Amsterdam, 2 February 2002

The wedding of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta

uploaded: February 2002 / last modified: 10 December 2013

The wedding interview, 18 January 2002

Walking in the park of Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange, his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta and their interviewers Maartje van Weegen and Paul Witteman stopped near the pond where the prince asked his girlfriend to marry him. Willem-Alexander said it was a beautiful day and that he thought it was about time that Máxima learned how to skate. They started at about 14:00h on Friday 19th January 2001 and it went pretty well - thanks to the fact that Máxima knew how to rollerblade - but after 2 1/2 hours Máxima was getting cold and was looking forward to a cup of hot chocolate inside the palace. Willem-Alexander lured her to the side of the pond and had to 'klún' (walk on the land with skates on) to get the roses and champagne he had hidden there and then asked Máxima to marry him. He said he had practised endless, but of course it always goes different. He asked her in English, so he could be sure she would understand him, telling "This will be the one and only time in my life I ever ask this" and Máxima said yes immediately. She told she wanted to shout it actually.

The interview continued at Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche, where Willem-Alexander's parents had lived from 1966 to 1981.

Willem-Alexander and Máxima met at the Feria in Sevilla, Spain, in the Spring of 1999. They were invited by common friends. Because she had travelled already a lot for her work and to her family, Máxima at first decided not to go, but changed her mind only two days before. 16 people from almost as many countries came together for a long weekend (three days). The hosts had asked Máxima to take photos and the first thing Willem-Alexander saw when he came in was a huge camera lens by which he became quite irritating and ran away from it. Máxima, who had been told before a prince was coming, but never had seen a photo of him, didn't know it was him and found he was reacting kind of strange. But during the weekend the two started talking and talking and liked each other.

Three weeks later, after endless phonecalls of 3-4 hours a day, Willem-Alexander came to New York for a wedding and had a date with Máxima. She had actually forgotten how he looked like and was very nervous when he came. She was absolutely not disappointed in him. Before the Summer Willem-Alexander visited her in New York several times, but most of the time Máxima came to The Netherlands. They didn't go outside a lot to keep their relationship secret. The relationship became known through a photo that was made from the yacht of Prince Bernhard in Italy in the Summer. Willem-Alexander told that not that long afterwards he paid a working visit to Arnhem that had something to do with inland navigation. "I have never known before there was so much press interest for inland navigation", he joked during the interview.

Máxima had told her parents that she had a Dutch boyfriend whose name was Alexander. First she said to them he was a lawyer, then she told them he was a consultant. Finally she phoned them when Willem-Alexander was in New York and told them: "He is a Dutch Prince, not the youngest son, but the eldest son of Queen Beatrix". They thought she had become crazy. "Are you crazy! You have your own life, you are independent. That is nothing for you." Two weeks later they came to New York to see if everything was allright with her. They saw how happy their daughter was and concluded that Willem-Alexander was a good man for her. They accepted it, but of course they had thought of something else for their daughter. Willem-Alexander said he hadn't kept it secret for his mother very long. About three weeks after the first meeting in New York, he actually was supposed to accompany his mother to a conference, but found Máxima was his first priority. He had to explain why he was not coming with her and just said: "Her name is Máxima, she is Argentinian, lives in New York and trust me. Don't ask further." And she didn't. She trusted him. He didn't tell his father and brother Johan Friso immediately. Prince Constantijn knew as he had met Máxima that first weekend in New York as he was invited to the same wedding as Willem-Alexander.

Máxima says she knew where The Netherlands were situated and knew a bit about the country, but actually only had been on Amsterdam Airport on her way to another European country. The first time she really was in The Netherlands it was a beautiful day, and later only saw something of the country during the weekends she spent there. The first she noted were the beautiful houses, people on bicycles and the canals. She had only seen them on photos. She thought it looked pleasant and calm. She first met Willem-Alexander's family in Italy in the Summer of 1999. She was quite nervous, but it was very relaxed and quiet. Queen Beatrix carefully asked her something about her background, education, work and plans for the future. Prince Claus started talking with her in Spanish and wanted to know a bit more about Argentina, her own experiences, literature and art. Willem- Alexander met Máxima's family for the first time in Argentina. Only Máxima's parents knew at that time who he was and they told nobody so they could learn to know him the way he was. Not even her brothers, sisters and other family knew who he was. Willem-Alexander was a bit nervous, but Máxima said she knew everything would be allright.

After the proposal Máxima knew her life would change drastically, every time a bit more. "You can't say beforehand what will happen to you exactly, but I had some idea. How you go through it later on, is a totally other experience." One thing was sure: she loved him and he loved her. It had never come up for discussion that the Parliament wouldn't give permission for the wedding, although the press has speculated about it. A few days before the proposal Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Wim Kok knew Willem-Alexander was going to ask Máxima to marry him. "You can never be sure, because you never know what the Parliament will decide. But it wouldn't have been sure with any woman." "Asking someone to marry you, you do unconditional".

Máxima said that she was aware of publicity always. Already in New York outside her house or work a camera could be nearby. "For all it was difficult to protect the people around me. Myself I had accepted the consequences of my relationship with Alexander." Once someone broke in at the house of a friend to steal photos of Máxima, and that was very difficult. You can't stop untrue stories in magazines, but "it is important to have a private life, as you need that". There are no big secrets, but "a private life is very necessary to carry out public duties as a couple". They try to hide their private life as good as possible.

Máxima said it is nice that so many people liked it to see them during the tour along the 12 Dutch provinces. It was for all The Netherlands makes acquaintance with Máxima. The visits to the provinces were very nice and the people did their utmost best to show the best of their provinces and they got information about many interesting things. The visits really lived in The Netherlands and the welcome was very warm. It would have been very bad if she wouldn't have been accepted. The visits were just the beginning. Máxima said that she will deepen herself in The Netherlands more after the wedding, as you can't learn to know a country within 16 days. In the future Máxima hopes to earn her popularity not by only smiling and waving, but because of involvement with the country and supporting Willem-Alexander. The warmth of people made the visits easier, although she couldn't sleep in the nights before the first visits. Presentation has a lot to do with upbringing Máxima said. Her parents always said: "You are who you are, be human, be nice. People deserve that."

Máxima comes from a very close family. They phone every day and support each other a lot. Máxima said that her younger brother Juan and younger sister Inès were actually her little children, as they were much younger than her, and it is difficult to accept that they have become adults by now.

Máxima said she didn't want to be a typical banker. She actually wanted to do something with art, like opening her own gallery. Many of her friends in New York, including her sister Dolores, are artists and she wanted to help them selling their art and for all support young artists.

Máxima said she likes to listen to music - from classical to rock. She likes the tango a lot, but only started to appreciate it when she lived in New York. She always found the tango a bit oldfashioned and sad. In New York she started listening to the tango, which made her feel at home, and learned how to dance the tango although she is not very good in it. Since the films of a dancing Máxima on a party in Argentina she has grown up and has become older, but she stays a Latino and keeps on dancing. Willem-Alexander said he likes to dance also. Máxima tries to learn him the tango, but said laughing: "The hips are a bit stiff, but he can do it." Willem-Alexander said he hopes Máxima stays herself: spontaneous, interesting. It will not always be difficult, but stay yourself.

As a child Máxima didn't notice a lot of the Videla regime she said, although their was of course lots of violence, everybody was nervous, they had security and had to take another street each day. But children think more about playing and friends. But her mother was ill a few times because of the tension. Her parents always told their children that everything was allright to protect them. In 1983 all stories came to the outside. She met people who knew people who had disappeared, but in the beginning actually didn't believe the stories. When the stories became official she found it "awful, incredible, how could it happen?" She went to her father with her questions and asked him what exactly had happened. He told her he didn't know what had been going on, and she still believes him. He didn't have a reason to lie to her. There was always place to discuss the subject in the family. Máxima always rejected the Videla regime, something her family and friends knew. Willem-Alexander admitted he hardly knew something about Argentina in the beginning of the 1980s, and only learned something about the country from Argentinian fellow-students at school in Wales, but not much. He also rejects the Videla regime and knows how Máxima thinks about it as they have discussed it and Máxima told a lot of facts to him. He also spoke with her father and asked him why he joined the Videla-government. Jorge Zorreguieta told Willem-Alexander he knew of three cases in which the people returned, but didn't know anything of people who didn't return. Máxima said about the inquiry by Professor Baud about the Videla-regime and Jorge Zorreguieta that was issued in March 2001, is Baud's opinion and that there are people who think different. She and Willem- Alexander believe her father didn't know anything. They respect her father's decision not to attend the wedding. Despite other reports they didn't have to convince him to take that decision and didn't go to Argentina for that. Máxima informed him about the feelings in The Netherlands. Her father has made his decision all by himself and they respect it. He decided that if his presence would cast a shadow over the happiness and future of his daughter, he wouldn't come. "He put the importance of his children in front. He is worried more about his children than about himself."

They want to have their wedding day the way they like it to be as much as possible. They did a lot to put their own things in it. "The Nieuwe Kerk is no tv-studio and our wedding not a reality-soap", Willem-Alexander said. "That the people want to enjoy a part of it is all right, but it is our wedding." Máxima added that it is a very intimate moment that will be watched by many people. She thinks she'll only see Alexander. Sometimes she just says to Willem-Alexander that they'd better run away and marry in Las Vegas. the official guestslist was completed in consultation with Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Wim Kok. The private guestlist was completed by the couple itself with some consultation. There will be many family members and friends. The service in church will be a reformed (protestant) one led by the Rev. Carel ter Linden. Máxima wanted something from her background at the wedding. Father Rafael Brown, the Zorreguieta family's priest, will do a few things at the wedding that can be done by any layman like a prayer, so it is not a catholic element. Máxima called him a wonderful and very inspiring man. Máxima said she doesn't know yet if she will become a protestant or stays a roman catholic. It is not a decision you take from one day to another. The reformed service was possible because she got dispensation from the catholic church. But as Willem-Alexander added that by chosing for a reformed service, also the problems after the oecomenical service of Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène in 1998 played a role in taking the decision.

Willem-Alexander and Máxima said that in their long phonecalls in the beginning of their relationship they discovered they were brought up with the same norms and values and Christian feelings, despite the difference in religion. The upbringing was very identical. A wedding is never guaranteed for 100%, but you hope it will work out. By having had the same strict but justified upbringing they hope the chance to succeed is higher. They hope to become happy.

Máxima said she didn't know where their honeymoon goes to. Willem-Alexander said he doesn't think there are rules that he has to attend the Olympic Winter Games because he is a IOC-member. He thinks he has a good reason to cancel his stay in Salt Lake City. After the honeymoon Máxima doesn't know yet what she will do. She first wants to deepen her knowledge about The Netherlands, to get used to her new life, to search how she can become valuable for herself and the country. In the first place she wants to support Willem- Alexander. Sharing a life together is new. Willem-Alexander said that public life is full of nice challenges and restrictions. You choose for it. It is a challenge, Máxima said, to have a private life and bring up children as normal as possible. Willem-Alexander protected and helped her and set an example how to do it with future children.

Jeugdjournaal interview, 27 January 2002

The interview was given at Drakensteyn Castle to two reporters of the Youth News. Children sent their questions for Willem-Alexander and Máxima to them.

Where did you meet?
Willem-Alexander and Máxima met at a party in Sevilla. They were invited by common friends. She didn't like him immediately. He first saw her camera and thought: "Oh, no!" But the same evening they started talking and they found out they liked each other a lot.

Is all this interest nice?
Máxima: It is difficult to be in the limelight and to get used to it. You are aware of the fact that people look at you or take photos when you are doing something private, like buying a present for a friend. But before the relationship became known she was in The Netherlands several times and was never caught. She among others tried to hide by wearing baseball caps.

Do you eat from golden plates?
Willem-Alexander: No! We don't even have them.

Are there servants in the house everywhere?
We have servants, but not always and not everywhere. If we have guests they help to make it cosy and bring the food. If we are alone there are no servants around.

Do you cook yourself?
Mostly not, and many times we just warm something up in the magnetron. Máxima says she likes to cook, but Willem-Alexander doesn't. Sometimes he helps her in the kitchen. Willem- Alexander says he likes sprouts, already from the time he was a child, although most children don't like them. He also loves pea-soup, but Máxima tells it is not really her favourite food. She thinks croquettes are delicious, although taste a bit different from the Argentinian ones.

Did you have pets when you were a child?
Willem-Alexander has two labradors now. He got his first labrador, Carry, when he was a child. He visited a breeder, who didn't want the labrador because he had a black spot behind one of the ears. They also had lots of chickens and rabbits at home.

How were you as a little girl at school?
Máxima: I talked and laughed too much in the classroom, I had lots of friends, was very sportive.

Did they ever punish you at school?
Willem-Alexander: "Of course! I surely wasn't the most honest boy in the class". And Máxima tells she sometimes had to write 100 times "I am not allowed to laugh loud in the classroom".

Kylie Minogue or Jennifer Lopez?
Máxima and Willem-Alexander: "Jennifer Lopez"

Hip Hop or Rythm and Blues?
Willem-Alexander: "R & B".

Do you still like to dance?
Máxima says she likes to dance and go out, but it is more difficult to go out now to dance because you are well-known. But she dances at home sometimes, also together with Willem-Alexander.

How will the wedding be?
There will be many friends. Máxima says that she knows about 70% of her friends from kindergarten or primary school, and also some of the friends of Willem-Alexander are from this time. Willem-Alexander admits he sometimes wakes up at night and thinks about all the things that still have to be done, but that he isn't really afraid that something goes wrong. Máxima says that she still didn't practise how to walk in her wedding dress. She admits she is a bit afraid that something goes wrong if she walks in her dress and steps on it. Willem-Alexander doesn't know what she is going to wear.

How are you going to tell your parents about the wedding?
Máxima: "I will call them" and then of course as soon as it is possible.

Are you going to kiss at your wedding?
Máxima: "That will be a surprise."

The Government Dinner, 25 January 2002

Prime Minister Wim Kok and his wife Mrs Rita Kok-Roukema hosted a dinner in the Ridderzaal (Knights' Hall) in The Hague in honour of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta to celebrate their intended marriage. Invited were members of the Dutch royal family, the Zorreguieta family, members of the Cabinet, the Speakers of the Upper and Lower Houses of the States-General, the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, as well as the Ministers Plenipotentiary and the Presidents of the Parliaments of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. From the royal family Queen Beatrix, Prince Claus, Prince Johan Friso, Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven were present. An aunt of Máxima Zorreguieta was accompanied by Máxima's brothers Martín and Juan, sister Inès and sister-in-law Mariana. The four courses of the dinner were accompanied by different kinds of wine. The music is played by the Royal Netherlands Marines Capella, a steelband and tango music (and dance), and a duet composed by Henry Purcell of the The Hague Royal Conservatory.

Party weekend, 26-27 January 2002

The Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta invited about 300 members of the family and friends for a party weekend a week before their marriage. Among the guests among others Queen Beatrix, Prince Johan Friso, Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien, Prince Maurits, Princess Marilène, Prince Bernhard, Princess Annette, Prince Pieter- Christiaan, Prince Floris, Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme, Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme, former girlfriends of the Prince of Orange like Emily Bremers and Yolande Adriaansens both with partner. The children of Princess Christina of the Netherlands however left for the USA when they heard their paternal grandmother Edenia Guillermo had died in Florida.

On Saturday afternoon the guests were received at Madurodam, where tourists usually can see the Netherlands on scale. At the entrance of Madurodam tens of photographers and royaltywatchers who tried to get a glimpse of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta. The guests arrived in blue busses. Unfortunately this Saturday the weather was very rainy, so the guests needed umbrellas. But because of the heavy wind that also wasn't really a good alternative.

Afterwards a reception took place in a grand glass hall in Madurodam. The bridal couple received a valuable draugth screen. After a speech of the Prince of Orange it was party time with music of the Blauhúster Dakkapel, which was a great success. Even the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta were dancing as well as Queen Beatrix. At about 16:00 the guests were taken back to their hotels to dress for the evening party at Palace Noordeinde.

The party continued at Palace Noordeinde at 19:00. Máxima Zorreguieta arrived by car together with Queen Beatrix. The Prince of Orange was waiting for them at Palace Noordeinde already. Máxima wore a wonderful red silk dress. Inside South-American music sounded in the ballroom of the palace: a salsaband and a DJ. Especially for Máxima the Cuban dance orchestra Manolito Y Su Trabacho were flown in. The bridal couple and their guests swinged until the late hours.

On Sunday morning the bridal couple offered their guests a brunch at the Kurhaus in Scheveningen. It was clear the party had ended quite late when very sleepy guests and bridal couple arrived. Only Queen Beatrix seemed to have slept well while Máxima did her best to look well. Prince Claus wasn't present.

Programme of the wedding festivities

Thursday, 31 January 2002

  • 18.30: The 64th birthday of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. A private dinner and reception are held for special guests at the Royal Palace at the Dam Square in Amsterdam.
  • Friday, 1 February 2002

  • 12.00-15.00: A lunchtime concert is given by the Royal Concertgebouworkest at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
  • 19.45: Willem-Alexander and Máxima attend an event organised by the National Orange Committee and the municipality of Amsterdam in the Amsterdam ArenA stadium. About 50.000 people, from each Dutch municipality, are invited. Marco and Sita perform their wedding song while the rest of the programme contains music, theatre and dance. Further Willem- Alexander and Máxima receive the national wedding gift.
  • Saturday, 2 February 2002

  • 10.15-10.45: Civil wedding conducted by Mr Job Cohen, mayor of the City of Amsterdam, in the Beurs van Berlage. The ceremony is attended by family members, government representatives and invited guests from the municipality of Amsterdam, the provinces and other parts of the Kingdom.
  • 11.30-13.00: Church blessing in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. The ceremony is led by pastor C.A. ter Linden, retired reverend minister of the Kloosterkerk in The Hague. The ceremony is attended by family and friends of the Royal Couple, royal guests and government representatives. Music will be provided by Bernard Winsemius, organist, Miranda van Kralingen, soprano, and the Netherlands Chamber Choir, with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, conductor Ed Spanjaard.
  • 13.00-13.30: Coach tour through the centre of Amsterdam in the Golden Carriage. The carriage passes the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Het Spui and the Singel, then turn left at the Muntplein, cross the Rokin and finishes at the Royal Palace at the Dam Square.
  • 13.30-13.45: Willem-Alexander and Máxima appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace at Dam Square.
  • Wedding and birthday ball, 31 January 2002

    Two days before the wedding Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands invited the wedding guests for a dinner and a huge ball held at the Palace on the Dam Square in Amsterdam. It wasn't only the wedding ball, but the Dutch royal family and their guests also celebrated the 64th birthday of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Foreign guests arrived in Amsterdam early on January 31st, in time for the ball. Among others the Queen herself, Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentein, Princess Margriet, Princess Irene, the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta already arrived at the palace around 15:30 in the afternoon. More than 500 guests arrived in cars, smaller and bigger busses early in the evening, part of them even from the Krasnapolsky Hotel on the other side of the square. Security was high these days. Hundreds of people, including many journalists and photographers, stood behind the fences to get a bad glimpse of the known and less known guests. Some hours later the first guests left. At about 22:45 the first to leave were Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, quite quickly followed by Prince Laurent of Belgium. Many of the younger guests didn't leave until after 3:00 in the morning. During the ball bride and groom danced on 'New York, New York'.

    The lunch concert, 1 February 2002

    In the morning the guests had already enjoyed trips in Amsterdam. At 12:00 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam a lunchconcert (including lunch) took place on the occasion of the wedding of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta for which 1600 guests were invited. The concert was executed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with as chief conductor Italian Riccardo Chailly, who also compiled the suite being played: 'Romeo and Juliet'. Chailly has been conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as chief conductor since 1988. Before the actual concert the Dutch national anthem - the Wilhelmus - was played and even Máxima showed she can sing it.

    The Programme
  • Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953) - Suite from 'Romeo and Juliet' (1935-36/46)
  • Montagues and Capulets
  • Morning Dance
  • Scene
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Death of Tybalt
  • Romeo and Juliet before parting
  • Romeo at Juliet's tomb
  • The Death of Juliet
  • At the end of the concert the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta came on stage to give flowers to the chief conductor and the first violinist. The Prince of Orange thanked the orchestra for the wonderful performance and also thanked mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen and the city of Amsterdam for the 'astonishing hospitality and the enormous efforts that are made to make our wedding in this city possible.' and joked that for this occasion they could better have rewritten the end of 'Romeo and Juliet'. As a surprise for Máxima Zorreguieta a tango was played: "Habanera".

    Concert in the Arena, 1 February 2002

    The Nationaal Oranje Comité and the municipality of Amsterdam organised a huge party at the ArenA, home of the football club Ajax Amsterdam. The programme of the evening, that was kept secret till the end, offered music, theater, acts and dance. The theme of the evening was "More together, together more".

    On Friday afternoon Christine and I took the subway from Amsterdam centre to the ArenA. Christine had managed to get two tickets for the party via her work, not even two weeks ago, and invited me to come with her. We were quite enchanted to be among the 50.000 people from all over the country who had been able to get a ticket and came to the ArenA with 650 busses, extra trains and own transport. Some were invited by municipalities, others by companies or organisations. When we arrived we saw people queued up in front of the entrances, but happily at our own entrance we were able to enter immediately. Finally inside it turned out we were just in time for the warming up programme and enjoyed it. Meanwhile we had a look at the ArenA and the people around us. Many people dressed in the national colours orange, red, white and blue and everybody looked relaxed and happy.

    Finally at 19:00 the ouverture started with music from all 12 provinces of the Netherlands as well as Aruba and the Dutch Antilles. Each province had sent a band that played the provincial anthem or a song that came from the area. I was surprised to see Advendo from Sneek, my hometown, playing for the province of Friesland. The more bands came in the better the sphere in the stadium became. Some well known songs were sung loudly by the public among them "Tulips from Amsterdam" and the last Dutch Eurovision Songcontest winner (from 1975) "Ding a Dong".

    At 19:45 the party really started with the spectacular entrance of hostess Loes Luca, who came in a white limousine, while the bands played Rossini's 'La gazza ladra'. Meanwhile we also saw royal guests entering the royal box. Christine and I were happy we both had small spy-glasses and to our surprise we had quite a good look at the royal box. Loes Luca started welcoming Queen Beatrix and her guests and made everybody, including Queen Beatrix and Prince Johan Friso laugh, when she joked: "But for you everything isn't always easy either! This is already the second prince who flies out, so it becomes more and more quiet in the palace." Afterwards she started practising the entrance of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta with the public and made us laugh when she ordered Prince Johan Friso and Prince Constantijn to translate what she said for the foreign guests. And then they finally came in an oldtimer, while we all were shouting loudly: "Surprise!". Everybody was sheering and waving, including the royal guests, and the couple enjoyed very much being driven around the arena so everybody was able to see them sitting and waving in the open back of the car. Máxima wore a wonderful red pantsuit. Then they walked up to the royal box, sat down and the real programme began.

    Known and less known musicians and artists from the Netherlands succeeded each other: Willeke Alberti ('Morgen ben ik de bruid/Tomorrow I am the bride'), Marco Borsato ('Binnen /Inside'), Kasba ('Hada Rai'), the National Ballet ('Groosland/Brandenburg Concerts'), Trijntje Oosterhuis ('You are so beautiful'), Ten Sharp ('You'), She got game 'extended' ('Places you find love'), Zuco 103 ('Peregrino'), Liesbeth List & Frank Boeyen ('Heb mij lief/Love me'), Brainpower ('Overal/Everywhere') and Van Dik Hout ('Stil in mij/Silent inside of me'). Finally the wedding song 'Lopen op het water/Walking on the water' was sung by Marco Borsato and Sita and everybody sang along. Between the songs and shows also small films were shown. One of them showed youth photos of the Prince of Orange and we could see the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta enjoying it very much, allthough the Prince of Orange himself seemed a bit relieved when it was over. Looking at her reactions Máxima would have liked to see much more of these photos.

    I enjoyed myself listening to the music and observing the royal box that was full of interesting people. In the lighted part there were two rows of people of which I was able to recognise most of them. Front row: Juan Zorreguieta with girlfriend (?, flirting all the time), Princess Christina of the Netherlands, Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Mariana and Martín Zorreguieta, Mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen with his wife (I think), Máxima Zorreguieta, the Prince of Orange, Queen Beatrix, Prince Johan Friso, unknown (lady in waiting?), Princess Laurentien, Prince Constantijn, Inés Zorreguieta, Marcela Cerruti, an unknown couple, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Pieter van Vollenhoven and another unknown couple.
    Back row: Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Prince Ferdinand and Princess Elisabeth von Bismarck, Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Sofia of Spain, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Queen Sonja and King Harald V of Norway, Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela, the Prince of Wales, Queen Noor of Jordan, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
    We also saw Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium just after they had entered the royal box. And the newspaper said that also prime minister Wim Kok and his wife Rita were present.
    It was not until Saturday a woman of the organisation standing at the stand below them told me that below the lighted part next to Dutch politicians some more royals were seated, most of them of the younger generation: Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau Van Vollenhoven with his wife Annette, the Prince of Asturias, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and on television I also saw Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène van Oranje-Nassau Van Vollenhoven, Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. The woman also told me that some students who were seated just below the younger royals had started singing 'You are so beautiful' for Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, who didn't really knew what to do with it and seemed to be very glad the serenade was over.

    Just after 21:00 the national wedding present - the Oranje Fonds (Orange Fund) - was handed over to the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta. The fund, of which the Prince and Máxima will be the patrons, is levelled at the mutual alliance between the various cultures in the Netherlands. In the future the fund will expand activities aimed at youth, sports, culture and education. So far 3.600.000 Euro was given by people and companies. The couple came down to the arena and Loes Luca gave another of her humorous speeches and wished the couple 'lots of luck tomorrow, and also for all the days afterwards'. With the arms around each others shoulders the Prince and his fiancée listened. Soon Loes Luca asked a little boy on a bicycle to come in. The boy stopped in front of the couple and then an orange ribbon came down from the top of the ArenA. The boy tried to get it down, but the Prince of Orange had to help him. That gave us an hilarious view: after the boy pulled the ribbon down, the Prince of Orange put him back on the ground and while the boy got away the Prince was totally covered with the orange ribbon. 250 Students dressed for a ball came in and volunteers came in with the letters "ORANJE FONDS!'that were put on the ground in front of the couple. The Prince of Orange gave a short speech thanking everybody very much for the wonderful present. Then around 21:15 it was time for them to leave, cheered again by 50.000 people and the music of 'At the Amsterdam canals'.

    Christine and I stayed at the ArenA as the party ended with a short concert of Marco Borsato, who is one of the most popular singers in the Netherlands, and kept on singing and enjoying the evening. The couple drove back into town and joined the party given at the Amstel Hotel, where most of the royal guests were staying.

    The wedding song

    Sung by Marco Borsato and Sita Vermeulen

    Marco Borsato & Sita Vermeulen - Lopen op het Water

    In een seconde
    kwam zonlicht door de wolken heen
    Een tel met jou is mooier dan
    een eeuwigheid alleen
    Ik was bang om lief te hebben
    en mijn hart heeft stilgestaan
    maar met jouw armen om mijn middel
    kan ik de wereld aan

    't Is als dansen op de sterren
    't Is als vier seizoenen in een nacht
    Dit is voor een seconde
    los zijn van de zwaartekracht
    Ik kan lopen op het water
    Ik kan zonlicht zien voor dag en dauw
    vliegen zonder vleugels
    en allemaal door jou

    Jij onthult me jouw geheimen
    Het is alles wat ik horen wou
    Ze waren veilig bij me
    maar ik deel ze moeiteloos met jou
    Mijn gedachten en mijn dromen
    zijn alleen op jou gericht
    Ik spring lachend in het diepe
    met mijn ogen dicht

    't Is als dansen op de sterren
    't Is als vier seizoenen in een nacht
    Dit is voor een seconde
    los zijn van de zwaartekracht
    Ik kan lopen op het water
    Ik kan zonlicht zien voor dag en dauw
    vliegen zonder vleugels
    en allemaal door jou

    Marco Borsato & Sita Vermeulen - Walking on Water

    In one second
    the sunlight got through the clouds
    One moment with you is more beautiful than
    an eternity alone
    I was afraid to love
    and my heart has been standing still
    But with your arms around my waist
    I can manage the whole world

    It is like dancing on the stars
    It is like four seasons in one night
    This is for one second
    being free of the gravitation
    I can walk on the water
    I can see the sunlight before daybreak
    flying without wings
    and everything because of you

    You reveal your secrets to me
    It is all I wanted to hear
    They were safe with me
    but I share them without trouble with you
    My thoughts and my dreams
    are only addressed to you
    laughing I jump into the deep
    with my eyes closed

    It is like dancing on the stars
    It is like four seasons in one night
    This is for one second
    being free of the gravitation
    I can walk on the water
    I can see the sunlight before daybreak
    flying without wings
    and everything because of you

    Lyrics written by: Troy Verges/Brett James/Hillary Lindsey
    Dutch translation: Han Kooreneef/John Ewbank
    English translation: Netty Leistra

    Wedding day, 2 February 2002

    Military ceremonial

    Guard of Honour, Royal Palace Amsterdam
    The Royal Navy Marine Corps presented the Guard of Honour at the Royal Palace on Dam square. The Guard of Honour consisted of three detachments, the colours with escort to the colours and the Marine Fife and Drum Band.

    Guard of Honour, Beurs van Berlage
    The Royal Air Force presented the Guard of Honour at the Beurs van Berlage. The Guard of Honour consisted of two detachments, the colours with escort to the colours, and the Air Force Band.

    Guard of Honour armed with sabres, Nieuwe Kerk church
    The Royal Navy presented a Guard of Honour armed with sabres, made up of Royal Naval officers.

    Guard of Honour along the various routes
    The Guard of Honour along the various routes was made up of military personnel and civilians: The military personnel consisted of 22 detachments: 10 from the Royal Netherlands Army, 6 from the Royal Navy (from which 1 of the Corps Marines and 2 from the Royal Netherlands Naval College), 5 from the Royal Air Force and 1 from the Royal Military Academy. The civilians, who complemented the military personnel along the route of the carriage procession, consisted of a deputation from each of the 12 Dutch provinces (some in regional dress), 2 detachments from the Royal Netherlands Army Veterans Platform and 6 detachments from the Students Defence Forces in Utrecht, Leiden, Delft, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

    Motorcycle escort
    The Royal Military Constabulary provided the motorcycle escort to the Beurs van Berlage and the Nieuwe Kerk. The escort consisted of 8 motorcycle officers.

    Carriage procession
    The carriage procession was attended by: The Royal Military Band, the King’s Company of the Grenadiers and Rifles Guards Regiment with colours and escort to the colours, a detachment of horsemen from the Royal Military Constabulary, a detachment of horsemen from Corps Mounted Artillery, a detachment of horsemen from the National Police Agency, and the Special Cavalry Escort.

    One frigate, Hr. Ms. Van Nes, on the IJ (Amsterdam harbour) fired a 21-gun salute at five-second intervals. The first shot was fired the moment the bridal couple left the Royal Palace.

    Flower decoration

    (Information taken from Bloemenbureau Holland.)

    Since January 28th, 2002, 25 top flower arrangers were busy decorating the Beurs van Berlage and the Nieuwe Kerk with almost 30.000 flowers, garden plants, trees and shrubs. This was the wedding gift from the Association of Dutch Flower Auctions and marketing organisations the Flower Council of Holland, the International Flower Bulb Centre and Plant Publicity Holland to the Prince of Orange and his bride. A whole range of flowers and plants was specially grown to be at their peak on February 2nd, as they normally do not flower in winter. Its execution was placed in the hands of top floral artist Johan Weisz. In 1953 Weisz spent part of his training at the Het Loo Palace and is now placing his skills at the disposal of the fourth generation of the House of Orange. In 1980 this experienced floral artist directed the floral tribute prepared for the inauguration of Queen Beatrix in the Nieuwe Kerk. He was also responsible for the flower decoration at the wedding of Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhorst in 2001. Trainee florist Suzanne Scheffer was more than delighted to find herself on the illustrious team. She was the winner of a special competition in which 25 florists and 25 trainees created a total of 100 bridal bouquets for Máxima. Scheffer was declared the winner by a jury of experts and this resulted in the trainee being offered a place in the team of arrangers.

    Several months ago the arranger and the bride-to-be visited both the Nieuwe Kerk and the Beurs van Berlage, where the church and civil wedding ceremonies were held. Máxima Zorreguieta showed a definite preference for romantic arrangements in shades of white and green. These were the predominant colours used in the decorations in the Nieuwe Kerk. The only exception was the decoration of the choir screen where the soft shades of cream and yellow merged gently into its own golden colour.

    Beurs van Berlage

    The arrangements in the Beurs van Berlage were in harmony with the specific character and beautiful architecture of this stately building. Simple arrangements were decided to match the ambience of the building and geometrical shapes form the basis. Red brickwork, blue carpets and severe lines were the point of departure for the flower and plant arrangements. These elements were reflected in twelve square pillars, three metres tall, covered in yellow orchids. Blue areas have been created on the floor using Hyacinths and Delphiniums. Fragrance was a factor in the selection of the flowers. Strongly fragranced flowers such as Hyacinth, Lilies of the Valley, Lathyrus and Lilac abound.

    At the Beursplein entrance, at the top of the stairs 4 arrangements of golden yellow Azalea mollis welcome guests.

    Great hall / marriage hall: The consistent use of yellow in the vertical lines and blue in the horizontal areas creates a distinctive link to the colours and shapes in the architecture of the building itself. In the marriage hall, 12 huge pillars, each 3 metres tall dominate the scene. These are covered in moss and 3,000 yellow orchids and define the ambience to a large extent. An attractive arrangement of yellow orchids is also used to decorate the table used by Lord Mayor Cohen of Amsterdam. Echoing the geometrical proportions of the hall, horizontal areas have been created using 3,000 blue Hyacinths ('Blue Jacket) and 4,000 blue Delphiniums of the variety 'Blue Shadow'.

    The Tooropzaal, the private quarters used by the couple and the family, is decorated with a particularly breathtaking arrangement of Viburnum, roses, Syringia, lilies and exclusive cut foliage.

    Nieuwe Kerk

    Entrance Nieuwe Zijds Voorburgwal, outside (where the couple enters): The couple will enter the church under a canopy, 13 metres wide, 6 metres deep and 4 metres high. The canopy contains 6,500 white flowers including Hydrangea, roses and baby's breath. The canopy is held up by very delicate supports making it look like a floating cloud of white.

    Entrance, inside, below the organ: On the left and right of the two rows of pillars are strong compositions made with specially forced lilac bushes, Azaleas, Viburnum (snowball), Rhododendron and birches in leaf. There are also vases of lilies, roses (Avalance), Delphinium and tulips. The classical arrangements in white represent the spring and add the finishing touch to the entrance.

    Family pews: the awnings over the family pews are decorated with a variety of white flowers including Dendrobium orchids, double flowered tulips of the 'Casablanca' variety, snowballs and roses of the 'Bianca' variety. The hanging flowers suggest a waterfall. The panels of the family pews are hung with classic garlands of greenery and moss combined with Phalaenopsis orchids and Hydrangeas.

    Side entrances from the Dam and Gravenstraat (where the guests enter): Arrangements 3.5 metres tall stand on the left and right of the entrance through which the guests enter. These are made up of birches, lilacs, Viburnum (snowball), Rhododendron and Hydrangeas. The medallions in the oaken panels of the entrance are picked out with garlands of flowers containing white orchids, green/white parrot tulips, Hydrangea and cut foliage.

    Choir stalls: In front of the choir stalls we find two lavish, classically romantic arrangements on pedestals. The shades of white turn soft yellow and cream, eventually blending with the golden colour of the stalls.

    Liturgical Centre (platform): The altar is decorated with a transparent floral decoration composed of roses, Viburnum, Hydrangea and lilies ('oriental lily Syberia'). The entire platform is surrounded by a border of 800 white Hyacinths ('White Pearl'), Lathyrus and double flowered tulips. The corners are filled with lily of the valley. These flowers fill the entire church with their fragrance and play an important part in creating the romantic and ceremonial atmosphere.

    The Choir: Two arrangements on tall pedestals are located on the left and right behind the orchestra and choir. These are romantic compositions of Delphinium, Syringia, Viburnum (snowball), roses and tulips.

    Pulpit: The pulpit is edged with foliage with the occasional touch of white.

    Six hanging arrangements at various locations: Light and airy, oval shaped arrangements are hung at six locations in the church. These too are in shades of white and green and create a romantic ambience.

    The civil wedding

    The wedding ceremony was be performed by the Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr. M.J. (Job) Cohen, in his capacity as special registrar. The ceremony took place from 10:15 to 10:45am at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam and was attended by about 650 people. The Beurs van Berlage, formerly the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, was commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam and was opened on 27 May 1903 by Queen Wilhelmina in the presence of Queen-Mother Emma and Prince Hendrik. The building was named after its architect, Hendrik Petrus Berlage. The architect wanted the building to perform the function of a palazzo pubblico, a palace for everyone where, in his own words, the community and art come together.

    The guests for the civil Wedding arrived at the Beurs van Berlage coming from the nearby Palace on the Dam Square. Bride and groom were driven in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine Landaulette with the registration number AA-58. This special automobile was purchased in 1957 by Queen Juliana. It is the only left-hand drive Rolls-Royce Landaulette in existence. The word ‘Landaulette’ means that the rear part of the roof can be folded down. The car has been used mainly for state visits, being used for the first time for the state visit to the Netherlands by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, on 20 March 1958. Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus also used the Rolls-Royce on their tour of Dutch provinces and towns following their engagement in the autumn of 1965. At the end of the 1970s it was decided that the Rolls-Royce would no longer be used for official occasions. In the early 1980s the car moved to the specialist automotive company Autobedrijf Meijers in Utrecht, where it began a new lease of life. The limousine was leased for this special day.

    The ceremony of the civil marriage took place in the grand Commodity Exchange. In this room the mighty consoles of granite and sandstone, the curved line of which is continued in the cast-iron trusses, provide an enormous sense of space. The numerous apertures in the brick walls, the glass roof and the many shades of brown, yellow and red also give the hall a sense of warmth. Nowadays exhibitions on architecture, design and art are held in the southern part of the Beurs van Berlage. Over 500 events a year are held in the remaining rooms and halls, but this was the first wedding ever celebrated at the building.

    The mayor

    (starting in English)
    Bride and Bridegroom,
    Your Majesty,
    Prince Claus,
    Members of the Zorreguieta family,
    Your Majesty,
    Your Royal Highnesses,
    Prime Minister,
    Honoured guests,

    Bienvenido a todos. I welcome you all to Amsterdam on this very special occasion of the wedding of Miss Máxima Zorreguieta and His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange.

    Unfortunately for our English and Spanish speaking guests we will, as you may understand, speak Dutch. But actually, it is quite simple. In Dutch, the English word ‘yes’ and the Spanish word ‘si’, are pronounced as ‘ja’, so it should not be too difficult for you to understand the most important part of this ceremony.

    (continuing in Dutch)
    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    At this very important moment in the lives of Prince William-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta we have gathered at a very characteristic place in Amsterdam - the capital of our country, the city which for the second time is hosting the wedding of an heir to the throne. This time it is the Beurs van Berlage, symbol of Amsterdam architecture, built a century ago at the dawn of a new era.

    Dear Bride and Bridegroom,
    Naturally, I welcome you in particular, along with your family and friends. A wedding ceremony, usually a private occasion, is in your case also a public event; apart from those present here there are still quite a few more people watching - in the Netherlands and abroad. They, too, feel involved and are with you in their thoughts. Your marriage, which is based on your love for one another and your wish to continue through life together, is much more than a private matter. It is also an event of public interest, now that the United Assembly of the States General has given their consent in accordance with Article 28 of the Constitution. This consent confirms the public responsibility both of you will bear. This marriage ceremony is therefore also the affirmation of a commitment to an entire country.

    You, the Bridegroom, are accustomed to the fact that your life will always be a public life. For you, the Bride, this is still relatively new, although in recent months you have had an opportunity to sample what this implies.

    You, the Bridegroom, grew up in the public eye, so you know how important it is to have the time and opportunity to also lead a private life. This private time is an essential prerequisite for functioning well in public life. After your school and student days you gradually took on more tasks, and you became increasingly proficient at integrating public tasks into your life. We realise that the marriage you are entering into today, with the woman you have chosen and who has chosen you, will be of vital importance in continuously striking a delicate balance between private and public life - imperative for someone in your position. The degree to which you will succeed in this endeavour will have significance not only for you but also for the entire nation.

    Water has played a major role in your life. You fulfilled your national service in the Royal Dutch Navy and you have devoted yourself in recent years to water management in our own country as well as abroad. And in the process you have opened the eyes of many to the immense importance of this issue. But your interests are not focused on running water alone; it appears that you are equally fond of frozen water. In 1986 you completed the Frisian Elfstedentocht (Eleven-City Ice-Skating Race) - and you still enjoy skating. In fact, it was on the ‘thin ice’ of Palace Huis ten Bosch - which is also the reason why we are gathered here today - that you proposed to your princess. In short, you are a man of the water and, to lend further credence to this premise, it was pointed out to me that today the stars are in the sign of Aquarius.

    Dear Bride,
    I would like to take a moment to address you specifically. In so doing, I am aware of the fact that shortly - with the rap of the gavel - I will have created the condition that will enable you to call yourself not only the princess of your prince, but also Princess of The Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau. For the casual onlooker this may appear very desirable, something from a fairy-tale. But you have personally experienced that this position also imposes painful limitations on you, also today.

    When you became acquainted with Amsterdam a few months ago, we showed you the theatre ‘Hollandsche Schouwburg’, the place where during the Second World War Jewish residents of the city were gathered prior to being deported to concentration camps. Before you left the Hollandsche Schouwburg, you wrote the following words: "Let the twenty-first century be one of forgiveness ... but let us never forget." With these words you have given us as much as with your warm smile, with which you also stole our hearts.

    People who have seen the vast pampas of your country - the immensity of its space - are able to realise what an enormous transition it must be to move to this small, densely populated, often wet country in which, moreover, you will be living in a glass house as it were. We hope that you will come to love this occasionally bothersome but also very likeable country just as much as our Crown prince and that you, a modern, young woman, will be able to move forward at your own pace, and not at the pace of a golden coach so to speak. After all, you have already spent a number of years working in the international business community where you displayed talents that warrant further development. It is in tune with today’s world that the wife of the future king is given the freedom to spread her wings, to keep developing according to her own views - as a ministerial advertising campaign once phrased it: ‘a smart girl prepares for her future’. The amazing speed with which you have mastered our language and managed to win a place in our midst makes us confident that you will find tasks that are suited to you and your many talents, and that will give you satisfaction. Your new fellow-countrymen and women, for their part, will have to give you the opportunity to do so; I hope and expect that they will do this wholeheartedly.

    Wedding ceremony

    We shall now commence with the wedding ceremony. I kindly request you to stand up, to hold each other’s right hand and to answer the questions I will put forth to both of you.

    Your Royal Highness, William-Alexander, Claus, George, Ferdinand, Prince of Orange, Prince of The Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer Van Amsberg, do you declare to take Máxima Zorreguieta to be your wife, and do you pledge to fulfil all the duties legally connected with the state of matrimony.

    What is your answer?

    The Prince of Orange: "Ja" (loud applause)

    Máxima Zorreguieta, do you declare to take William-Alexander, Claus, George, Ferdinand, Prince of Orange, Prince of The Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer Van Amsberg to be your husband, and do you pledge to fulfil all the duties legally connected with the state of matrimony.

    What is your answer?

    Máxima Zorreguieta: "Ja" (loud applause)

    As the registrar of the City of Amsterdam I declare that you are joined together in matrimony as husband and wife.

    Mr. Cohen confirms the marriage with a rap of the gavel and congratulates bride and groom.

    Dear Newlyweds, Prince and Princess!
    In my, still rather short, term of office as registrar of the City of Amsterdam I learned that I have one very special privilege, namely to be the first to extend my wishes for happiness to the newly married couple and their family. I do so from the bottom of my heart.

    I have come to know you as two outgoing people who do not hide their joy of having found each other. Today you are radiating the love that has been expressed so beautifully in a poem attributed to the Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges: el amor da brillo a nuestros ojos, musica a nuestros labios, saltos a nuestros pies; love makes our eyes shine, our lips sing and our feet dance. Enjoy this day to the fullest. Shine, sing and dance! You are entering a new stage of life together and I hope that it will bring you great happiness and joy.

    Bride and groom sign the matrimonial certificate and the marriage certificate. Bride and groom don't have to stand up for it, as a special table was designed that was rolled to them. Then the witnesses are asked to sign the matrimonial certificate: first Queen Beatrix and Prince Constantijn, then Marcela Cerruti and Frank Houben and finally Martin Zorreguieta and Marc ter Haar. The last ones make everybody laugh by making a joking gesture to bride and groom. Also the Mayor Mr. Cohen signed the certificates. Afterwards he handed over the marriage certificate to bride and groom.

    The City of Amsterdam would like to present you with a gift. We asked a number of Dutch poets who previously have won the Herman Gorter Prize - a prize awarded annually by the City of Amsterdam - to write a poem inspired by your wedding. We hope that these poems in turn may inspire you in your future life.

    And now you will be proceeding from here, the Beurs van Berlage, to the New Church, from merchants to clergy. You know that the close ties between these two have greatly shaped our country. I wish you a magnificent day and a long, loving life together.

    After the ceremony bride, groom and family went to the Toorop Hall for a short moment together.

    The Nieuwe Kerk

    The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) has been the site of the investiture of the kings and queens of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1814. The last such occasion was on 30 April 1980, when Queen Juliana abdicated from the throne in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. On the same day the investiture of her successor, the present Queen Beatrix, took place in the Nieuwe Kerk. Only once before has a royal wedding taken place in Amsterdam: in 1966 when Princess Beatrix married Claus von Amsberg in the Westerkerk. The Nieuwe Kerk is no longer used for regular services, but functions as an active and flourishing cultural centre. The wedding of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta was the first to be held in this church for 50 years.

    The Nieuwe Kerk is one of the largest and most important monuments in Amsterdam. It is also a storehouse for a substantial part of the history of the Netherlands and of Amsterdam, housing the tomb of Admiral Michiel Adriaensz. de Ruyter, the tombstones of the other great seventeenth-century naval heroes Van Galen, Van Kinsbergen and Van Speijk, and the epitaphs for the 17th-century poet Joost van den Vondel and for Baron Bentinck. The choir screen is an essential element in the church's interior. Together with the great organ and the pulpit, it forms a brilliant ensemble from the period when Amsterdam was at the height of its glory.

    Construction of the Nieuwe Kerk began in around 1408, when the church was still dedicated to St. Mary and St. Catharine. At that time the church was much more modest in size. Around 1500 a series of chapels was added around the side aisles and the rear of the choir, and continued to the west of the transept with a further two bays, giving the church its present size. The interior must have been particularly beautiful at that time, being richly adorned with paintings, statues of saints and altars. This interior changed following the Alteration of 1578, when the Nieuwe Kerk was taken into use by the Protestants, who removed the altars and saints.

    In 1645 the church was devastated by fire which left only the walls and columns standing. This was followed by a major restoration project. After completion of the restoration, the church was furnished in 17th-century style. The rood loft was replaced by a brass screen on a marble base. The nave acquired an exceptionally richly worked pulpit by Albert Janszoon Vinckenbrinck. The architect of the Royal Palace, Jacob van Campen, designed the casing of the great Schonat/Hagerbeer organ, and the picture was completed with sculpture by Artus Quellinus and painted panels by Jan Gerritszoon Bronckhorst.

    The choir screen was designed by the famous precious metal worker Johannes Lutma, a contemporary of Rembrandt. Of its kind, the screen is unequalled in the wealth and splendour of its working. The church underwent a thorough restoration which was completed in 1980, just before the investiture of Queen Beatrix.

    The seats

    Kneeling Bench

    The oak kneeling bench was made for the wedding of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik in 1901. The bench was manufactured by the firm H.P. Mutters & Zn in The Hague, and was completed on 6 February 1901. The bench was made in Louis XIV style and bears the monograms W & H in the carving. The Church blessing took place in The Hague on 7 February 1901. The bench was used again for the blessing of the wedding of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard on 7 January 1937, again in the Grote Kerk church. The bench was not used again until at the weddings of Princess Margriet’s sons, Prince Maurits and Prince Bernhard, in 1998 and 2000, and in 2001 at the wedding of Queen Beatrix's youngest son Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhorst. For the wedding of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta the original green velvet covering has been replaced by Italian brocatel with gold ground and a red Venetian design. The bench is part of the collection held by the National Museum Het Loo Palace, where it may be viewed by the public.


    During the wedding the Bridal Couple was sitting on gilded wooden tabourets in Empire style. The cushions for these come from Noordeinde Palace in The Hague and are covered in the same brocatel as the kneeling bench.

    Kneeling cushions

    Special kneeling cushions were made for placing on the kneeling bench for the weddings of Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana. The Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta have expressed a wish to continue this tradition. The Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order offered the specially made kneeling cushions to the Bridal Couple as part of their wedding gift. This Order was founded in 1199 as an order of military knights following the founding of a hospital in the Holy Land. Now a Protestant organisation, the Order continues its charitable tradition by actively supporting aid services in the Netherlands.

    The cushions are made from bordeaux duchesse satin The monograms WA and M are embroidered on the centre of the cushions in gold thread, surmounted by the Royal crown. Surrounding this are embroidered and appliquéd orange blossom branches. The cushions are trimmed with a silk fringe and tassels in the corners. Máxima herself chose the design to be depicted on the cushions. The design and making of the cushions was carried out by Marten Loonstra (Curator of HM the Queen’s Art Collection), Jan Ruijs (Ruys Interieurs), Sytske Stratenus-Duma (needlework) and Margreet Beemsterboer (needlework).

    Children's' seats

    The six pageboys and flower girls were sitting on armchairs made in Hindeloopen in the province of Friesland. They are painted white and decorated in the traditional Hindeloopen style with tendrils and flower motifs. The chairs have rush seats.

    The Order of Service of the religious wedding

    The wedding ceremony at church was attended by 1700 royal guests, government representatives, family and friends of the Royal Couple. The service was held under the ecclesiastical responsibility of the Inner City (East) parish of the Amsterdam Dutch Reformed Community.

    Officiating Clergyman: C.A. Ter Linden, Minister Emeritus of the Kloosterkerk, The Hague
    Elder on Duty: Mrs A. de Zeeuw-Kroesbergen, Clerk to the Inner-city East Parish of the Dutch Reformed Church, Amsterdam
    Presentation of the bible by: S.L.S. de Vries, Chair of the Central Council of the Dutch Reformed Church, Amsterdam, Minister of the Oude Kerk
    Musical Accompaniment: Bernard Winsemius, Organist of the Nieuwe Kerk
    Miranda van Kralingen, Soprano
    Carel Kraayenhof, Bandoneon
    Nederlands Kamerkoor, Choir
    Concertgebouw Kamerorkest, Orchestra
    Ed Spanjaard, Conductor and Pianist

    Readings by: Dr Rafael Braun and H.R.H. Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands

    The Entrance - Organ Voluntary

    Works by:
    Georg Böhm (1661-1733) - Prelude in C
    Antonio Vivaldi (1675-1741) - Concerto in A, arranged for Organ by J.S. Bach
    Joseph Ximenez (1601-1667) - Batalha de 6. Tono

    Arrival of the Families (all rise)

    Galliarda in D by Heinrich Scheidemann (1596-1663)

    Entrance of the Bride and Groom
    'Entrata' by Jurriaan Andriessen (1925-1996)

    Welcome by C.A. Ter Linden

    Welcome, Máxima and Willem-Alexander, on this the day that you have undertaken to spend the rest of your lives together. Welcome to you both, and to your loved ones and your families, to the friends of the royal family and all those others with whom you are united by ties of friendship, and to all those here today representing our people.

    Our thoughts are also with the parents of princess Máxima, who are with their daughter and son-in-law in spirit, as they are with them.

    After speaking some words of welcome in English, the Minister will resume in Dutch.

    How extraordinary it must be for you to be at the heart of the joy and gratitude of so many people as they celebrate this day in so many ways with you, and share it with you through the medium of television. Now you have come to this church, home for many centuries to those who sought a meeting with God. May God grant us such a meeting today.
    I invite you all to join in the singing of the hymns, which Máxima and Willem-Alexander have chosen with such great care.

    Our help is in the name of the Lord
    Who made heaven and earth,
    Who keeps faith for ever and ever
    And does not forsake the work of his hands. Amen.

    Hymn no. 44, verses 1 & 2 (in Dutch)

    Dankt, dankt nu allen God (Now thank we all our God)
    Met hart en mond en handen. (With heart and hands and voices)
    Die grote dingen doet (Who wondrous things hath done)
    Hier en in alle landen. (In whom this world rejoices)
    Die ons van kindsbeen aan (Who from our mother's arms)
    Ja, van de moederschoot. (Hath blessed us on our way)
    Zijn vaderlijke handen (With countless gifts of love)
    trouwe liefde bood. (and still is ours today)

    Die eeuwig rijke God (O may this bounteous God)
    Mog' ons reeds in dit leven. (Through all our lives be near us!)
    Een vrij en vrolijk hart (With ever joyful hearts)
    En milde vrede geven. (And blessed peace to cheer us)
    Die uit genade ons (And keep us in his grace)
    Behoudt te allen tijd. (And guide us when perplexed)
    Is hier en overal (And free us from all ills)
    Een helper die bevrijdt. (In this world and the next)


    Let us pray
    O God,
    Where would we be if you were not there.
    The first in our existence
    To whom often we turn only at the last.
    You who are the breath of life.
    The source of true love between people.
    You who know the secret why two people
    Learn to love each other, and want to stay beside each other
    Through life's light and darkness.

    O God, marriage, the joining of two people,
    Is really too great a mystery for us to understand;
    It is like a house to which you hold the key.
    Teach us to live in that house, through your love and faith.

    We thank you for the house from which we came,
    For the love we received there
    And still receive.

    We thank you for the friends we have made in this life
    Who have helped make us what we are.

    Lord, we pray you, be with Willem-Alexander and Máxima.
    Be in our lives the first and the last.


    Reading by Dr Rafael Braun (read in Spanish) from Ruth 1: 1-11, 14-17

    Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-Judah went to Sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.

    Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, go, return each to her mother's house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. And they said unto her, surely we will return with thee unto thy people. And Naomi said, turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? Are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

    And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. And she said, behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her Gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die. And there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

    Reading by Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands (read in Dutch) from Mark 10: 42-45

    But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the gentiles exercise Lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

    Organ: Interlude

    Sermon by C.A. Ter Linden (in Dutch)

    Choir and Orchestra

    Kyrie from Missa Solemnis K 337 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

    Kyrie Eleison - Heer, ontferm U (Lord have mercy)
    Christe Eleison - Christus, ontferm U (Christ have mercy)
    Kyrie Eleison - Heer, ontferm U (Lord have mercy)

    Introduction to the Solemnisation of the Marriage

    (By C.A. Ter Linden (in Dutch))

    The time has now come to solemnise your marriage. But first let us hear what our faith teaches us about it.

    It is one of life's great mysteries that God created people to love each other, to transform our solitary existence, to experience the joys of union of body and soul, to have a helpmate as our partner and to provide for the continuation of the generations.

    And so we accept marriage with reverence and gratitude as a gift from God. He asks us to love each other, to live in wisdom with each other, to honour each other, to serve each other, to support each other, to give each other space, to tolerate each other. He asks us to trust each other, not to become embittered, and always to forgive each other.

    Accept then, with great reverence, and in an awareness of your responsibilities, the gift and the challenge of marriage as a blessing, so that your life together will also be a blessing, for yourselves, and for those who will be entrusted to you in your life together, or whom God places in your path.

    Promises of the Witnesses

    (For Máxima's witnesses in Spanish by Dr Rafael Braun)

    Do you accept the task of witnessing the trust that this man and this woman have already expressed to each other, and are about to reaffirm in the sight of God, and will you continue to follow and support them in their life together, in friendship and loyalty?
    May you be given strength to keep this promise.

    Marriage vows

    Please join your right hands and answer the questions I shall now ask:

    Willem-Alexander, do you receive and accept Máxima Zorreguieta into your life as your wife, and do you promise to love her and be faithful to her, to honour and support her, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, in all life's seasons, in the spirit of the word of God, until death do you part? What is your answer?

    Willem-Alexander: 'Ja' (Enormous cheering from outside the church)

    And you, Máxima Zorreguieta, do you receive and accept Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand van Oranje into your life as your husband, and do you promise to love him and be faithful to him, to honour and support him, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, in all life's seasons, in the spirit of the word of God, until death do you part? What is your answer?

    Máxima: 'Ja' (An even louder cheering from outside the church)

    Blessing of the Marriage

    Your marriage is now affirmed in the sight of God and his congegration. Please kneel, to receive the blessing on your marriage.

    The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

    Hymn no. 434, verses 2 & 4

    (All rise)

    Lof zij de Heer, Hij omringt met zijn liefde uw leven; (Praise to the Lord! Who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,)
    Heeft u in't licht als op adelaarsvleuglen geheven. (Shelters thee under His wings, yea so gently sustaineth)
    Hij die u leidt, zodat uw hart zich verblijdt. (Hast thou not seen how thy desires have been)
    Hij heeft zijn woord u gegeven. (Granted in what He ordaineth)

    Lof zij de Heer die uw huis en uw haard heeft gezegend. (Praise to the Lord! Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee)
    Lof zij de hemelse liefde die over ons regent. (Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee)
    Denk elke dag aan wat zijn almacht vermag. (Ponder anew - what the almighty can do)
    Die u met liefde bejegent. (If with His love He befriend thee)

    Exchange of the rings

    Bandoneon and Piano

    Adios Noniño by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), arranged by Bob Zimmermann (1948-) for choir, orchestra, bandoneon and piano.

    The text wasn't sung by the choir, but just 'hummed'. Thank you Henri M. for providing the Spanish and the English text.

    'Adios noniño' (Adieu little papa)

    Desde una estrella al titilar... (From a scintillating star)
    Me hará señales de acudir, (he will signal me to come,)
    por una luz de eternidad (by a light of eternity)
    cuando me llame, voy a ir. (when he calls me I will go.)
    A preguntarle, por ese niño (To ask him for that child)
    que con su muerte lo perdí, (that I lost with his death,)
    que con "Noniño" se me fué ... (that with Noniño he went...)
    Cuando me diga, ven aquí ... (When he tells me come here...)
    Renaceré ... Porque... (I'll be reborn ... because... )
    Soy...! la raíz, del país que amasó con su arcilla, (I am...! the root of the country that modeled with its clay,)
    Soy...! Sangre y piel, del "tano" aquel, que me dió su semilla... (I am...! blood and skin, of that Italian who gave me his seed...)
    Adiós "Noniño" ... que largo sin vos, será el camino. (Adieu Noniño...)
    Dolor, tristeza, la mesa y el pan...! (Pain, sadness, the table and the bread...!)

    Y mi adiós... Ay...! Mi adiós, a tu amor, tu tabaco, tu vino. (and my adieu ...Ay...! My adieu, to your love, your tobacco, your wine.)
    Quién...? Sin piedad, me robó la mitad, al llevarte "Noniño"... (Who, without pity, took half of me, when taking you, Noniño....?)
    Tal vez un día, yo también mirando atrás... (Perhaps one day, I also looking back...)
    Como vos, diga adiós... No vá más...! (will say as you, adieu... no more bets...!)


    Y hoy mi viejo "Noniño" es una planta. (And today my old Noniño is a part of nature.)
    Es la luz, es el viento y es el río... (He is the light, the wind, and the river...)
    Este torrente mío lo suplanta, (this torrent within me replaces him,)
    prolongando en mi ser, su desafío. (extending in me his challenge.)
    Me sucedo en su sangre, lo adivino. (I perpetuate myself in his blood, I know.)
    Y presiento en mi voz, su proprio eco. (And anticipate in my voice, his own echo.)
    Esta voz que una vez, me sonó a hueco (This voice that once sounded hollow to me)
    cuando le dije adiós... Adiós "Noniño". (when I said adieu ... adieu Noniño.)

    Soy...! la raíz, del país que amasó con su arcilla, (I am...! the root of the country that modeled with its clay,)
    Soy...! Sangre y piel, del "tano" aquel, que me dió su semilla... (I am...! blood and skin, of that Italian who gave me his seed...)
    Adiós "Noniño" ...! Dejaste tu sol, em mi destino. (Adieu Noniño... You left your sun in my destiny.)
    Tu ardor sin miedo, tu credo de amor. (your fearless ardor, your creed of love.)
    Y ese afán... Ay...! Tu afán, por sembrar de esperanza el camino. (And that eagerness...Ay!... Your eagerness for seeding the road with hope.)
    Soy tu panal y esta gota de sal, que hoy te llora "Noniño". (I am your honeycomb and this drop of sunlight that today cries for you, Noniño)
    Tal vez el día que se corte mi piolín, (perhaps the day when my string is cut)
    te veré y sabré ... Que no hay fín. (I will see you and I will know there is no end. )

    Presentation of the Bible

    By Mr. S.L.S. de Vries, chair of the Central Council of the Dutch Reformed Church, Amsterdam, Minister of the Oude Kerk

    It will come as no surprise to you, Máxima and Willem-Alexander, that the traditional first gift to a wedded couple is a bible. It is the visible sign of my wish that you will be a blessing to each other - a wish I express on behalf of the Reformed Church of this city, and the inner-city parish.

    But it may well come as a surprise that the gift is not one, but two bibles. The first is for Máxima. You very soon understood the finer shades of meaning of the Dutch language. For you, therefore, the authorised version of the bible, published in 1637. The translation was commissioned by the States General of the United Provinces so that it could become the basis of daily life and a source of joy in every home. For centuries, this book nourished people's faith as they went about their daily lives. It also enriched our language. Many of the expressions and sayings we now use have their origins in this authorised translation of the bible. It is one of the wells at which your husband drank in learning to speak, to sing and to pray.

    For Willem-Alexander: the language of love is said to be universal, but from your very first meeting it was plain that Máxima would have to master your language. But because love comes from both directions after all, my gift to you is a bible in Spanish. You have learned to speak various languages, and to sing and pray in them. Love and faith both come from the heart. These two volumes will help you understand each other as you speak from heart to heart, since you will know the wells from which you draw your words. They may be two volumes, but they are the one book that will never leave you at a loss for words to share with each other.

    Many people in our churches and our country join me in praying that in all the languages you speak, the Holy spirit will grant you the ever wondrous gift of mutual understanding, the sole language of love.

    Soprano and Piano

    Ellens Gesang III (Ave Maria) by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), words by Adam Storck after Sir Walter Scott.

    (In German) Ave Maria!
    Jungfrau mild,
    Erhöre einer Jungfrau flehen,
    Aus diesem Felsen starr und wild
    Soll mein Gebet zu Dir hin wehen.
    Wir schlafen sicher bis zum Morgen,
    Ob Menschen noch so grausam sind.
    O Jungfrau, sieh der Jungfrau sorgen,
    O Mutter, hör ein bittend Kind!
    Ave Maria!

    Ave Maria!
    Reine Magd!
    Der Erde und der Luft Dämonen,
    Von deines Auges huld verjagt,
    Sie können hier nicht bei uns wohnen.
    Wir woll'n uns still dem Schicksal beugen,
    Da uns dein heil'ger trost anweht;
    Der Jungfrau wolle hold Dich neigen,
    Dem Kind, das für den Vater fleht!
    Ave Maria!


    Let us pray
    (In English) O God,
    We thank you for your goodness;
    That someone could enter our life and love us,
    Accept us as we are,
    And stay by our side for ever.

    Lord, be with these two people as they travel the road ahead of them, at the heart of our people, to whom they signify so much.

    Grant them the wisdom that this life will ask of them. Fill them both with the love and faith, the mystery to which you hold the key.

    (In Dutch) Heavenly father,
    Bless your daughter Máxima.
    May she be a shining light and a source of joy
    To Alexander and their children,
    Loving them tenderly. Give her, we pray,
    The gift of an open and compassionate heart,
    Ready to give and receive love from the people
    Who have adopted her as their own.

    Grant your son Alexander the grace to walk humbly in your presence. Give him the power of your spirit that he may become a strong and caring husband to Máxima, and an example to his children and people.

    May your son our Lord Jesus Christ
    Enlighten their minds and enkindle their hearts.
    May he share their daily bread with them
    That they may know he is with them always.

    A moment of silent prayer

    Choir a capella
    'Hemelsche Vader', the Lord's Prayer adapted by Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687), music by Jaap Geraedts (1924-)

    (In old Dutch) Hemelsch Vader, dijns naems eere
    Zij geheilight meer en meere
    Naedere dijn eeuwigh rijck;
    Gelde dijn gebod, gelijck
    Boven, so alom beneden;
    Dagelijckx voedt onse leden;
    (Vader) houdt ons onser schulden vrij,
    Soo wij willen wien het zij.
    Laet ons verre van 't gequell zijn
    Des benijders van ons welzijn,
    Want het hemelsche beleid
    Hoort dij in der eeuwigheid

    À toi la gloire, ô ressuscite

    from Judas Maccabeus by Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

    (All rise)

    (In French) À toi la gloire, ô ressuscité!
    À toi la victoire pour l'eternité!
    Brillant de lumière, l'ange est descendu,
    Il roule la pierre du tombeauvaincu.
    À toi la gloire, ô ressuscité!
    À toi la victoire pour l'eternité!

    Vois-le paraître: C'est lui, c'est Jésus,
    Ton sauveur, ton maître! Oh! Ne doute plus;
    Sois dans l'allégresse, Peuple du seigneur,
    Et redis sans cesseQQue Christ est vainqueur!
    À toi la gloire, ô ressuscité!
    À toi la victoire, pour l'eternité!


    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
    The love of God
    And the fellowship of the Holy spirit
    Be with you all


    Hymn no. 301, verse 6

    Dutch National Anthem, all remain standing

    Mijn schild ende betrouwen (A shield and my reliance)
    Zijt Gij, o God, mijn Heer! (O God, thou ever wert)
    Op u zo wil ik bouwen, (I'll trust unto thy guidance)
    Verlaat mij nimmermeer! (O leave me not ungirt)
    Dat ik toch vroom mag blijven, (That I may stay a pious)
    Uw dienaar t'aller stond: (Servant of thine for aye)
    De tirannie verdrijven, (And drive the plagues that try us)
    Die mij mijn hart doorwondt. (And tyranny away)

    All remain standing as Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima leave the church accompanied by the Minister and the bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys.

    Choir and Orchestra

    Hallelujah from the Messiah by Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

    For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth
    The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom
    Of our Lord and of His Christ;
    And He shall reign for ever and ever.
    King of kings,
    And Lord of Lords,

    The Minister returns, the families then leave the church.

    Organ (On leaving the church)

    Works by:
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547
    Friedrich W. Marpurg (1718-1795) - Fuga in A, Capriccio in C
    Christian Friedrich Ruppe (1753-1826) - Air favorit "où peut-on être mieux" varié
    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - Fantasia in C, BWV 573

    Musical accompaniment


    The musical accompaniment to the church ceremony was led by conductor Ed Spanjaard, who since 1982 has been senior conductor of the Nieuw Ensemble orchestra. In March 2001 he conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which he will again be leading in the 2002-2003 season. Since September 2001 Ed Spanjaard has been senior conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra.


    The organist during the church ceremony was Bernard Winsemius. He is the town carilloneur for Haarlem and Amsterdam. He is also one of the two organists of the historic organs in the Nieuwe Kerk church in Amsterdam. Bernard Winsemius teaches organ at the Rotterdam Conservatory and bellringing at the Netherlands Carillon School. He gives regular courses as a guest lecturer, especially in the fields of Renaissance and Baroque music.


    Miranda van Kralingen (soloist) sang during the church ceremony. She has a successful Opera and concert career at home and abroad. Her repertoire is very varied, ranging from performances as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Mozart) in Maastricht, La Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Elisabetta in Don Carlo (Verdi) and especially Hanna Glawari in Die lustige Witwe, to Fewronia in Die Legende von der unsichtbaren Stadt Kitesch (Rimsky-Korsakov) and Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio.


    Carel Kraayenhof played the bandoneon during the Church ceremony. A self-taught player, Kraayenhof founded his first tango orchestra, Tango Cuatro, in 1985. A year later he was asked by the great tango maestro Astor Piazzolla to play as a soloist in the Broadway musical Tango Apasionado. In 1988 Kraayenhof formed the Sexteto Canyengue tango orchestra, which he still leads today. In 1993 Carel Kraayenhof founded a department for Argentinian tango at the Rotterdam Conservatory, still the only place in the world where tango is taught at this level.


    The Netherlands Chamber Choir provided the choral accompaniment during the Church ceremony. The Choir was founded in 1937 and is a full-time independent vocal ensemble. The Choir comprises 28 vocal soloists and concentrates primarily on a capella repertoire, from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The British conductor Stephen Layton took over as senior conductor at the start of this year.


    The Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra provided the instrumental accompaniment to the church ceremony. The Orchestra was founded in 1987 and consists of members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Before that time it was known as the Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra gives concerts in the Netherlands and abroad. The Italian Marco Boni has been the permanent conductor of the ensemble since January 1995. The Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra has performed at other major national events in the past, such as the investiture ceremony of Beatrix as the Queen of the Netherlands on 30 April 1980 in the Nieuwe Kerk church in Amsterdam.

    Carriage ride

    After the wedding ceremony, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima made a ride through the centre of Amsterdam in the Golden Carriage. The tour started from the Nieuwe Kerk, proceeded down Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal, Spui and Singel, then turn left at Muntplein and proceeded up Rokin to finish at the Royal Palace on Dam square. The Golden Carriage has been used for the same purpose a number of times in the past: in 1966 for the wedding of the present Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus, in 1937 for the wedding of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard, and in 1901 for the wedding of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik, the occasion the carriage was first put into use. The Royal Family have also used the Golden Carriage on several other occasions. Normally for most of the year the Golden Carriage stands in the Royal Stables behind Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. It is only taken out for the State opening of Parliament each year.

    The procession was under command of Colonel G.E. Wassenaar of the Royal Military Police, Equerry to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

  • Royal Military Band (50 troops on foot)
  • Kings Company of Grenadier Guards and Chasseurs with regimental colour and colour guard (110 troops on foot)
  • Detachment of mounted police from the Royal Military Police (13 police officers)
  • Detachment of the Corps Mounted Artillery
  • Detachment of mounted police from the Dutch National Police Agency (25 police officers)
  • Honourary Cavalry Escort (25 troops on horseback)
  • The Golden Carriage was pulled by five Gueldres horses and a Groninger horse. The front team of horses existed of Jaime and Bodo, the middle team of Jordan and Karin and the back team of Bas and Koene (the Groninger horse). Coachman of the Royal Stables Edwin van de Graaf rode on the left one of the front team of horses. Hans van Nierop drove the carriage. In front of the carriage two of Her Majesty's Adjudants rode on the horses Eradam and Polo.

    The Golden carriage

    On 7 September 1898 the young Queen Wilhelmina accepted the gift of a remarkable state carriage, the Golden Carriage, a tribute from the city of Amsterdam. This "fairy-tale" carriage was the result of an initiative by a small group of people from a working-class neighbourhood of Amsterdam, calling themselves the Friends of the House of Orange. Their idea was taken up with enthusiasm by the entire population of the city and the realisation of the plan became possible thanks to the generosity of the citizens, who wished to offer a token of loyalty to their sovereign on the occasion of her investiture. The name of the Golden Carriage is misleading. It is in fact built of teak from Java, the wood being partly painted and partly coated in gold leaf. Other materials used in its construction also came from different parts of the Kingdom and its overseas territories: flax from the province of Zeeland, leather from the province of Brabant and ivory from Sumatra. The coach is decorated in Dutch Renaissance style reminiscent of the Golden Age. Plants, animals, emblems and symbols from antiquity and legend were used for the allegorical representation of the good wishes and blessings bestowed by the Dutch people on their sovereign. On the roof of the coach a group of allegorical figures, representing the four activities on which the prosperity of the nation depends, support the Crown resting on a cushion with the Sceptre and Sword of State. These activities are Commerce, symbolised by a mace and a lion; Labour, with a hammer and a salamander, the symbol of fire; Agriculture, represented by a sheaf and a sickle and a sheep for animal husbandry; and Shipping, symbolised by a sextant and a dolphin. At the four corners of the roof are miniature figures of children wreathing the Royal Arms with laurel, while cherubs plait triumphal wreaths round the Royal initials above the doors. The cornice bears the coats of arms of the (then) eleven provinces. The corners of the cornice are supported by four mythical figures holding lanterns surmounted by a crown. A frieze runs under the windows with symbolic figures in relief, representing Religion, the Army, Justice, Art, Science and Labour. Further ornamentation includes cornucopias, court jesters holding ivory handles, lilies and roses - symbols of Loyalty - and a cartouche showing the year 1898.


    After the carriage ride the newlywed couple appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. They were loudly cheered by numberous people on the square. The couple kissed several times.

    After the wedding a reception with lunch took place at the Palace on the Dam Square. Prince Claus of the Netherlands didn't attend it anymore and left. Queen Beatrix gave a speech also on his behalf, in which she praised the parents of Princess Máxima for the values they have given her and for her excellent upbringing. She also praised Princess Máxima for being such a secure and strong person and thanked her for bringing joy in their life.

    Her speech was followed by one of Martín Zorreguieta, Máxima's eldest brother. He made everybody laugh by telling anecdotes about their youth. He talked about his sister's talent for stumbling, a talent she never lost.

    Finally the Prince of Orange thanked everybody, told how they get to the idea to marry on 02-02-02 after seeking some documentation on the Internet, and talked about the great and important role his father played in his life.

    At the reception bride and groom cut the wedding cake.

    After a nice reception bride and groom left for their honeymoon at about 17:30. Then also the guests left the Palace. Part of them left on Saturday already, another part on Sunday.

    The Menu

    Cocktail de langoustines

    Tartelette au turbot
    Sauce au vin blanc

    Medaillons de chevreuil rôtis
    Sauce au thym

    Chou rouge
    Golden delicious aux airelles rouges
    Pommes de terre duchesse

    Tarte de la mariée

    Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru
    Morgeots 1996
    Chateau Figeac 1975
    Argentina Chandon Brut

    The Royal Palace on the Dam Square

    The Royal Palace on Dam Square in Amsterdam was the centre of the festive events surrounding the wedding of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta. The palace is situated on Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam. It was originally built as the city hall for the burgomasters and magistrates of Amsterdam. The celebrated architect Jacob van Campen took control of the project in 1648 and the first section was opened in 1655. The entire building was constructed of white stone, though the weathering of the centuries has left none of it visible. Renowned sculptors were brought to Amsterdam and famous painters such as Rembrandt and Ferdinand Bol contributed to the interior. The central theme, featuring in much of the decoration, was the power of Amsterdam in particular and the Dutch Republic in general. The building served as the city hall for a century and a half. It was first used as a palace for a few days in 1768, when Stadholder William V and his wife, Wilhelmina of Prussia, were given a ceremonial welcome to Amsterdam. In 1807 King Louis Napoleon moved to Amsterdam and in 1808 he took possession of the city hall and converted it into a royal palace and was redecorated in the Empire style under supervision of J.T. Thibault. On the fall of Napoleon in 1813, Prince William, later King William I, returned the palace to the city of Amsterdam. However, after his investiture, the new King realised the importance of having a home in the capital, and asked the city authorities to make the palace available to him once again. It was not until 1936 that it became state property. The Royal Palace on the Dam Square is one of the three palaces (Huis ten Bosch and Noordeinde being the others) which the State has placed at the Queen's disposal by Act of Parliament. It is used mainly for entertaining and official functions, for example state visits, the Queen's New Year reception and other official receptions.

    The wedding dress and other attires

    Wedding dress

    The bride wore a long-sleeved gown of ivory mikado silk with a cowl neckline. It was close fitting and flared slightly from the waist. The five-metre train was inset with panels of embroidered lace. The luxuriant point d’esprit veil of silk tulle was decorated with hand-embroidered flower and tendril motifs. The gown was designed and created by Valentino Couture, Rome.

    The Diadem

    The diadem was composed from the jewel collection of the Royal House of the Netherlands. The five sparkling diamond stars come from Queen Emma (1858-1934), and Queen Beatrix mostly wears them as brooches. For this occasion they were put on top of a bandeau from the collection of Queen Sophie (1818-1877), the first wife of King Willem III. The diamond ear-rings belonged to Queen Wilhelmina (1774-1837), first wife of King Willem I.

    Bridal bouquet

    The bride carried a cascading bouquet of white roses, gardenias, lilies of the valley and two kinds of foliage. The bouquet was created by Jane Nienhuys and Elisabeth Thierry de Bye-Dolleman, florists to Soestdijk Palace.

    Uniform of the Prince of Orange

    The Prince wore the full dress uniform of a Captain in the Royal Netherlands Navy. He wore the following decorations:

  • The ribbon and star of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands
  • The star of a Knight of the House Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau
  • The Officer’s Cross
  • The Accession Medal 1980
  • Bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys

    The page boys wore short jackets and breeches of red velvet, white poplin shirts, white hose, and black patent leather shoes. A red silk taffeta sash worn over the jacket completes the outfit. The flower girls wore red velvet dresses with red silk taffeta sashes, white stockings, and black patent leather shoes. The bridesmaids wore red satin duchesse skirts with blouses of red velvet and satin duchesse, and matching red satin shoes. The bridesmaids and flower girls wore garlands of dark red flowers.

    Engagement ring

    The centre stone of the platinum engagement ring, an oval orange diamond, is flanked by two emerald-cut diamonds set in bands encrusted with brilliant-cut diamonds.

    Wedding rings

    The couple’s wedding rings are handmade half round platinum bands, 2.5 millimetres wide. Princes Máxima’s brother, Juan Zorreguieta, handed the couple their rings after the solemnisation of the marriage. Mr Zorreguieta is an engineering student at the Universidad Católica of Argentina.

    Wedding monogram

    The wedding monogram was designed by the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta and created by Hans Kruit. It appeared on the cover of the Order of Service and on the sides of the wedding cake.

    The bridal staff

    Witnesses for Máxima Zorreguieta at the civil ceremony

  • HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (* 1938): she was asked to act as a witness as a token of thanks for the great support Máxima has received from her from the start of her serious relationship with Willem-Alexander and during the period of her introduction to the Dutch people.
  • Marcela Cerruti: Godmother to Máxima and her mother’s younger sister. She studied agronomics (specialising in livestock farming) in the US and elsewhere and is currently employed as a phylogenic researcher (head of immunogenetic laboratory) at a cattle and horse pedigree organisation in Buenos Aires. She is unmarried.
  • Martín Zorreguieta (* 1972): Máxima’s brother. He owns a company which organises events and sales promotions. He lives in Patagonia and is married to Mariana Andrés.
  • Witnesses for Máxima Zorreguieta at the church ceremony

  • Samantha Deane (* 1972): Friend of Máxima with whom she attended nursery school and the Northlands School. She studied law and economics in the United Kingdom. She lives in London, where she works for an interior design consultancy. She is unmarried.
  • Florencia Di Cocco: Friend of Máxima with whom she attended nursery school and the Northlands School. She studied psychology and educational theory in Argentina and is the owner and founder of the Nightingale School, which provides primary and secondary education in Buenos Aires. She is unmarried.
  • Witnesses for the Prince of Orange at the civil ceremony

  • HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands (* 1969): Youngest brother of the Prince of Orange. He lives and works in London.
  • Marc ter Haar: Member of the same student alumni association as the Prince and a fellow skating enthusiast. He studied Slavonic languages and Russian Studies at Leiden University. He is currently European sales director for a manufacturer of vessels and containers. He is married with two children. His son Floris is one of the pageboys.
  • Frank Houben: Close acquaintance of the Prince and friend of the Prince's parents. He is Queen's Commissioner for the Province of Noord-Brabant. He is married with four children.
  • Witnesses for the Prince of Orange at the church ceremony

  • Tijo Baron Collot d’Escury: Friend of the Prince since nursery school. He studied chemistry at Delft University of Technology. He is a Reserve First Lieutenant in the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. He is currently a partner in a management consultancy firm. He is married with two children.
  • Jonkheer Frans de Beaufort: Childhood friend of the Prince and the son of good friends of the Prince's parents. He studied Netherlands law at Utrecht University and is currently employed as a company lawyer. Since 1997 he is married to Suzanne Buchwaldt and they have a daughter Sophie Cornelie Marie who was born in Utrecht on December 20, 2000. the Prince of Orange was master of the ceremonies at his wedding.
  • Bridesmaids

  • Valeria Delger: Friend of Máxima since her earliest childhood. They went to school together. She studied marketing and is currently employed by an events organiser in Buenos Aires.
  • Juliana Guillermo (* 1981): Daughter of HRH Princess Christina of the Netherlands. She is currently studying at an art academy in London.
  • Theresa Baroness von der Recke (* 1979): Niece of the Prince and daughter of Prince Claus’ youngest sister, Christina Baroness von der Recke-von Amsberg, and Baron Hans von der Recke. She has followed several courses since leaving school and currently plans to study psychology.
  • Inés Zorreguieta (* 1984): Younger sister of Máxima. Currently in her final year at secondary school (Palermo Chico School in Buenos Aires).
  • Pageboys and flower girls

  • Jonkheer Paulo Alting von Geusau: Son of Jonkheer Michiel and Mrs Monika Alting von Geusau-Von Perjès Dömölky, friends of the Prince and Máxima Zorreguieta.
  • Johann-Casper Freiherr von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen (* 1997?): Son of Freiherr Boris and Freifrau Susanne von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen. Mr Von dem Bussche is a second cousin of Prince Claus.
  • Alexandre Friling: Son of Antoine and Nicole Friling-von Oswald, friends of the Prince and Máxima.
  • Floris ter Haar: Son of Marc and Carien ter Haar-de Bruijn, friends of the Prince and Máxima. Mr Ter Haar is a witness for the Prince of Orange at the civil ceremony.
  • Countess Leonie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems (* 1997): Daughter of Count Franz-Clemens and Countess Stéphanie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems, friends of the Prince and Máxima.
  • HSH Princess Pauline zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein (* 1999): Daughter of Prince Georg and Princess Benedikta zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, friends of the Prince and Máxima.
  • Guestlist

    Members of the Family of the groom

  • Queen Beatrix (witness) and Prince Claus of the Netherlands
  • Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands
  • Prince Constantijn (witness) and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
  • Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
  • Princess Irene of the Netherlands
  • Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme
  • Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme
  • Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme
  • Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven
  • Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven
  • Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven
  • Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven
  • Prince Floris van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven
  • Princess Christina of the Netherlands
  • Bernardo Guillermo
  • Nicolás Guillermo
  • Juliana Guillermo (bridesmaid)
  • Sigrid Jencquel née von Amsberg
  • Joachim and Stephanie Jencquel
  • Baron Karl and Baroness Theda von Friesen née von Amsberg
  • Baron Alexander von Friesen
  • Baroness Renate von Friesen
  • Baroness Isabell von Friesen
  • Baron Hans and Baroness Christina von der Recke née von Amsberg
  • Baroness Katinka von der Recke
  • Baroness Sophie von der Recke
  • Baroness Theresa von der Recke (bridesmaid)
  • Baron Christoph and Baroness Jutta von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen
  • Baron Boris and Baroness Suzanne von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen
  • Baron Julius Constantin von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen
  • Baron Johann-Casper von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen (page boy)
  • Baron Axel and Baroness Barbara von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen
  • Members of the Family of the bride

  • Marcela Cerruti Carricart (witness)
  • María Zorreguieta López Gil
  • Ángeles Zorreguieta López Gil and Adrián Vojnov
  • Dolores Zorreguieta López Gil and Harmond Grad Lewis
  • Martín Zorreguieta Cerruti (witness) and Mariana Zorreguieta
  • Inés Zorreguieta Cerruti (bridesmaid)
  • Juan Zorreguieta Cerruti
  • Royal and noble guests

  • Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and Begum Inaara Aga Khan
  • Jonkheer Paulo Alting von Geusau (page boy)
  • Jonkheer Frans de Beaufort (witness)
  • King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians
  • Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duke and Duchess of Brabant
  • (Princess Elisabeth of Belgium)
  • Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduchess and Archduke of Austria-Este
  • Prince Laurent of Belgium (and Claire Coombs)
  • Prince Ferdinand and Princess Elisabeth von Bismarck
  • Count Carl-Eduard and Countess Celia von Bismarck
  • Countess Gunilla von Bismarck
  • Prince Kardám and Princess Míriam of Bulgaria, Prince and Princess of Tirnovo
  • Tijo Baron Collot d’Escury (witness)
  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
  • King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • Prince Nikolaos of Greece
  • Prince Ernst August and Princess Caroline von Hannover née Princess of Monaco
  • Prince Philipp von Hessen
  • Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan
  • Queen Noor of Jordan
  • Prince Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath el Hassan of Jordan
  • Prince Rashid el Hassan of Jordan
  • Princess Badiya el Hassan of Jordan
  • Princess Sumaya el Hassan of Jordan and Mr Nasser Sami Judeh
  • Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
  • Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
  • Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
  • Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg
  • Hereditary Prince Albert of Monaco
  • Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco
  • King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn
  • Princess Alexandra zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Wallerstein
  • The Duke of Parma
  • Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark
  • Hereditary Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Prince Georg and Princess Benedikta zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein
  • Princess Pauline zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein (flower girl)
  • Prince Alexander and Princess Gabriela zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn
  • Thurlow Bradbrooke Smith and Renée Smith née Jonkvrouwe Roëll
  • Queen Sofia of Spain née Princess of Greece
  • The Prince of Asturias
  • Infanta Cristina of Spain Duchess of Palma de Mallorca and Iñaki Urdangarín y Liebaert Duke of Palma de Mallorca
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
  • Princess Madeleine of Sweden
  • Prince Wittekind and Princess Cecilia zu Waldeck und Pyrmont
  • Count Franz-Clemens and Countess Stephanie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems
  • Countess Leonie zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems (flower girl)
  • The Prince of Wales
  • The Earl and Countess of Wessex
  • Other guests

  • Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Mrs Nane Annan
  • Emily Bremers
  • Samantha Deane (witness)
  • Valeria Delger (bridesmaid)
  • Florencia Di Cocco (witness)
  • Alexandre Friling (page boy)
  • Marc ter Haar (witness) and Carien ter Haar
  • Floris ter Haar (page boy)
  • Frank Houben (witness)
  • Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, former President of South Africa, and Graça Machel
  • Valentino
  • Mabel Wisse Smit
  • James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, and Mrs. Wolfensohn
  • Present at the civil ceremony in the Beurs van Berlage and/or the Church ceremony in the Nieuwe Kerk were the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the members of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the State Secretaries, the Speakers of both Houses of the States-General, the Prime Ministers and Speakers of the Parliaments of the Netherlands Antilles en Aruba, members of the High Councils of State, members of the Upper and Lower Houses of the States-General, the Queen's Commissioners, senior military figures and members of the judiciary.

    Other guests included the Mayor and Aldermen of Amsterdam and members of Amsterdam City Council, the Mayors of The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of community organisations and the business community, representatives of various religious communities and delegations from the Dutch provinces.

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