of the Council of State upon his 18th birthday in April 1985 {Source}. Upon his assession to the throne, he automatically became President of the Council of State {Source}. During the time prior to his investiture, he was a member of several boards, including {Source}:

De Nederlandsche Bank(the Dutch central bank) (1998-2010)
Kröller-Müller Museum(1999-2010)'
Chair of the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust(2002-2013)
Representative of the Royal Family on the management board of the Royal Domains (2002-2013)

In March 2001, his parents announced the engagement of The Prince of Orange to Argentine Maxima
Zorreguieta, which was subsequently approved by the government in July 2001 {Source}. The marriage took place in Februrary 2002 {Source}. Together, they have three daughters {Source}:

Princess Catharina-Amalia of Oranje (2003)
Princess Alexia of The Netherlands (2005)
Princess Ariane of The Netherlands (2007)

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