Queen Maxima’s controversial father dies, royals to attend funeral

Maxima and Willem-Alexander with Jorge Zorreguieta in 2011. Photo: Persbureau Edwin Janssen via HH

The father of queen Maxima, Jorge Zorreguieta, has died at home in Buenos Aires at the age of 89. He had been ill for some time.

Maxima, who was at her father’s side when he died, king Willem-Alexander and their three daughters will all attend the funeral, the state information service RVD said.

Zorreguieta was minister of agriculture at the time of the Videla dictatorship from 1976 to 1983. After it was announced that Maxima and Willem-Alexander were to marry, the Dutch government commissioned a report into his role in the junta.

That report concluded that it was ‘unthinkable’ that Zorreguieta knew nothing of the human rights abuses but was unlikely to have been involved himself. He has always denied any knowledge of the killings.

Nevertheless, he was banned from attending the wedding and later in 2013, the inauguration of Willem-Alexander as king.

Prime minister Mark Rutte has expressed his condolences to the royal family on behalf of the cabinet. ‘I wish them, their daughters and other members of the family strength and courage at this difficult time,’ Rutte said.