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The terrifying ordeals young Princess Amalia has endured – from death threats to being a victim of crime gangs

The future Queen of the Netherlands has been through a lot aged 20

Princess Catharina-Amalia in a purple dress and sash
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
12 April 2024
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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands' eldest daughter Princess Catharina-Amalia will return to the spotlight next week when she will carry out an exciting milestone.

Amalia, as she is more commonly known, will take part in her first state visit when her parents welcome King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain to the Netherlands between 17 and 18 April.

Royal watchers are expecting the Princess of Orange to pull out another showstopping tiara for the state banquet, a white-tie affair, at the Royal Palace Amsterdam on Wednesday.

Princess Catharina-Amalia waving from balcony© Getty
Princess Amalia of the Netherlands is due to take part in her first state visit next week

As the future Queen of the Netherlands, Amalia has become accustomed to royal life and is being prepared for her future role by her parents – carrying out her first tour abroad in January 2023 when she accompanied them to the Dutch Caribbean islands for ten days.

But at the tender age of 20, the young Princess has already had to endure some terrifying ordeals that sometimes unfortunately come with a life in the public eye. 

She was forced to quit her university accommodation just weeks after starting at the University of Amsterdam in 2022 when it became clear that her safety was a major security risk.

Keep reading to see what Amalia had to go through…

Princess Catharina-Amalia during Christmas photoshoot© Getty
The Princess had to leave university accommodation just weeks after starting due to security risks

The Princess' security risks at university 

Amalia is in her second year studying politics, psychology, law, and economics at the University of Amsterdam. She began her course in autumn 2022, but shortly after beginning her university life, the Princess was forced to move back home to her parents' house in The Hague, about an hour's drive away, after Dutch security personnel became concerned that Amalia had become the target of a kidnap attempt by an organised criminal gang.

"I think it has had a very big impact on her," Annemarie de Kunder, Dutch royal journalist at RTL Boulevard, told HELLO!. "It was looking like she was going to live in Amsterdam, she was going to study as normal, she had started going out to parties. 

"So everyone thought she was going to have a normal life, but then in a split second, everything changed and she had to live with her parents again, she couldn't attend classes, she couldn't go out with other students. 

"It took an enormous toll on her and the whole family. And we know that she talks to her family, her father and her mother, but that she also has professional help when she needs it, when it becomes too much for her."

Princess Catharina-Amalia wearing black suit in birthday portrait© Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk
Amalia has faced a number of security threats in recent years

Threats on Instagram

This wasn't the first time Amalia had been the victim of a major security threat.

In January 2020, when she was just 17, the Princess was sent messages on Instagram of a "violent, sexual and frightening nature" from a man and resident of Zwolle city named as Wouter G. in court. According to the prosecutor, he threated to rape the Princess and kill one of her friends and told her he would find her on King's Day and that there would be "no escape". He also claimed he was saving up to buy a gun.

The man, a paranoid schizophrenic, was arrested and detained in a psychiatric unit. He was sentenced to three months in prison and mandatory treatment of up to four years.

Queen Maxima, Princess Amalia and King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands during their tour of the Dutch Caribbean Islands in January 2023© Getty
Queen Maxima, Princess Amalia and King Willem-Alexander during their tour of the Dutch Caribbean Islands in January 2023

What Amalia has said about the security threats

After having to move back home to her parents' house in late 2022, Amalia joined her parents on her first tour abroad, travelling to the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

It was during this trip that the Princess, then 19, bravely spoke about her ordeal, saying: "I miss the normal life, the life of a student. Walking the streets, being able to go to a store. 

She said she was pleased to have a little bit of freedom on her first official tour, adding: "I can assure you, I really enjoyed it and am very grateful... I really want to express my gratitude for all the support from both friends and family, but also from all parts of the Netherlands and therefore also the Caribbean."

Queen Maxima's support for her daughter 

Queen Maxima has also openly shared her sympathy for her daughter, telling Dutch news outlet AD: "It has huge consequences for her life. It means she doesn't live in Amsterdam and also that she can't really go outside.

“The consequences are very difficult for her. No student life for her, like other students have. I'm very proud of her and how she keeps it all going. It makes me a bit emotional. It's not nice to see your child live like that. She can go to university, but that's it."

Maxima revealed that her daughter's normal university experience had been cut short and that she rarely left the house, apart from to travel from her home Huis ten Bosch Palace to university lectures.

Amalia's uncle Prince Constantijn has also spoken out about the Princess's "very restrictive" existence, saying: "If you are a young woman, you want to be able to live freely during your student days and that is not granted to her."

Queen Maxima wearing orange dress and wearing large hat© Getty
Queen Maxima has said of her daughter: 'I'm very proud of her and how she keeps it all going. It makes me a bit emotional'

The Princess' death threat

After completing her first year of university, Amalia once again faced more distress after it emerged that police had arrested a man from Amsterdam, named as Mohamad E, months prior. He was suspected of preparing to abduct and murder the Princess.

Returning to normalcy

Thankfully, it looks like life is getting better for Amalia. After spending nearly a year and a half at her parents' home, she moved back to Amsterdam in February 2024 to live in student accommodation. Locals have noticed increased security presence in the area, with a new security camera installed and protection officers regularly seen.

"Before the threats, she could afford to be more spontaneous," journalist Annemarie told HELLO! "She would sometimes pop up at an event unexpectedly and I don't think she can do that anymore.

"But I think she has been given a bit more space now. Of course, she always has a security detail with her and there will always be security checks wherever she goes, but she has a bit more space."

"I don't know if the threats have reduced," she added. "But I think we can assume that because she's back living in Amsterdam."

Princess Catharina-Amalia will attend a pre-coronation reception at Buckingham Palace© Getty
"Maxima and Willem-Alexander don't push Amalia to do things," said Annemarie de Kunder

Amalia's future as a Queen

Before she started university, her father Willem-Alexander stressed that he and his wife Maxima wanted their daughter to focus on her studies before thinking about the responsibilities that come with her future royal role, such as state visits and tours abroad.

During a state visit to Austria in 2022, the king previously said: "She will live in Amsterdam after the summer and will study there. If she feels at home there, then she can think about something else. But now the focus is first on her studies."

Her mother Maxima also said: "She sees a lot of us, we also discuss a lot at home. She also sees a lot on television. We talk about such a tour with all openness. But for now, she really needs to focus on her studies."

Princess Amalia of the Netherlands attend the gala diner to celebrate the 18th birthday of Prince Christian at Christiansborg Palace© Getty
The Princess is due another tiara moment at next week's state banquet

But the ever-diligent Amalia had clearly expressed an interest in learning more about what her future will entail and went on to undertake her first royal tour just months later in January 2023, joining her parents in the Caribbean.

Her upcoming state visit next week is also another big royal milestone for the 20-year-old.

"We weren't actually expecting her to attend," Annemarie revealed. "But Felipe and Letizia are good friends with Willem-Alexander and Maxima. Amalia also speaks Spanish, so this is a good one to ease her into. 

"It's a fairly casual way of introducing her to a state visit, to see how everything works, what the protocol is, and I think this is a very good one for her to start with, because she's going to be attending these for the rest of her life."

"Maxima and Willem-Alexander don't push Amalia to do things," she added. "They let her do things in her own time and space, so when you see her at events like the upcoming state visit or the Jordanian royal wedding last year, it's because she wants to be there. Those are things that she likes doing."


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