Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Princess Máxima

Last Saturday was the sixth wedding anniversary of Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his lovely wife, Máxima. They were married on 02-02-2002. I really like Máxima. She was born in Argentina and moved here after she and the prince met in Spain and then carried on a bit in New York City. (I don't know how the whole dating thing went.)

By the way, how perfect is Máxima as the name of the future queen?

I like her because she's a foreigner here, but she's really integrated. Of course that's part of her job, but she's really good at it. She's also really good at having kids. She's had three so far - all girls. I can't imagine having three kids that fast. Of course that's a woman thing, I guess.

She also speaks Dutch well, or so I've heard. I've read that she stresses learning Dutch to integrate into Dutch society. I've said quite a few times in the past few years that it helps with the integration process. Not knowing Dutch really keeps you on the outside of things. Like everyone is standing in a circle talking and you're on the outside of the circle and can't tell what's going on within the circle.

Funny how a lot of Americans - and others, I'm sure - wouldn't have any idea who the wife of the crown prince of the Netherlands is. Similarly, they probably don't know the name of the queen. She's Beatrix. She's lovely as well. Not quite as beloved as her mother, Juliana, was, but well respected by the people of the Netherlands. (I stood within three feet of her at a reception at church about a year ago.)

It's such a strange trip, really, to think that a woman from Argentina could meet and marry the crown prince of the Netherlands and eventually be in line to become queen. Just shows you that anything can happen in life.

The other night, I had a dream that I was sitting with Máxima talking and her sweater was covered with heavy light catchers on hooks. She took one off of her sweater and handed it to me. I wasn't about to put it on my sweater, but I held it and listened while she talked - in English, I think. It was small and weighed quite a bit. I just kept thinking about how all of those things were going to stretch the heck out of her sweater, which was pale turquoise and looked like cotton. (Cotton doesn't have the memory that wool does.)

This also makes me think of all of the other people in royal famlies all over the world who are relatively unknown to most Americans. Like Denmark has a whole royal family thing going on. Besides the queen - Margrethe - who knows anything about them, and the wife of that crown prince?

Lots going on in the world.


Anonymous said...

I was also a big Maxima fan until she made the speech where she said that the "Netherlands character doesn't exist" (or something to that effect), which a lot of Dutch people (and not only conservatives) found rather insulting. I found it a very strange thing to say. First you want people to integrate, then you tell them there's really nothing to integrate TO. Don't bother trying to become more Dutch because there's really nothing truly "Dutch". Coming from a foreigner I also thought pretty cheeky (if I can borrow an English expression). But, otherwise, she's not bad as royalty goes. Better than the lot they have to deal with in England!
I don't know much about the Danish or Swedish royalty, except that they are very pretty to look at. :-)

Anonymous said...

Beatrix is beautiful. I hope I look like her when I am that age. What a great picture :)

America is probably one of the least cultured countries, most people on the street don't even know who our own vice president is. o_O

Elemmaciltur said...

Actually, I think that most people in Europe would know about the Dutch Royal Family. And so, yes, I know Máxima and the rest of the entourage.

Andy Baker said...

I would totally expect Elem to know about European royalty. My emphasis was on Americans and their general lack of knowledge on European royalty.

As for her speech, I think there was something that was lost in translation. Certainly with Beatrix and Willem-Alexander to answer to, she wouldn't say something that blatantly insulting. It seem to me like in her effort to be inclusive, she was a bit over-zealous.