Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti (50), as her maiden name was, married Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (54) in 2002 and is now one of the most popular royals in Europe. Máxima is actually from Argentina and not the Netherlands! She grew up in Buenos Aires and lived there until she graduated so her mother language is Spanish and she is fluent in English.
Queen Máxima: This is how she learned Dutch
Many years have passed now and Máxima speaks Dutch very well. In 1999 she took classes for the first time to learn Dutch when she was still living in New York. In 2000 she moved to Belgium and another intensive course followed there. Already during her engagement to Willem-Alexander, the Dutch people were amazed at how well Máxima already spoke their language!
On April 1, 2021, during a virtual conversation with a Dutch foundation, she said that Google Translate was very helpful later, but that children's shows also helped her learn. Even today, Queen Máxima is constantly learning new words, as she said in her interview on her 50th birthday on May 17, 2021.
Language teacher Bart de Pau told NPO Radio 1 after the interview: “Twenty years ago she used simple words and sometimes [in] the wrong order. But her vocabulary developed quickly and her accent became more and more natural."
Queen Máxima is one of the most popular Royals in Europe even with her father's controversial history. Her grace, charisma, and fashion make her one of the most-watched and beloved. Few Royals marry outside of established families from their home country, but adventurous Willem-Alexander did, and the people of the Netherlands are greatly happy that he did!