Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has spoken in public for the first time of the loss of her younger sister, Inés Zorreguieta, who died this month.
Fulfilling a visit to a hospital in Groningen that she had postponed because of the death, she gave a brief but emotional statement to reporters.
“My dear, talented younger sister Inés was ill too,” she said. “She couldn’t find joy and couldn’t recover.
“Our only consolation is that she has now finally been able to find peace.”
Inés Zorreguieta died in her flat on 6 June in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, aged 33. Said to have suffered from depression and mental illness, she is thought to have taken her own life.
Queen Máxima, originally from Argentina herself, had been due to open a proton therapy centre for cancer patients in the northern city of Groningen two days later but flew to her native country with King Willem-Alexander and their three daughters for the private funeral.
She was visibly moved during her unannounced visit to the hospital on Tuesday, expressing her gratitude for the “countless letters, messages and expressions of support – that really helped us”.
She said she had returned to work after a difficult period and was happy to visit the hospital as it meant so much for people with cancer “who are sick but still have hope of recovery”.
Inés Zorreguieta had been bridesmaid at Máxima’s wedding to then Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in 2002.
She was also godmother to the couple’s youngest daughter, Princess Ariane, and took part in her christening in 2007.
King Willem-Alexander said last week that her death had affected everyone very deeply.
If you are affected by this story
From UK: Call Samaritans on 116 123 or get more details, and website links, here.
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