BUENOS AIRES – Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of the Netherlands’ Queen Maxima, died on Tuesday in Buenos Aires after a long illness at the age of 89, diplomatic sources reported.
The RVD (The Netherlands Government Information Service) said in a statement issued by the Netherlands Embassy in Buenos Aires that His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima communicated with great sadness that Mr. Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta, father of Queen Maxima, has passed away on Aug. 8, 2017 in Buenos Aires at the age of 89.
According to the statement, Zorreguieta suffered from a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for a long time.
The text also added that only a “closed circle” will attend the funeral, including Queen Maxima, King Willem-Alexander and their daughters Princess Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.
According to local media, Zorreguieta had been admitted to the private sanatorium Fundaleu, in Buenos Aires, and Queen Maxima went to that medical center.
Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta was Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983), a history which prevented him from attending the wedding of his daughter Maxima with then Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in 2002 as well as her coronation as Queen in 2013.
During these years, it was Maxima who frequently traveled to Argentina to meet privately with her family.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1928, Zorreguieta held various positions in business organizations, was an active member of the Argentine Rural Society, and subsequently rose to undersecretary and secretary of Agriculture between 1976 and 1981.
After the country’s return to democracy, he was a member of the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council, and in 2008 he served as president of the Argentine Sugar Center and of the Food Product Industry coordinator.
Zorreguieta first married with Marta Lopez Gil, with whom he had three daughters – Maria, Angels and Dolores – and later with Maria del Carmen Cerruti Carricart, with whom he had Maxima, Martin, Juan and Ines.