Queen Maxima's father Jorge Zorreguieta dies at age 89

Queen Maxima
Queen Maxima. Photo: RVD / Jeroen van der Meyde

Jorge Zorreguieta, Queen Maxima's father, passed away at the age of 89 in the Fundaleu clinic in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the Dutch King and Queen confirmed "with great sadness" in a statement. Zorreguieta had been suffering from a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for a long time.

Zorreguieta had been seriously ill for several years, according to Het Parool. In November 2014 he was also admitted to the Fundaleu clinic in serious condition. However he recovered and was even in the Netherlands for King Willem-Alexander's birthday in April. 

Queen Maxima traveled to Argentina on Saturday and spent the past days at the clinic with her father. The royal couple and their three daughters will attend Zorreguieta's private funeral.

Maxima's father was a controversial topic in the Netherlands because of his participation in the Argentine government under the military dictatorship of General Rafael Videla in the late 70s. Zorreguieta himself had no hand in the atrocities committed under the Junta regime, and even denied knowledge of them, according to the newspaper. But Dutch politicians refused to have him in the Netherlands for Maxima and Willem-Alexander's wedding in February 2002.

In the years after the wedding, Zorreguieta regularly visited the Netherlands for family events, and the royal family also spent every other Christmas with the Zorreguietas in Argentina. 

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