The son of Queen Juliana, Willem-Alexander van Oranje-Nassau is the current King of the Netherlands. He was born on April 27th, 1967. His mother was Queen Juliana and his father was Prince Bernhard van Lippe-Biesterfeld, who died when Willem-Alexander was four years old. The monarchy of the Netherlands is hereditary, but it also has a parliamentary democracy, which means that the monarch’s role is purely ceremonial.
Willem-Alexander studied at Leiden University, where he received his degree in social geography, development studies and archaeology. He has an MPhil degree in international relations from St Antony’s College, Oxford. His first job was as a trainee with the Elsevier publishing company in Amsterdam.
The great grand children of Juliana and Bernhard, including Willem-Alexander, live with the Queen and her husband, H. M. King Hendrik.
While his mother was still Queen of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. He received this title in 1993 because he had taken on many royal duties at home during his mother’s illness, but also because the Dutch people thought that it would be good if their young king could become more involved in public affairs.
Willem-Alexander is also the honorary commandant of Joint Service Honorary Commandant 3rd Regiment Dragoons Guards.
Willem-Alexander married Maxima Zorreguieta in 2002, who is from Argentina. They have three daughters: Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. Willem-Alexander’s grandmother died in 2004, while his wife’s father, Jorge Zorreguieta died in 1997.