8 DECEMBER 2003
The Dutch royal family has reason to celebrate today after Crown Princess Maxima gave birth to a baby girl. Princess Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria, who is second in line to the Dutch throne, was delivered without complications on Sunday afternoon.
"Maxima and I are proud and happy to announce the birth of a healthy baby girl," said a clearly-delighted Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. "Although many babies are born each day, we believe this is the most beautiful baby in the world."
The proud father presented his 7lb 4oz daughter at a news conference which was broadcast live. And a huge cheer greeted Queen Beatrix when she arrived to visit her new grandchild. She was accompanied to Bronovo Hospital in The Hague by her son Prince Johan Friso and his fiancée Mabel Wisse Smit.
Celebrations have been staged all around the country to mark the arrival of the baby, who will one day become Queen. And royal guards fired a volley of 101 cannon shots to announce the birth of the infant.
In the Netherlands, boys and girls have equal rights to accession. And the infant already has her own coat of arms, featuring a shield divided into four blue and beige panels.