Royalty and statesmen




Maxima and her husband travelled to Frankfurt to support their respective teams in the World Cup. Willem-Alexander listens diplomatically as the Argentine-born princess gives her views on the action
Photo: © AFP
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The royals meet up with Maradona for an animated conversation about the finer points of the match. Maxima presented her compatriot with a shirt in the Dutch colours
Photo: © AFP


22 JUNE 2006

Like most other Argentines Princess Maxima was eager to catch her national team's game at the World Cup on Wednesday. Unlike her countrymen, however, the royal faced divided loyalties as the Latin American dream team battled it out against the Netherlands, the land she adopted on her marriage to Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in 2002.

At the stadium in the German city of Frankfurt Maxima was excused from sporting Dutch colours and tactfully refrained from turning out with any hint of Argentine blue in her outfit. Willem-Alexander had no such qualms, wearing a tie in the traditional orange hue of the Netherlands, and a football scarf over his suit.

In the princess' native country football is regarded as more important than life itself, so competitive passions between the normally loved-up duo may have been running a little high.

At half-time she introduced her husband to someone who knows a thing or two about the beautiful game - footballing legend Maradona. The player of Argentina's glory years grasped Willem-Alexander's hand in a warm salute, before engaging him in a spirited discussion about the likely outcome of the match.

Luckily for the sake of peace in the marital home the 90-minute thriller ended in a 0-0 draw. Argentina go through comfortably to the knockout stages of the tournament, where they meet Mexico, while the Netherlands are due to come up against Portugal.

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