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Queen Máxima's ill father makes first public appearance since leaving hospital

24 November 2014
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The father of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Jorge Zorreguieta, has been pictured for the first time in public since leaving hospital. The Argentinean politician was reportedly being treated for leukaemia at the Fundaleu clinic, but was discharged last week to recover at home. Shortly after, Jorge was seen out and about in Buenos Aires, enjoying a day out with his wife María del Carmen Cerruti and their children. Despite Jorge's poor health, the 86-year-old seemed in high spirits as he sat in a wheelchair and was guided around by his son Juan. Jorge was later pictured strolling around with the help of a walking stick.

jorge close up © Photo: Rex

Queen Máxima's father Jorge Zorreguieta left hospital last week

One notable absentee from the family reunion was Queen Máxima. The Dutch royal had recently visited her ailing father but flown back to the Netherlands to carry out her royal duties. Máxima was in her home country for less than 36 hours and travelled incognito on a commercial flight, accompanied by two bodyguards. She visited her dad in hospital for a brief few hours. Last week Jorge's family confirmed that he was "fine and stable" and ready to go home.

jorge1 © Photo: Rex

Jorge Zorreguieta, 86, was being looked after by his son Juan

Máxima's fleeting visit will have struck a chord with the elderly politician, as the pair do not see each other often, living on opposite sides of the world. Jorge was also not allowed to attend his daughter's wedding to King Willem-Alexander in 2002, due to his connections to former Argentine president and dictator Rafael Videla. Jorge had served as Minister of Agriculture under the oppressive regime for two years.

queen maxima1 © Photo: Rex

Queen Máxima recently flew to Argentina to visit her dad in hospital

Máxima and Willem-Alexander were granted permission to marry by the Parliament, as it was deemed that the queen had herself done nothing wrong. The government's approval was necessary for the king to stay in line to the Dutch throne. When the royal couple ascended the throne in April 2013, Jorge was once again not allowed to attend the investiture.

However he and his wife were allowed to fly over for the christening of their granddaughters, princesses Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, as baptisms are considered a private matter and not a state one.

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