First look at the Netherlands' answer to The Crown
17th October 2023

First look at the Netherlands’ answer to The Crown: Young Queen Maxima is seen dancing with King Willem-Alexander – who hid his royal status – before becoming engaged in new drama

  • The six-part series will cover Queen Maxima of The Netherlands’ upbringing
  • READ MORE: Neutral but nice! Queen Maxima of the Netherlands looks chic in beige trousers and a matching top for sustainability visit in Rotterdam

The Crown is coming to an end later this year, but a new royal drama is already looking to fill the gap left behind.

Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands’ love story is being turned into a six-part series – and new images of the production have finally been released. 

Titled Maxima Zorreguieta: Motherland and produced by Dutch company Mill Street Films, the drama will cover Queen Maxima’s upbringing in Argentina and how a chance meeting with King Willem-Alexander changed the course of her life forever. 

Photographs of the series have surfaced on X, formerly known as Twitter – just a few months after filming began in New York. They show Maxima, played by Delfina Chaves, chatting to the then Prince Willem-Alexander.

Another captures the future Queen as she prepares to announce her engagement to the world in 2001, while a trailer shows the royal couple eagerly dancing with each other upon first meeting in April 1999, while Maxima was on holiday in Seville.

The biographical drama series will cover Queen Maxima’s upbringing in Argentina and how her chance meeting with Willem-Alexander changed the course of her life forever

The then Prince Willem-Alexander initially hid his royal status from his future wife. When he finally admitted the truth, she thought it was a joke.

Delfina, 27, is taking on the role of the Dutch Queen. She is already a mega star in Maxima’s home country – having appeared in hit shows such as Love After Loving, Rap Battlefield and The Secret of the Greco Family.

The glitzy adaptation, comprising three directors, Saskia Diesing, Joosje Duk, and Iván López Núñez, is based on the historical novel of the same name by Marcia Luyten.

It will follow Maxima’s transition into royal life and the obstacles she had to overcome along the way, including the tragic death of a sister and Dutch public anger about her father’s involvement in the military junta.

Maxima’s father was an established politician, serving as the Minister of Agriculture under the regime of General Jorge Rafael Videla, commander in chief of the army and a member of the right-wing junta that ran Argentina.

His involvement in the dictatorship would later become an issue for Maxima to confront. It is remembered as the period of the ‘dirty war’ against political opponents in Argentina. Up to 30,000 people died.

Maxima spent her childhood in Buenos Aires with two brothers, one sister and three half-sisters.

The future Queen was educated at the English-style Northlands school in the city, where she received a bilingual baccalaureate in 1988, speaking fluently in her native Spanish and English. She later learned to speak Dutch as well as conversational French.

Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands’ love story is being turned into a six-part series – and new images of the production have finally been released. Pictured, Maxima’s character ahead of her engagement being revealed

Prince Willem and Maxima pictured announcing their engagement in 2001. They met two years earlier

She went on to study at the Universidad Católica Argentina, where she graduated with a degree in economics in 1995.

While at university, Maxima revealed her strong-willed nature by confronting a priest in a theology class who said ‘women should serve men’ to which she retorted ‘why am I actually studying then?’ leading her to be removed from the class.

After graduating, she had a brief stint working in Buenos Aires before relocating to the United States where she took on a series of high-flying roles.

These included being vice president of Latin American Institutional Sales for the finance house HSBC James Capel Inc. in New York before moving to Deutsche Bank, where she became vice president of Institutional Sales.

Little did she know that in April 1999, while on holiday in Seville, she would meet the love of her life.

The pair had both been attending a party at the annual Seville Spring Fair where she bumped into her future husband Prince Willem-Alexander.

During their chance encounter, the future King decided to keep his royalty a secret, not disclosing to Maxima he was a prince until later on.

When he declared his royal status, she thought it was a joke. The fact Maxima was unaware of his royal ties, however, did not seem to put a dampener on their relationship as two weeks later Willem had flown out to New York to meet her.

Titled Maxima Zorreguieta: Motherland and produced by Dutch company Mill Street Films, the drama will cover Queen Maxima ‘s upbringing in Argentina and how a chance meeting with King Willem-Alexander changed the course of her life forever. Pictured above is Delfina Chaves who plays Maxima 

The glitzy adaptation covers Maxima’s relationship with Beatrix, played by Elsie de Brauw (left) Willem-Alexander’s mother who was Queen until 2013

Despite the controversy regarding Maxima’s father, Beatrix continued to welcome Maxima into her home 

Although they were in a serious relationship, Maxima did her best to keep the prince’s identity secret.

She said: ‘I would tell them something different (about Willem) every time, but at some point, there was nothing for it other than to say: “He’s the Prince of the Netherlands.”

The next year, in May 2000, Maxima relocated to work at the European Union Representative Office of Deutsche Bank in Brussels, Belgium.

Soon after the move, in 2001, Willem proposed to Maxima while ice-skating on a pond near Huis ten Bosch Palace.

The couple were married on 1 February 2002 at Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Kerk, however, it was not straightforward leading up to the wedding and her father’s past threatened their marriage.

It became a point of national debate in the Netherlands whether Maxima could become part of the royal family because of her father’s ties with the right-wing junta that ran Argentina.

Despite ongoing controversies, Willem-Alexander’s mother, Queen Beatrix at the time, set to be played by Elsie de Brauw, continued to welcome Maxima into their home.  

Willem and Maxima making their first public appearance in 2001. The future King decided to keep his royalty a secret at first.  When he finally admitted the truth, she thought it was a joke

The newly weds waving to the crowd on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam in February 2002 

Maxima and Willem were only allowed to marry after the Dutch parliament investigating her father’s past concluded that the future Queen had known nothing of the war atrocities. She had been in primary school during the junta years.

Maxima managed to overcome the controversy surrounding their marriage amazingly, winning over the Dutch people with her smile, charisma and intelligence. 

The couple have three children together, Princess Amelia, 19, Princess Alexia, 17 and Princess Ariane, 15. 

Told from Maxima’s perspective, the series sets out to explain the controversy surrounding her father’s political career while she simultaneously navigated her relationship with the crown prince. 

It comes after Delfina Chaves was revealed to be playing Maxima in the drama series- – who is tipped for superstardom, just like Meg Bellamy – the actress playing Kate Middleton in the final season of the Netflix series.

Following the lengthy audition process, it was announced in March this year that Delfina would be playing Maxima opposite Martijn Lakemeier – who has been cast as King Willem-Alexander.

What’s more, the star also said that her father was the first person she told that she had bagged the role of Máxima earlier this year.

She told Yahoo: ‘Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I got in my car, drove to my dad’s, and I was shaking.’

Having always been a brunette, the actress has since dyed her natural brown hair bright blonde to mimic Máxima’s vibrant locks.

Before filming began, Delfina relocated to Amsterdam to learn more about the country Máxima has been ruling with her husband for the past 10 years.

Discussing the drama, Delfina said she was thrilled that the show will focus on Maxima’s perspective.

She said: ‘Who she was and what she wanted from life were attributed by the outside world to first her father and after that her prince. I really love that the series now tells her story, from her point of view.’

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