Willem-Alexander and Máxima's Interview with 'Margriet' Magazine: February 2010
The couple has given an interview to Magriet magazine
Hola has a small article and extracts on it: Guillermo y MÃ¡xima de Holanda, una pareja muy normal
(Translated with googletranslate)
Maxima, on family life:
The conversation takes place in the residence of the mayor of Amsterdam, o none of the coldest days of the year, at the end of January. The sun shines from a clear blue sky on the frozen canals and the centuries old facades. Today Amsterdam is as beautiful as a fairytale. Just like that other sunny day: February 2nd 2002, the wedding day of prince Willem-Alexander and princess Máxima. ‘Only that day was a lot warmer’, says mayor Job Cohen, who married the couple in a civil ceremony. ‘It was 16 degrees’ says princess Máxima. The princess has a cold, ‘Sorry, I caught it from my daughter’. ‘But the feel-temperature was 32 degrees’ adds prince Willem-Alexander laughingly.
The conversation started this animated and relaxed. This is how it would stay in the hour that followed, when Willem-Alexander and Máxima, on the invitation of the mayor, look back on their wedding day and tell about their lives.
Máxima: ‘For every groom and bride the weddingday passes far too quickly. You want to keep as much moments as possible. It was a day with a lot of intimate moments, even though there were so many people present.
WA: Though it was a public event too of course, we also wanted it to be our own wedding, which it also is of course. Once in a while it was tricky, with the people who have to film it and who would like to have a camera on every place.
Máxima: ‘Which is also understandable.’
WA: Of course, understandable. The night before we had a fantastic party in the Amsterdam ArenA, where 50.000 people attended. That felt like a warm bath. That set the tone for the next day. We slept very little that night. On Dam square it was one big party. The palace wasn’t renovated yet, so you heard everything.’ Laughingly: ‘the whole night people sang for us loudly. But well, you are nervous before such an important day, so then it doesn’t matter anyway.’
Máxima: ‘I couldn’t sleep.’
The mayor remembers that Máxima was fairly nervous before entering the Beurs van Berlage, where the civil wedding ceremony took place. ‘We had to wait there for some time. I saw you talking anxiously in Spanish to your witnesses.’
Máxima: I don’t think there is a bride who is not nervous before her wedding’ awnsers Máxima. ‘But in my case it was also because all the people around me were so nervous. My sister and one of my best friends asked me: “What do we do when we don’t understand what we have to do?” Everything was in Dutch of course. I said: “Don’t worry.” But I was also nervous for them. Only on the moment the civil wedding was over, I thought…’
The mayor with a big smile: ‘Now nothing can go wrong anymore.’
Máxima: the biggest tension is over then. Also because you notice that it goes well.
WA: ‘It was a wonderful day. And, like Máxima said, also very intimate.On the moment in the church with the music I really felt like just the two of us were there. Of course you see other people, but it felt like us together. And from outside you could hear the cheers.’
‘That was wonderful’, the mayor says.
WA: Wonderful yes, but then you also realize that you are not alone.
Máxima: ‘It might sound strange, but at that moment I felt a bond with the people outside.
Mayor Cohen: Isn’t that exemplary for your whole life? On the one side there is the relationship of you together, on the other side there is the relationship with the outside world so obviously present.
WA: There is always an exchange between what we have together and our public life. In that position we can only function optimally because we build together, operate well as a team together.
Mayor Cohen: Many people think the nicest moment of your wedding was the moment in church when that beautiful song (Adios Nonino) was played. Did you think that too?
Máxima: It was a long day. There were a lot of nice moments. Also at the palace, the moment that my brother speeched….
WA: … during the lunch after the wedding ceremony.
Máxima: and my mother-in-law. The words of the vicar, your words.
Princess Máxima remembers the speech of the mayor: ‘You spoke about our special position, the glass house where we live in and the limitations that it brings along. You also said that you hoped that I would get the space to continue to develop myself and to get tasks that give me satisfaction. I got that space, and I am very grateful for that. I don’t focus that much on the limitations, but I look at the opportunities. The focus of my husband and I was pointed from the start to what can we do and make a difference.
Mayor Cohen: ‘You don’t suffer under the ministerial responsibility?’ (for everything members of the royal house say or do, the prime minister can be held accountable in parliament)
WA: Absolutely not. Not a second I see it as a challenge to use the nice opportunities we have due to our position in a good way.
The mayor remembers a meeting where the crown prince speeched about water management for the city of Amsterdam. ‘I was especially impressed by the question/answer game that followed afterwards, and during which you were able to tell enthusiastically about water management and the health care aspect that is related to it. Also due to your role, this subject came alive n The Netherlands. Is that what you meant with that you see opportunities instead of limitations?
WA: Exactly. I also think that by showing her that as the wife of the crown prince you have a lot of opportunities, I was able to convince her to make the step to The Netherlands. Because even when you love each other a lot, if you think that you will only face a future of limitations, I don’t know if that is a nice prospect. I often named my father as an example. The idea existed that he felt limited and curved in due to his position in The Netherlands. But it was actually the other way around. My father worked for the ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany. He said: due to my position in The Netherlands I could be more useful to others, for example on the subject of development aid, than I would have been as a German diplomat or ambassador.’ The same counts for me. If I wouldn’t be prince of Orange, I would be a 42 year old inhabitant of Wassenaar. Would be able to say everything, but the effect would be limited. Now I can not say everything but what I do say usually has effect.
Mayor Cohen: Like with your father prince Claus, this was also for you something to aim for?
WA: I interpret the ministerial responsibility as the rules of the games, rules you have to stick to. Everybody has rules in their lives to which they need to stick. That is how my father saw it, that is how my wife and I see it.
The prince tells about a workshop ‘Binding’ in Amsterdam where he was present this morning due to the Orange fund. ’There were 200 people present with great ideas to connect various groups in these neighborhood centers. By being present and talking to people, I can make sure that there is attention for such an initiative. It gives an extra impulse to the meeting.
Máxima: That is also how I see our role. To bring the work of other people under the attention. By strengthening the work of specialists. But also by uniting people. In connecting different people who will be able to make decisions in a different way for their work or a project. That is, I think, our biggest strength: connecting people.
WA: We were able to use our representative and supportive role during the state visit to India, two years ago. Máxima and I talk together about our work for micro credits and water management. In India it became clear that the people who successfully used a micro credit, were actually facing problems with water. There either was too much rain or too little. By making this a theme during the state visit, we were able to bring people together, due to which water micro credits were started.
Mayor Cohen: ‘You already did so much work. By your work for Pavem (foundation for integration of immigrant women), for the Orange Fund, and also for micro finance. Also due to you micro credits became very well known. How did you start?
Máxima: That is a long story. I have always been busy with the question: how can I help people to get new perspectives? Also in The Netherlands. Already at 16 I wanted to study economy, because I thought: when the economic situation of other countries improves, everybody in the society can play a part. Maybe naïve, but…
Mayor Cohen: Not naïve, idealistic perhaps, but you were 16.
Máxima: It is not the best way to achieve that though. When later I heard in New York about micro credits, I immediately thought: that is it. Instead of giving somebody a fish, you are giving them a hook and line. I got more information about micro credits . Because I met my husband, and I had to rearrange my life my focus was elsewhere first. I had to move to another country, learn Dutch, getting to know The Netherlands. But when I was asked in 2005 to participate in the UN International Year of Micro Credit, I started that with a lot of joy. I believe that people can help themselves when they get the right tools. Micro credit is such an tool. Learning a language is also a tool, just like creating places where women can develop themselves.
Later in the conversation, when the expression ‘golden cage’ is dropped, the princess says: ‘The attack at Queen’s Day also made us think: how to continue? But I also think that we can never do our job without getting in touch with people. That gives a lot of value and content to our work.
WA: That contact is essential.
But how do they do that practically, the mayor wants to know. With such a busy agenda with each of them their own tasks and with three small daughters: Amalia (6), Alexia (4) and Ariane (2). How do you make it fit?
Máxima: We use all the moments that we are together. When we are together in a car we discuss the things that are going on, the agenda. It is always tricky to make it fit. There is always too little time. In that I don’t think we are that different from other young families that have a lot of things on their plate. And who also still have to cook.
Mayor Cohen: Who is cooking at your house?
Máxima: To be honest, we don’t cook all that often.
WA: We warm things up. Long live the micro wave.
Mayor Cohen: I recognize that.
WA: We often cook during the skiing holidays. For most people it is nice to not have to cook. But with us it is the other way around.After skiing we go to the super market, after which we cook.
Mayor Cohen: And then there are 3 daughters.
Máxima: Yes, our daughters. Fantastic. That is so delightful! It ius a challenge to organize everything though. You want to offer them the best: from violin lessons to sports. Swimming, tennis.
WA: Judo, ballet.
Máxima: With other mothers I sometimes organize a carpool. These mothers are also busy. They sometimes call me with the question: ‘Can you pick up my daughter? Because I am still in a meeting in Zeeland.’ We help each other very well.
WA: The fathers also help out., although it is less than the mothers.
The family moment of the day is breakfast.
Máxima: Even if it means that we have to wake up earlier, breakfast together in the morning is sacred to us. The children are at their best then.
WA: In the evening there are often dinners and receptions, which makes it difficult to eat together.
Mayor Cohen: I wondered if there are any typically Argentinian elements in the upbringing?
Máxima shakes her head: I feel so Dutch, I actually can’t think of anything. There isn’t much of a difference. Maybe the fact that we dance a lot at home, but I think all children do that.
WA: When we were getting to know each other, we discovered that even though we grew up 13.000 kilometers from each other, we were raised with the same values.
Máxima: We think the same things are important in the upbringing. That children learn that there are boundaries. That your freedom stops where that of another begins.
WA: We aren’t parents who constantly say: Do that, don’t do that. Sometimes we can give our children a lot of freedom, but sometimes you have to say: now you have to stop, no discussion is possible.
Máxima: It is about clarity. That you communicate well why something is or isn’t allowed. We try to give our children confidence, to learn to have respect and an eye for others. But also believe in yourself and in your opportunities. Stay curious. Don’t be satisfied with the first answer, don’t be short sighted.
WA: But we also want them to be a child. These days children are confronted with so many things, which makes them wiser than they can handle emotionally. We have to make sure that these two things don’t get in conflict. I find it for example special to see how Amalia and Alexia were busy with Haiti.
Máxima: Especially Amalia. She is very curious: where do earthquakes happen, she asks.
WA: It started with a visit to natural museum Naturalis. Realizing that the earth can act strangely: earthquakes, volcano’s.She is busy with it, also with Haiti. We almost couldn’t think of any more chores because she wanted to make money to give to Haiti through school.
Máxima: That people don’t have water, don’t have food, she thinks about that too. She wants to know everything, but you wonder how far you should go? Up to which point does it add to her general education and up to which point does it give her an unsafe feeling?
The question if their children are aware of their special position is answered with a yes.
WA: Of course. Even if it would only be because school mates remind them of it. That isn’t so bad. But you have to help them to deal with it. In the sense that they are not thinking about it all the time. They aren’t. A few times when my mother is on television. At that moment she is the queen. At our home we never speak about her that way, she just is grandmother.
Máxima: our daughters have to discover themselves what it means for them. That is why I think confidence is very important. Be strong, and know from that position who you are, what you mean and what your responsibilities are.
Mayor Cohen: How do they experience a photo shoot for the press, like last year on the beach?
Máxima: It was a process. I remember that the first time Amalia couldn’t even smile. The next time I prepared her and now they know that it is part of it.
WA: What did Amalia say to Ariane on the ebach again?
Máxima: Ariane didn’t have a clue of course, she just walked along with her sisters. But Amalia told her: don’t worry, you only have to smile and give replies. After that we can play again.Everybody had to laugh about that of course.
And then the mayor gets really curious.
Mayor Cohen: In the light of your responsibilities, which we discussed earlier, how do you look back at what I call the Mozambique adventure?
WA: Let me first say that such a holiday house can never be the topic of such a big public debate. When that did happen, and it became clear how sensitive the topic was, it was clear to us that we had to say goodbye to it. It was difficult, we were involved with it for over a year of course. But again: our work in and for The Netherlands is more important. So that is the consequence.
Máxima: Except that it would be our holiday home, it was also important for us that the people who lived there would actually benefit from the project.
Mayor Cohen: I am reading in the newspaper now that you are busy with a holiday house in Argentina?
WA: No, that is a misunderstanding,, we are not busy with a holiday house there at all.
Mayor Cohen: How did you get to know and experience Amsterdam?
Máxima: I already knew about Amsterdam should be a beautiful city with a lot of wonderful museums. But now I know Amsterdam very well. Not only Museum square but due to all the projects of the Orange Fund also the neighborhoods and the economic side of the city.
WA: Amsterdam was a part of my life in my younger years. When I became 21, I paid a 3-day working visit here. Part of it was that I accompanied the police during a night, due to this I saw a lot of the problems. Because I had friends who studied here, I came here often too. Laughing: That wasn’t only during the day. But in those days I really felt a part of the city. Now I am very often in Amsterdam because of conferences and meetings. With a lot of pleasure we take along royal guests to Amsterdam, so we can show them the city informally. So I am doing a lot in Amsterdam, but sadly not as much as the ‘Amsterdammers’.
In the end there is a pressing question from magazine ‘Margriet’. What do the prince and princess admire in each other?
Máxima: When I first met my husband I was impressed by the love and dedication to The Netherlands. That really appealed to me. I found it contagious. I also admire his will power, on a lot of different areas. And he is of course a very, very sweet father.
WA: The moment that I turned from a man in love, into a man who knew that we were made for each other, was at the moment when Máxima pointed out some of my weak points. ‘Think about this, or about that’. She just helped me in becoming a better person. I noticed that fairly quickly. I could react impatiently when people questioned our relationship. Máxima was able to say: don’t turn away from these people. If they have doubts, I think they are right to ask questions. Together we have to take those doubts away. Prove that they are not right.
Mayor Cohen: She gives you a lot of support.
WA: More than that. She is complementary. Somebody who can still say: ‘I am not going to agree with you right away.’ Somebody who keeps asking critical questions about things that I find normal because I have been living in the Netherlands all my life. But because of her questions I have to think about it again. She completes me. Because of that I got stronger as an individual, but also as a couple we become stronger. Together we can build up. And when the 5 of us are together, than it is wonderful of course. We really enjoy that. Maybe that sounds oldfashioned, but there is nothing wrong with that.
Very interested interview, now they are not like the normal couples with kids that work, they have maids, nannies, cooks , drivers, etc..... so still easy than the avarage working couples and with no worries about money, so all the story about the microwave it does not seem realistic of their life for me. but still I admire them becasue they are trying hard to give their kids the most "normal"' life they can. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TRANSLATION!!!!!!!!
Thank you for translating it all Marengo!:flowers:
It's the Margriet, not the 'Magriet' ;)
In Dutch, with the photos:
» Interview kroonprinselijk paar in Margriet
thanks so much for the translation, marengo! it's indeed very appreciated! i really enjoyed reading it.
I wouldn't say I'm "normal".I don't trust people who say they are.
Thank you for posting the link to the interview!
A wonderful interview.
thanks for posting the interview! i enjoyed reading it!
:smile: NICE ONE !! thanks for the interview.
But I find it hard to believe that they eat heated prepared food in the Microwave!! Not the idea I had about a ''royal'' dinner or meal ;)
They could have a cook sitting next to their bed-side 24/7,but no,they love their total privacy just with the children,
and the dishwashingmachine..:smile:
Exactly because they have such hectic and extremely busy lives,they absolutely love the quit times with the children,
just the 5 of 'm,and a microwave full of goodies..
It is true Ashelen.
And have a Happy Easter!:flowers:
wow, i must say surprise me but you are a very lucky person to know so much about the real facts of their life!!!do you have the hability to be in their house? hum i dedto know about her closet!!!!!
I can understand why Royals crave Privacy !!
Maybe the food gets cooked for them then shipped to them & they keep it in the fridge & heat it when they want to eat. Make sense better then the frozen stuff :lol: just a guess!!
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