Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti is the Queen of the Netherlands, wife of King Willem-Alexander. She is also the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Financing for Development.

Originally from Argentina, she worked in marketing when she met Willem-Alexander, the eldest son and heir apparent of Queen Beatrix, in 1999. They married in 2002 and became the country's new sovereigns in 2013, following the abdication of Queen Beatrix.

A true champion of social causes, Máxima has been actively involved in various philanthropic causes for many years. As queen, she has promoted the social integration of immigrants, the rights of lgbtqia+ and financial inclusion. As Queen Consort of the Netherlands, she has worked tirelessly to bring attention to issues close to her heart.

One of her main areas of work is promoting financial inclusion and access to financial services. Since 2009, she has been the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and has been instrumental in promoting financial inclusion globally. Through her work, she has raised awareness of the importance of financial services for individuals and small businesses, particularly in developing countries.

As a member of the Committee for Enterprise and Finance, which succeeded the Microfinance Council in 2011, she is committed to expanding the reach of various financing opportunities, both through coaching and credit to new and existing small businesses in the Netherlands. She also strives to increase the number of women entrepreneurs and the scope for them to develop their businesses.

She participates in conferences around the world to represent the Netherlands. In 2004, she won a seat on the Dutch Council of State, the highest advisory body and court of administration. She was also a member of the committee for the participation of ethnic minority women from 2003 to 2005. She now sits on the board of the Chair on Diversity and Integration Management at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Together with her husband, they are godparents of the Orange Fund, which was established to promote social welfare and cohesion in the Netherlands. She also chairs the board of the Prince Claus Presidency on Development and Equity at the International Institute for Social Studies and Utrecht University.

Her Majesty is also a strong advocate for education. She has worked to improve access to education for children and adults around the world, and has been a member of the United Nations Secretary General's High Level Panel on Water and the Global Partnership for Education. She has helped promote the importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty and creating opportunities for people around the world.

Since 2015, Queen Máxima has been the honorary president of the Ambassadors for Music at School platform. She has been committed for several years to giving as many children as possible the opportunity to create music.

She is also the honorary president of the Money Wise platform since 2010. She serves as a special advisor to the platform and consults with stakeholders on ways to increase people's financial awareness and resilience. In this capacity, Queen Máxima draws attention to the importance of financial education and sensible money management, especially as it relates to children and youth.

She is also heavily involved in promoting the welfare of children. She has been a strong advocate for their rights and has worked to improve access to health care and education for children in developing countries. Through her work with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), she has raised awareness of the challenges facing children in some of the world's poorest countries.

Queen Máxima has also been an advocate for the lgbtqia+ community. She has worked to promote greater acceptance and understanding of this community in the Netherlands and around the world. In 2013, she gave a powerful speech in support of marriage equality in the Netherlands, stating that "love is not something that can be defined by gender." She is one of the few royals in the world to openly support gay rights and was the first member of a royal family to attend a conference on lgbtqia+ rights on March 5, 2008.

Her Majesty is also concerned with the integration of immigrants into Dutch culture. Among other things, she was a member of a special parliamentary committee charged with recommending ways to increase the participation of immigrant women in the labor market. Her Majesty stresses the importance of immigrants learning the Dutch language, as she did, in order to participate fully in Dutch society. Indeed, Dutch is only the Queen's third language. She is also fluent in Spanish, her native language, and English.

Since March 2022, Máxima has served as Honorary President of "MIND Us," a mental health platform created in collaboration with the MIND Foundation, a Dutch mental health charity founded in 2016.

In recognition of her tireless work for social causes, Queen Máxima has been honored on numerous occasions. Among them, she received the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award in 2016 for her work in promoting financial inclusion, and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphus of Nassau in 2018 for her humanitarian work.

A true inspiration and shining example of a dedicated advocate for social causes, Her Majesty Queen Máxima has made a real difference in the lives of people around the world, and her relentless efforts continue to have a positive impact on the world today.





Article by Julie Henry Poutrel for Adama Toulon.

© Photo: GES 2019 / Public Domain