The wedding of Willem-Alexander and Máxima in Amsterdam

Last modified: 10 December 2012

Amsterdam, Saturday, 2 February 2002

The program

  • 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.

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

The sermon by the Rev. C.A. ter Linden

Perhaps you know the story of Peer Gynt, who returned to his homeland as an old man, after many wanderings all over the world, and asked himself what use his life had been. In a field, he found a wild onion. As he peeled it, deep in thought, a phase of his life came to mind with each layer of the onion that he removed. And each layer, like each phase of his life, succeeded the preceding one. But where was the core, what was the point of it all? To his astonishment, he found that as he peeled the layers away from his life he could not find its core. Each core enclosed another, and none was the final one.

So, Máxima, Willem-Alexander, what is at the core of our lives? That is a question everyone asks themselves at one time or another, and certainly when they are about to link their life to another person’s and to start sharing responsibility for the other’s happiness.

Perhaps we may find a clue to the answer in the passage father Braun read, the lovely story of Naomi and Ruth. It is an ancient tale. Or is it also – for the bible is a mirror of human life – a story for our time?

It is the story of a woman called Naomi, who lived with her husband and two sons in Israel, in the land of Judah, in the village of Bethlehem. Famine forced them to take refuge in the land of Moab. Very soon after their arrival, Naomi’s husband died. She stayed on, with her sons, who each married a girl from Moab, Orpah and Ruth. For ten years they all lived there together, and then Naomi’s sons died too. Hearing that the famine in Judah was over, Naomi decided to return to her homeland. What was left for her in Moab? Her daughters-in-law travelled with her. But then, when they reached the border, Naomi had second thoughts. ‘go back,’ she said. ‘go back, each of you, to your mother’s house. May the lord show you the same love as you have shown me. May you soon find husbands of your own people.’ and she kissed them goodbye.

Naomi knew that there was no future for her daughters-in-law in Judah. The two peoples were divided by a deep gulf. But the younger women wouldn’t listen and burst into tears, saying, ‘No, we’ll go back with you to your people’. But Naomi stood her ground. ‘go back, my daughters.’ the words ‘go back’ appear ten times. So ten times we are told what the story is all about: the question of where people belong. Where should we go in our lives? Where do we come from, where are we going? Indeed, what do we want from life, where is the land where we can breathe and live?

‘Go back, my daughters. ’

And Orpah gave in. She realised that Naomi was right, but at the same time, she was grief-stricken because they would never see each other again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, tore herself free and turned back. But what was Ruth waiting for? ‘Look,’ said Naomi, ‘your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods. Go back, follow your sister.’

Then Ruth answered:
Entreat 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 unto me, and more also,
If ought but death part thee and me.

I can’t think of anything more moving. For what could Ruth possibly know about this people and their God, that she should entrust the whole of her being to them?

You will understand why this story is central to today’s ceremony. For despite all the differences between this ancient tale and the story of your lives, there must have been times, Máxima, when you asked yourself: ‘should I really do this, go with him to a country far from my own homeland, to a foreign country with a people I don’t know, who have a different history, a different identity, a different culture?’ A choice that would cause some pain, and has indeed made demands on many people. You must sometimes have heard a voice saying: ‘go back, my daughter … go back to your people. ’

That brings us again to the story of Naomi and Ruth and what happened when they reached Bethlehem. The bible says the whole town was in uproar, with people asking one another: ‘is that Naomi?’ You can imagine the women in the fields stopping their work, putting down their rakes for a moment to look at her. ‘No, surely it can’t be.’ you can hear people whispering: ‘haven’t you heard?’ everyone talking about her but nobody talking to her. And Ruth must have sensed what was going on.

Máxima is not the only one who must have hesitated. Willem-Alexander must have done the same. He writes in his letter: ‘can I, do I have the right to ask Máxima to give up the greater part of her free, independent life, a life she has worked so hard for, that is so important to her? I was still very young when I realised the demands that kingship makes. I am asking my future wife to make a sacrifice, an almost inhuman sacrifice. She is marrying not just me, but an entire country.’

But at the same time it is clear from the letter that if there is someone who can really be a support to him, she is the one: this woman with her sunny nature and her talents, her open mind and her ability to put things into perspective. As he, for his part, is a true support for her, because he so obviously believes in her and, as she herself says, surrounds her with care and consideration, so that with him she feels safe and able to be herself. Being herself: to him, that means all the spontaneity and joie de vivre characteristic of her, qualities that he fervently hopes she will retain in her new life.

Together, you two have worked things out. You, Máxima, have now met a great many people here. You have touched many with your warmth and concern, ever since the first words could finally be said in public, words that echoed Ruth’s pledge to Naomi: ‘your people shall be my people and your God my God .’

Your people shall be my people. You have mastered our language very quickly. Once, when we were still speaking english together, I couldn’t remember a word, and I asked someone else for the english for ‘gevolgen’. But before that person could answer, Máxima said ‘consequences’! And oh, what consequences your love has had. For instance, you have been eager to learn about protestantism, the church in which Willem-Alexander was brought up. But you already had in common faith itself, the faith in the god of Abraham, Moses and Jesus, the faith that has brought you to this church today.

And that is the second point this morning: your discovery that despite all the differences between you – and it is fitting that there should be differences – you were both shaped, as Willem-Alexander said in his letter, by the same norms and values. Norms and values that are rooted in faith. In your letter you said that without that faith you could not live. ‘It gives me something to hold on to in difficult times and when I have to make difficult decisions. It also gives me something that I can, indeed must, ultimately answer to. That is my way of keeping my self-respect and my self-esteem, and sometimes to keep swimming against the tide, because I know I’m on the right tack.’

These are the words of someone who has been destined from birth to shoulder an onerous task; someone who has to be the visible representation of something that is almost impossible to represent: namely the solidarity of the Dutch through the ages, in their struggle not only against the waters but also against all the waves of injustice and violence that threatened and sometimes inundated our country. That same solidarity that through the ages led this people to shelter others threatened by oppression and persecution. Although we know – and this city bears the scars – how badly we sometimes failed.

Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, no one knows better than you how hard it is to accept a mission in life that you cannot choose for yourself. Or is it possible to make such a mission so much your own that accepting it does become a conscious choice? It may have been like that for you. A difficult road, and sometimes a lonely battle, too. But still you were never entirely alone on that road, however lonely it seemed, because he was there, the God – as your letter put it – who gives you something to hold on to in difficult times and when making difficult decisions. And so, at some point you were able to make a conscious decision to accept your mission in life.
Having finally accepted this very special calling, you have developed a broad interest in everything that is going on in this country and in the world at large. You have also developed a capacity for being close to people in all manner of different circumstances. And so there stands before us today a man who has stood firm no matter what happened, and who has grown stronger as a result. A man who has finally found a woman willing to accompany him on the road he has to take, so that together they can give it meaning and substance.

‘Your God shall be my God,’ said Ruth, and today the bride is saying the same to her bridegroom. She has a lot of questions. But who doesn’t? Like the question of how this world can come from god. This world, as she said in her letter, with all its beauty and human kindness, yet with all its pain, its sin, and its evil. And yet despite these questions one thing remains constant: ‘that there is a little corner of myself that from time to time makes me pray, makes me raise my eyes to him and believe in him, and trust that he will always be there. To me, God is love. A love that brings people together, a love that gives you strength and makes people treat others with respect.’ That is why you wanted to begin your marriage together in church, because after all, as you yourselves said, ‘it’s all about love, when two people promise to stay beside each other for the rest of their lives, bring each other happiness and strength, and work together for a better world. And where better to do this,’ said Máxima, ‘if God is love, than with his blessing in his own house of love?’

‘Your God shall be my god.’ perhaps the traditions that you grew up in, the roman catholic and the protestant, each with its own wealth of religious experience, will enrich and deepen your lives.

We don’t have enough time for the rest of Ruth’s story, except to say this. Naomi would have told Ruth – it was harvest time in Israel – about the law of her country that allowed the poor to follow the reapers and glean any ears of grain that might fall to the ground. So Ruth went. And when the landowner arrived in his fields he saw this stranger and asked a farmworker who she belonged with.

Perhaps you can already guess how the story continues, for the landowner was a kinsman of Naomi’s and in Israel a childless widow could always count on a male relative of her husband’s to marry her to give her children and safeguard her future. And so this landowner, Boaz by name, lived up to his family obligations, even though it meant marrying a foreigner, a Moabitess. What’s more, love grew between them there amid the alien corn, a love with blessed consequences: a son was born to them. And they called him ‘Obed’, meaning the one who serves. As if both of them wanted his name to reflect what life is all about. And Obed, so the story goes, was the father of Jesse, who in turn was the father of David, who became king of all Israel. As if the story means that kingship is rooted in service. And that is why a good king prays to God ‘that I may stay a pious servant of thine for aye’. (line from the Dutch national anthem)

And lastly, when, centuries later, Matthew wrote the story of the birth of Jesus, a distant descendant of David, he included the name of Ruth, the Moabitess, among his ancestors. As if to say: remember, the love of god, which was manifested so wondrously in Jesus of Nazareth, extends to all peoples. God writes his story with and through all peoples. And when the church sings praises to Mary, the mother of Jesus, in its hymns – like the one the bride has grown so fond of, which we shall hear shortly – today you must visualise behind Mary all the foremothers of Jesus, and for a moment remember Ruth, the Moabitess. Ave Maria, hail Mary, hail Ruth of Bethlehem.

And if we think back to the story of Peer Gynt, the man peeling the onion he found, have we come a little closer to the core, to the secret of our lives?

Willem-Alexander, Máxima, the blessing of the lord go with you in your marriage and in your life together. And may you be a blessing to many.


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 tiara

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.


  • 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.


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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