Saturday 17 November 2018

Holland's Queen Maxima issues rare statement after her sister's suicide: 'Our only comfort is that she has now at last found peace'

Dutch Queen Maxima gives a statement about her sister Ines Zorregu during a work visit in Groningen, The Netherlands, on June 19, 2018
Dutch Queen Maxima gives a statement about her sister Ines Zorregu during a work visit in Groningen, The Netherlands, on June 19, 2018
Dutch Queen Maxima addresses the media during a working visit to the Proton Therapy Center (Protonentherapiecentrum) in Groningen on June 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Robin van Lonkhuijsen / Netherlands OUTROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Dutch Queen Maxima (2L) stand during a work visit to Protonentherapiecentrum in Groningen, on June 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Robin van Lonkhuijsen / Netherlands OUTROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Dutch Queen Maxima leaves after giving a statement about her sister Ines Zorregu during a work visit in Groningen, The Netherlands, on June 19, 2018
This photo relesead by Telam on June 07, 2018, shows Ines Zorreguieta, the youngest sister of Argentine-born Maxima Zorreguieta, now queen of the Netherlands, attending the baptism of Princess Ariane on October 20, 2007 in The Hague, Netherlands.
King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands during the official picture at the state banquet in the Grand Ducal Palace on May 23, 2018 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg. The Dutch King and Queen are in Luxembourg for a three day state visit. (Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)
King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands are welcomed by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg with an official welcome ceremony on May 23, 2018 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg. The King And Queen Of The Netherlands are in Luxembourg on a three day state visit. (Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)
King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands attend the liberation day concert on the Amstel on May 05, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands made a tearful statement in her first royal appearance since her sister's death.

Maxima (47) is originally from Argentina, before moving to The Netherlands in 2002 to marry King Willem-Alexander. He joined her as she returned to Buenos Aires earlier this month after she learning the news of her sister Inés Zorreguieta's suicide.

This photo relesead by Telam on June 07, 2018, shows Ines Zorreguieta, the youngest sister of Argentine-born Maxima Zorreguieta, now queen of the Netherlands, attending the baptism of Princess Ariane on October 20, 2007 in The Hague, Netherlands.
This photo relesead by Telam on June 07, 2018, shows Ines Zorreguieta, the youngest sister of Argentine-born Maxima Zorreguieta, now queen of the Netherlands, attending the baptism of Princess Ariane on October 20, 2007 in The Hague, Netherlands.

During her return to royal duties on Tuesday, she made a tearful statement to press, saying: "Today is my first day back at work after a difficult time.

And actually, I’m happy that I could pay this visit to the Proton Therapy Center in Groningen, because this place means so much to people with cancer." People who are sick, yet who hope for a cure. My dear, gifted little sister Inés was sick too. She could find no joy, and she could not be cured."

"Our only comfort is that she has now at last found peace."

She went to thank members of the public for their support over the last two weeks as she took a break

Dutch Queen Maxima addresses the media during a working visit to the Proton Therapy Center (Protonentherapiecentrum) in Groningen on June 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Robin van Lonkhuijsen / Netherlands OUTROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Dutch Queen Maxima addresses the media during a working visit to the Proton Therapy Center (Protonentherapiecentrum) in Groningen on June 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Robin van Lonkhuijsen / Netherlands OUTROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images

"I would like to say how very grateful we are for the countless letters, messages and tokens of sympathy that we have received," she said.

"They have really helped us. I’d also like to say thank you for the respect that everyone has shown my family in this very dark period. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Inés was godmother to Maxima's 11-year-old daughter Ariane and was a bridesmaid in her wedding.

After news of her death was reported, a spokesperson for the palace issued a statement saying the queen is "shocked and devastated".

Dutch Queen Maxima leaves after giving a statement about her sister Ines Zorregu during a work visit in Groningen, The Netherlands, on June 19, 2018
Dutch Queen Maxima leaves after giving a statement about her sister Ines Zorregu during a work visit in Groningen, The Netherlands, on June 19, 2018

Argentinian Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie issued condolences, saying: "It is a great sorrow to lose a sister, especially a very beloved sister".

Her father, Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta, died last year in Buenos Aires aged 89 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

  • If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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