Máxima television series seeks to rule international airwaves

Máxima meets Willem-Alexander, as seen on tv. Photo: Millstreet Films

Queen Máxima’s life and times are getting the royal treatment in Máxima, a new series that debuts this weekend on Videoland with a six episode first season. It’s the latest tv programme hoping to replicate the success of The Crown.

The popular series that covered the reign of queen Elizabeth wrapped up its sixth and final season in December and has racked up numerous awards including two Golden Globes. But is there enough drama surrounding the Dutch royals to hold the attention of both local and international viewers?

That remains to be seen, but critical response to Máxima in the Netherlands has been mixed and somewhat bizarre after the press and guests were shown the first two episodes last week.

A reviewer for De Volkskrant gave the series four stars out of five and praised the performance of Argentinean actress Delfina Chaves in the title role. Meanwhile, another critic wished the series featured ‘more nudity.’

A second season is already in the works and was announced earlier this week. Production is scheduled to begin in October.

The first season largely focuses on Máxima’s courtship with then crown prince Willem-Alexander. It’s based on Dutch journalist Marcia Luyten’s Máxima Zorreguieta: Motherland, a biography released in the lead-up to the queen’s 50th birthday.

Despite the premise, viewers shouldn’t expect a sunshiny rom-com. The series also delves into the controversies surrounding Máxima’s father, Jorge Zorreguieta. He served as Argentina’s minister for agriculture during the infamous regime of military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla.

While Zorreguieta managed to avoid prosecution for the regime’s human rights violations and denied any involvement, Máxima’s engagement with Willem-Alexander was questioned by pundits and politicians. Their marriage had to be approved by parliament before they were allowed to wed in 2002. There was also one major concession: Zorreguieta wasn’t allowed to attend the ceremony.

“We took some time to think about how to approach the politics, because you want to be authentic but, on the other hand, you don’t want to start a whole political discussion,” series  producer Rachel van Bommel told Variety. “We decided to take the point of view of Maxima herself, and by taking her perspective, you don’t have to have an opinion about it, you can just be factual.”

Máxima’s official Dutch debut on Videoland is set for this Saturday, 20 April. It will later be released in at least 25 international markets.

Máxima herself has reportedly no plans to watch the show, and says she has not read the book either. But she also, according to the AD, said she and her husband are completely support the right to artistic freedom, and for film makers to make whatever suits them.

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