BUENOS AIRES (AP) - Argentines and Dutch citizens living in the South American country gathered on Tuesday to hail the first Argentine-born queen.
The 46-year-old wife of King Willem-Alexander became Queen Maxima of the Netherlands on Tuesday. Maxima grew up in Buenos Aires and had a successful career in banking before meeting Willem-Alexander. She is the royal family's most popular member, a mother of three girls whose personal touch has won over the Dutch.
Argentines also have followed her story closely, proud to see one of their own become royalty.
"It's a real pride that an Argentine has reached so deep in the hearts of the Dutch," Ruben Tirolo, a 67-year-old electrical
engineer said at Buenos Aires' Plaza de Mayo square in front on the presidential palace.
"She's a very positive symbol for Argentina abroad because her character has always been kind, sweet, and the kind of
person to win the hearts of people," Tirolo added.
William-Alexander struggled for years to win the affection of the Dutch, and his wife helped him become more popular
ever since she brushed away a tear during their 2002 wedding.
About 500 members of the Dutch community, many of them wearing orange clothes in honor of the royal House of
Orange-Nassau, met for a breakfast celebration at the Buenos Aires racetrack. Surrounded by pictures of the royal couple,
they toasted while they watched the coronation on television.
"We now have a new Queen Maxima who is going to support our king," said Hein de Vries, the Dutch Ambassador to
Buenos Aires. "She was born here in Buenos Aires and because of that there is a strong bond especially between
Amsterdam and Buenos Aires today."