queen maxima crying at royal engagement

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands wipes away tears at royal engagement

The Dutch queen couldn't hold back her emotion

Ainhoa Barcelona

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands was overcome with emotion as she carried out an engagement with her husband King Willem-Alexander last week. The mother-of-three was attending the presentation of the Militairy Willems-Orde to Major-flyer Roy de Ruiter in The Hague, and seemed unable to hold back her tears. The Dutch queen was pictured wiping her eyes and later putting on her sunglasses.

Her husband Willem-Alexander gave a speech at the event, praising 37-year-old Roy for his service to the national army. The helicopter pilot was deployed to Afghanistan twice in 2004, and again in 2006, 2007 and 2008. His last deployment was in 2009. Roy, who is married with two children, was recognised for his heroic actions in Afghanistan.

The Dutch queen couldn't hold back her tears

Friday's event marked a return to royal duties for Willem-Alexander, 51, and Máxima, 47, who looked typically stylish in a pink dress and matching hat. The couple kicked off their summer holiday in mid-July, posing for their annual photoshoot at home with their three daughters Princess Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane.

MORE: Phillip Schofield causes controversy with baby comment

Major-flyer Roy de Ruiter was recognised for his heroic actions in Afghanistan

Next month is particularly exciting for the royal couple; they are due to visit the UK on an official state visit from 23 to 24 October. Máxima and Willem-Alexander will be guests of the Queen, and while details of their trip are still being finalised, they are likely to attend a state banquet held in their honour at Buckingham Palace. Royal watchers are hoping that the Duchess of Cambridge, who is on maternity leave until the autumn, will make a rare official appearance – and sport one of her dazzling tiaras.

MORE: Why this week will be very emotional for Duchess Kate

Maxima's sister sadly passes away:

Loading the player...

Earlier this year, Máxima sadly lost her younger sister Ines Zorreguieta. Government worker Ines took her own life in June and was found at her home in Buenos Aires; she was the godmother to Máxima's youngest daughter, Ariane. The royal family flew back to Máxima's native Argentina for the funeral. The Dutch queen temporarily stepped away from the limelight, but returned to royal duties two weeks after her sister's death.

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.

More on: