Royal wedding

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima were married in Amsterdam on Saturday 2 February 2002.

""

The Hague, 30 March 2001: Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta at the announcement of their engagement.

Image: RVD / Graciela Rossetto

Engagement

On Friday 30 March 2001 Queen Beatrix announced the engagement of His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, and Ms Máxima Zorreguieta. The banns were published on 7 January 2002.

Parliamentary consent

On 21 May 2001 the government introduced a bill seeking parliamentary consent to the marriage between His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander and Ms Máxima Zorreguieta. Parliament passed the bill, thus giving its consent.

Ms Zorreguieta became a member of the Royal House as soon as the marriage was solemnised. She had already become a naturalised Dutch citizen, since Dutch nationality is needed for membership of the Royal House.

The children born of this marriage will bear the following titles: His/Her Royal Highness Prince/Princess of the Netherlands, Prince/Princess of Orange-Nassau.

""

Amsterdam, 2 February 2002: wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta.

Image: RVD/National Archives

Civil marriage ceremony

The civil marriage was performed by the mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, in the Beurs van Berlage on Saturday 2 February 2002. As well as family, friends and guests of the bridal couple, dignitaries from all parts of the Kingdom and some 600 other guests were present.

Church ceremony

The church ceremony took place in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. The Reverend Carel ter Linden, Minister Emeritus of the Kloosterkerk parish of the Dutch Reformed Church in The Hague, officiated.

Wedding dress

The bride wore a wedding gown of ivory mikado silk, with a cowl neckline, three-quarter sleeves and a five-metre-long train. The skirt of the dress was inset with panels of embroidered lace at the sides, flaring slightly from a close-fitting empire-line bodice. The long point d’esprit veil of silk tulle was hand-embroidered with flower and tendril motifs. The gown was designed and created by Valentino Couture of Rome.

The Prince’s uniform

The Prince wore the full dress uniform of a Captain in the Royal Netherlands Navy. He wore four 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.

Rings

The centre stone of Queen Máxima’s platinum engagement ring, an oval orange diamond, is flanked by two emerald-cut diamonds set in bands encrusted with brilliant-cut diamonds.

The couple’s wedding rings are handmade half-round platinum bands, 2.5 millimetres wide. Queen Máxima’s brother, Juan Zorreguieta, presented the rings after the solemnisation of the marriage during the church ceremony.

Tour

Immediately after the church ceremony, the bridal couple made a tour in the Golden Coach, from the Nieuwe Kerk along Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Spui, Singel, Muntplein and Rokin to the Royal Palace in Dam Square. Afterwards they appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace.

Military ceremonial

Some 1,900 military personnel took part in the ceremonial. The Marine Corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy provided the guard of honour at the Royal Palace in Dam Square, while the Royal Netherlands Air Force did the same at the Beurs van Berlage. Officers of the Royal Netherlands Navy provided an arch of swords. The route taken by the bridal couple was lined by both military and civilian personnel. The Royal Military and Border Police provided the escort of honour en route to the Beurs van Berlage and the Nieuwe Kerk.

A 21-gun salute was fired, at five-second intervals, from two naval frigates on the IJ, starting as the bridal couple left the Royal Palace.