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