Hereby I proudly present you all my dearest fiancee Máxima. After almost two years in which we have intensively learned to know eachother I asked her on 19 January if she wanted to spend the rest of her live with me: a question that happily almost immediately was answered with a full yes. With such a decision you don't go too quickly and surely not if you with such a decision ask someone to give up a big part of her free and independent life. I have asked myself many times if I could do this to her. Each time I came to the conclusion that it was 100% the case, just because Máxima in her independency grew up to a personality with the right and strong character to play a very important role on my side. With her broad vision, her sense of humor, her intelligence and ability to relativate she can give me the support that will be necessarily for me in the future.

With her perseverance she was each time able to get the best out of me. We as a couple are able to enjoy intensively everything in the very restricted private life: from various cultural activities to strenuous and active outdoor sports. Happily we both share many hobbies, and we can laugh relaxed many times. I really hope that Máxima's new life will not lead to a restriction of her spontanity and joy in life. This woman is unique the way she is and I hope that she will keep these qualities; they will keep our relationship lively until the end!

In front of you you see the most happy man of the Netherlands, but happily also someone who in his love and happiness is not insensible to the feelings that lived and still live in the Netherlands about the origine of Máxima. Those feelings have of course played a big role in my decision to go further with Máxima. Various publications sometimes have put a big pressure to our relationship, and we have come out stronger until now. This start hopefully will have only positive effects in the future. I can only hope that the history will prove that we made the right decision. We can and will do our utmost best to serve the Netherlands in the future, as a couple, as good as possible, with conscience and honour.

For the decision of Máxima's father not to be present I have the deepest respect. This offer was brought in the interest of the future of his daughter in the Netherlands, because he loves his daughter a lot and has a strong bond with her. If we ever get children I hope that our future family will be as strong as the family of Máxima. After almost two years we now have made the decision to get engaged officially. Now Máxima can prepare herself thoroughly in peace and openess to her new life in the Netherlands.

You already know me almost 34 years and I understand you are just waiting to know my dear Máxima better. That is why I proudly give her the word.

I am so happy to finally appear in public with Alexander. The past years have been very tense. I never could expect that I would one day and in Dutch would speak. Since New York and Brussels and now The Netherlands lots of things have happened. I am very happy to go living here and learn to know the Netherlands. Now my real acclimatization can begin, in all peace and openess. And of course with the support of Alexander!

But I don't want to hide the feelings about my father. This is very difficult for me, but I will be really open and honest. What happened in this period in Argentina is terrible. I reject the Videla dictatorship, the disappearances, the tortures, the murders and all terrible facts from that period since a long time. They surely have left big scars in our society. Therefore I have comprehension for the big anxiousy of the Dutch about a difficult period in my country. Happily we have a democratic government already since more than 15 years.

Argentina is not a simple country, but a country full of contradictions; a country that knew many violence, but also constructive and positive periods. I come from this background and I learned from it how important it is to embrace values as democracy, justification, human rights and freedom. In that way I greatly admire the Netherlands and the way it propagates those values.

About my father's participation in the government of that time I will say honestly that I regret that he did his best for agriculture in a wrong regime. He had the best intentions and I believe in him. We all know how wrong this regime was. As Argentinian I regret that a lot.

I was born in a strong family and my father is, and will always be, the integer and devoted father who was always there for me. Also now he is with me. I feel it. I love him very much. My whole family stands implicitely behind me, but they understand also the feelings that live around this subject. Therefore my father is willing not to be present at our wedding, but it is very painful for my whole family. My family supports Alexander and me to take this big step. They do it because they know how much Alexander and I love eachother and how we believe in eachother. I am very grateful to them.

This is the most important decision of my whole live, taken in a very complex situation. I have thought about it a lot if I could handle and if I would be able to support Alexander. But all experiences and thoughts have made my feelings stronger. I am very happy to share my live with Alexander. We can conquer everything together. I am very happy to have found Alexander because he takes the best out of me. He is intelligent, loving, strong and stands with both feet on the ground. With Alexander I have something very special. Therefore I am very happy to share this with you today.