Royalty and statesmen

Queen Beatrix arrives for the christening ceremony at the former royal residence in Apeldoorn with her granddaughters, Princess Amalia and Princess Alexia
Photo: Rex
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At the centre of attention was Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette's younger son Benjamin. The couple also have a daughter, Isabella, and elder son Samuel
Photo: Rex

Queen Beatrix and Maxima lead royal guests at family christening

While Prince Bernhard van Vollenhoven and his wife Princess Annette don't rank among Europe's highest profile royals, their family connections are another matter. So when the couple christened their seven-month-old son Benjamin at the weekend, the guest list featured some familiar faces, including Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who is Bernhard's aunt, and his cousin through marriage, Princess Maxima.

Maxima's daughters - Amalia, four, three-year-old Alexia and Ariane, one - had a chance at the ceremony to get reacqainted with their cousins, the three young children of Beatrix's third son, Prince Constantijn and his wife Laurentien.

Also joining the gathering at the former royal residence of Het Loo was Prince Bernhard's older brother Prince Maurits and his family. The siblings - whose mum is Queen Beatrix's Canada-born younger sister Princess Margriet- were also reunited with their youngest brother Prince Floris.

Eleventh in line to the Dutch throne and a self-employed entrepreneur, Prince Bernhard - who is also dad to Isabella, six, and four-year-old Samuel - lives with his young family in Amsterdam.

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