Willem-Alexander is the present King of the Dutch monarch. He has been on the throne since 30 April 2013 as a successor of Beatrix. Previously, Willem-Alexander was in Royal Netherlands Navy and has been involved in numerous philanthropic and volunteer works.
Early Life and Education
Willem-Alexander was born to the Dutch Royal family on 27 April 1967 in University Hospital Utrecht, Netherlands. Raised with two younger brothers by father Prince Claus and mother Princess Beatrix, Willem-Alexander is the first male heir born since Prince Alexander.
For early education, Willem-Alexander went to Nieuwe Elementary School and then joined Baarns Lyceum in 1979 for three years. He left Baarns to join the Eerste Vrijzinnig Christelijk Lyceum from 1981 to 1983 and entered the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales from 1983 to 1985. Completing high school in 1985, Willem-Alexander started an undergraduate degree at Leiden University in history. He also earned an MA from the same university.
A multilinguistic, Willem-Alexander is married to Queen Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti since 2 February 2002. Queen Maxima is a former investment banker and represents an Argentine descent. The royal couple has three children – all daughters. Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria is the eldest one and is also an apparent heir to the Dutch throne.
Willem-Alexander’s professional career started when he joined the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1985 for two years. Trained at the Royal Netherlands Naval College, Willem-Alexander remained a reservist until 2013, when he ascended the throne. Anyway, he climbed the military hierarchical ladder from Lieutenant Commander in 1995 to Brigadier General in 2005. Willem-Alexander was a Commander (1997), a Captain at Sea (2001) and a Commodore (2005) as well. However, he had to renounce all these ranks after assuming the royal throne.
Leaving the military, Willem-Alexander always remained very interested in water management in Netherlands. Hence, as an honorary member of the UN World Commission for water and patron of Global Water Partnership, he took Holland flood management techniques all around the world. For instance, Indonesia followed such techniques to get rid of monsoon flood.
Besides water management, Willem-Alexander has also been pushy on sports issues. Prior to being honored with a membership in the International Olympic Committee in 1998, he was a patron of the Dutch Olympic Games Committee. However, Willem-Alexander had to leave such an important membership after ascending Dutch throne. Anyway, he still remains a huge supporter and has vowed to bid for 2028 Summer Olympics, as a tribute to the 100th Anniversary of first Olympics in Netherlands.
As the King of Dutch land, Willem-Alexander holds huge governmental responsibilities. He holds a weekly meeting with the Prime Minister and approves any new acts passed by the parliament. Likewise, King Willem-Alexander is also responsible for swearing in any prominent government positions such as ministers and state secretaries. As president of the Council of State, he is also responsible for proposing any new legislations.
As a personal interest, Willem-Alexander likes flying aircraft and playing sports. He tends to fly every year and gain enough hours to retain a flying license. Prior to ascending the King’s throne, Willem-Alexander was involved in numerous charity activities: He was a volunteer for African Medical Research and Education Foundation. Willem-Alexander also ran 1992 New York City Marathon and joined in 1986 Frisian Elfstedentocht under the pseudonym W.A. van Buren.
Willem Alexander’s full title is “Willem-Alexander, by the Grace of God, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, etc. etc. etc.”.
Honors and Awards
- Sovereign of the Military William Order
- Sovereign and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Co-Sovereign and Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- Sovereign and Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange
- Sovereign of the Order for Loyalty and Merit
- Honorary Commander of the Order of Saint John in the Netherlands
- Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold, 2016.
- Belgium: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown, 2006
- France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
- France: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit
- Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
- Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown
Trump and Willem-Alexander
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and US President Donald Trump haven’t opened up about each other yet. Hence, it’s hard to comment on how well they might get along. However, it’s reasonable to assume that President Obama and the Dutch King got along quite well. Here’s a video: