Monday, January 14, 2013

Betcha Didn't Know...? European Royals Edition (and not from Spain)

Betcha didn't know...

...that there are Latina royals in Europe (and I am not talking about Spain)?

Meet Princess Ángela of Liechtenstein, Grand Duchess María Teresa of Luxembourg and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands.

Her Serene Highness Princess Ángela of Liechtenstein, Countess of Rietberg was born Ángela Gisela Brown Burke al estilo latino in Bocas del Toro, Bocas del Toro, Panamá in 1958. She emigrated as a child with her family to the United States. She studied fashion at Parsons/The New School for Design where she was awarded the Oscar de la Renta Gold Thimble Award. After working for a fashion designer in New York and starting her own label (A. Brown) she sold her practice after three years. She then worked for Adrienne Vittadini, a U.S. fashion designer, where she was a fashion director until September 1999. She met HSH Prince Maximilian Nickolaus Maria of Liechtenstein, Count of Reitberg (often professionally called Prince Max for short), the second son of HSH Hans Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, in New York, where he had a position as a banker for Chase Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Chase, in the late 1990s, and a few years later, in 2000, they were married in New York (she wore a bridal gown of her own design). The following year, their son, HSH Prince Alfons Constantin Maria, was born.

Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess María Teresa of Luxembourg was born María Teresa Mestre y Batista-Falla al estilo latino in Marianao, Havana, Cuba in 1956. In October 1959, at the time of the Cuban Revolution, her family (who were affluent) left Cuba and settled in New York City, where, as a young girl, she was a pupil at Marymount School. From 1961 she carried on her studies at the Lycée Français de New York. She met her future husband HRH Grand Duke Henri Albert Gabriel Félix Marie Guillaume, in Geneva, Geneva Switzerland, where she was studying political science at the University of Geneva. She married then-Prince Henri of Luxembourg in 1981. They have five children (HRH Prince Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg; HRH Prince Félix Léopold Marie Guillaume; HRH Prince Louis Xavier Marie Guillaume; HRH Princess Alexandra Joséphine Teresa Charlotte Marie Wilhemine; and HRH Prince Sébastien Henri Marie Guillaume) and two grandchildren through Prince Louis (HRH Prince Gabriel Michael Louis Ronny of Nassau and HRH Prince Noah Guillaume of Nassau). She is President of the Luxembourg Red Cross and was appointed a UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children.

Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. van Amsberg was born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti al estilo latino in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1971, the daughter of Spanish/Basque and Italian parents. She studied at Norhtlands School in Argentina and worked as an investment banker before graduating with a degree in Economics from the Universidad Católica Argentina in 1995. She subsequently worked for large international finance companies in Argentina, New York and Europe. Through her father, she is a descendant of King Afonso III of Portugal and many noble families of the Iberian Peninsula. She met the heir to the Dutch throne (Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, Prince of Orange) in April 1999 in Sevilla, Spain, during the Seville Spring Fair. In an interview, they stated that he introduced himself only as "Alexander", so that she did not know he was a prince. She thought he was joking when he later told her he was a prince. They agreed to meet again two weeks later in New York, where she was working for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. Their relationship apparently began in New York, but the Princess did not meet the Prince's parents, Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus, for some time. The couple announced their engagement on 30 March 2001, where she addressed the nation in fluent Dutch during the directly televised broadcast. She was granted Dutch citizenship by royal decree on May 17, 2001 and now has dual citizenship:
Argentine and Dutch. They were married in 2002 in a civil ceremony in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, which was then followed  by a religious ceremony at Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk ("New Church"). The couple have three daughters: HRH Princess Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria, HRH Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien and HRH Princess Ariane Wilhemina Máxima Inés. In January 2013, it was announced that reigning Queen Beatrix would abdicate on April 30, 2013 (Queen's Day in the Netherlands) in favor of her son Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange. Princess Máxima will then become queen of the Netherlands, the kingdom's first queen consort since Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont.  

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