Queen Máxima turns 49; No parties, but Eurovision and torta
The Dutch royal family planned to celebrate Queen Máxima’s 49th birthday at home on Sunday. She was joined by King Willem-Alexander and their three daughters at the Huis ten Bosch, where they were sticking to the government advised social distancing rules, with no celebrations planned.
In the afternoon, the Queen shared her mother's recipe for her favorite cookies, Alfajores, which she baked for her family.
The night before her birthday, the family was among the 2.4 million people in the Netherlands who viewed the replacement Eurovision event, Europe Shine A Light. The popular annual song competition was supposed to take place in Rotterdam this month, but was postponed to 2021 due to the global health crisis.
“Europe is going through a very rough time. Let’s keep our eyes and ears open for each other. Together, we stand strong. Europe, shine a light and keep the music alive,” she and her husband said in a post on social media just before the broadcast.
“In deze tijd vier ik mijn verjaardag thuis met een typisch Argentijnse lekkernij: Alfajores van dulce de leche. Ik ben...Posted by Het Koninklijk Huis on Sunday, May 17, 2020
In an official capacity, Máxima, with a background in banking and markets, serves as the Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance to the UN Secretary-General, and is an advocate of micro loans and economic development to the G20. Domestically, she serves on the Council of State, and has been a prominent voice on issues related to social inclusion.
Her birthday caps off a week where she took part in two working visits related to the ongoing health crisis. The first was to AFPRO Filters in Alkmaar, which is set to produce one million FFFP2-rated medical respirator masks every week for healthcare professionals. The second was to a residential care facility in The Hague for people who have intellectual disabilities about how life inside the center has changed since March.
Born in Buenos Aires, Máxima’s birthday cake this year was expected to be a traditional Argentinian torta, the government’s communications office said. Máxima’s mother was to join the small party, having been with the royal family in Europe since the Queen’s brief visit to Argentina in February.