11 JULY 2008

With three daughters under the age of five to keep them on their toes, life in the Dutch royal household is inevitably going to be a lively affair. And this week Princess Maxima and her husband Willem-Alexander gave royal watchers a glimpse into their family fun by agreeing to an intimate photo session at their residence in Wassenaar, just north of The Hague.

Home is the Eikenhorst villa, located in the grounds of an estate which has belonged to the House of Orange since 1845. There, Amalia, who turns five in December, and her little sisters, Alexia, three, and one-year-old Ariane, have the run of the spacious lawns.

On Thursday the little ones accompanied their parents in a favourite Dutch pastime, a family cycle ride. Then Willem's energetic older daughters showed off their rudimentary ball skills by having a brief kickabout.

Photo: ©
Maxima and her husband Willem, seen here at their villa in the Netherlands, are already introducing their children to the national pastime of cyclingPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
The boundless energy of four-year-old Amalia and her sisters is clearly a source of delight for their parentsPhoto: © Rex
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