11 DECEMBER 2007

Taking a child on their first day of school is an emotional event for any parent. So it was no surprise to see Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands showering her eldest daughter Princess Amalia with kisses and hugs as she prepared to leave her at the Bloekamp school near their home in Wassenaar, an affluent suburb of The Hague. Amalia's father Crown Prince Willem-Alexander also made sure their little girl had a proper send-off, giving her an encouraging hug.

As for the royal four-year-old, who celebrated her birthday last Friday, she seemed to be taking it all in her stride – smiling broadly as reporters captured the moment.

Like her grandmother Queen Beatrix before her, Amalia is attending an ordinary pre school. The monarch was the first in her family to attend a regular school after her own mother decided she shouldn't miss out on all the fun of growing up and making friends like everyone else.

Amalia, who already speaks Dutch, Spanish and a little English, is joining class 1B, where the motto is 'be nice to everyone and they will be nice to you'. She will be joining her sisters Alexia, two, eight-month-old Ariane and her parents for the Christmas holidays in Maxima's native Argentina.

Photo: ©
The princess, who is second in line to the Dutch throne, was enveloped in a loving hug by her proud mum as she prepared to start her first day at schoolPhoto: © AFPClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander also gave his eldest daughter a comforting squeezePhoto: © AFP
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