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Dutch Princess Speaks About Finding ‘Freedom’ in Spain After Threats Forced Her to Secretly Move Abroad


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Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands is “grateful” to have found refuge in Spain after security threats prevented her from continuing to live in student housing in Amsterdam.

It was recently revealed that the future queen, 20, lived in Madrid due to threats made in the fall of 2022 while she was starting as a student at the University of Amsterdam. According to the BBC, organized crime communications indicated she may become a target of kidnapping or an attack, initially prompting her to move home and only leave for class.

Princess Amalia stepped out for King’s Day celebrations, marking King Willem-Alexander’s birthday, in the Dutch city of Emmen with her parents and two younger sisters on April 27, speaking for the first time about secretly living abroad due to the scary situation.

“Of course, it was strange circumstances that made me go there,” she told Dutch media outlets, according to Bild. “I’m still very grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to walk around there in freedom. I managed to find a little more freedom there than was possible here.”

“The Netherlands is my home, so it’s nice to be here again,” she said, adding that spending time in Spain “made life here somewhat possible again.”

From left: Princess Catharina-Amalia, Queen Maxima, King Willem-Alexander, Princess Alexia and Princess Adriane of the Netherlands celebrate King’s Day on April 27, 2024.

Patrick van Katwijk/Getty

King Willem-Alexander said it was “terrible” that his eldest daughter and heir wasn’t able to “spread her wings,” adding, “Luckily, it worked out in Madrid.”

Meanwhile, Queen Maxima praised her daughter as “smart” and “independent,” “so she can handle it very well.”

The revelation of Princess Amalia’s time abroad came earlier this month as the Dutch royal family hosted King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain for a state visit. During his speech at the state banquet, King Willem-Alexander, 57, thanked those involved for making his daughter’s stay possible.

“Last year, circumstances required her to live in Madrid. From there, she was able to continue her studies at the University of Amsterdam. This was made possible by the kind efforts of many of your compatriots and yourselves,” the Dutch monarch said in his speech, delivered in English. “A touching demonstration of friendship at a difficult time. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to you and to everyone else who helped arrange this.”

From left: Princess Catharina-Amalia, King Willem-Alexandra and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attend the royal wedding in Jordan on June 1, 2023.

Patrick van Katwijk/Getty

Spain was a fitting choice for the princess to move. Princess Amalia is fluent in Spanish as Queen Maxima is originally from Argentina. In another touching tie to the nation, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima first met in Seville.

“Spain has a special place in our hearts. First of all, because it was in your country that our life together began. We were at the Feria de Abril in Seville 25 years ago. The sparks began to fly. The rest is history,” he recalled at the state banquet earlier this month, prompting a big smile from Queen Maxima, 52, as well as laughs from King Felipe, 56, and Queen Letizia, 51.

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Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands attends the Spain state banquet on April 17, 2024.

Patrick van Katwijk/Getty

In a royal milestone moment made even more special by the recent events, the Spain state banquet at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam marked Princess Catharina-Amalia’s first time attending such an event. She sparkled in the Ruby Peacock Tiara (a piece she’s worn to two royal weddings before) with a matching necklace and earrings paired with a navy cape dress.

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