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King Felipe of Spain's incredible gift to Princess Amalia revealed ahead of her state banquet debut

The future Dutch queen is taking part in her first ever state visit on Wednesday


Princess Amalia of the Netherlands attend the gala diner to celebrate the 18th birthday of Prince Christian at Christiansborg Palace
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
16 April 2024
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King Felipe of Spain has awarded Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands a very prestigious honour – the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic. 

The Spanish civil order is given to people for their services to Spain, or for their promotion of international relations and cooperation with other nations.

A state bulletin dated from last week showed Felipe's wish to grant the honour to Amalia, as she is more commonly known, as a sign of his appreciation for the 20-year-old princess.

Princess Catharina-Amalia in blue dress and sapphire tiara© Patrick van Katwijk
Princess Amalia is taking part in her first state visit this week

The granting of the order comes as Felipe and his wife Queen Letizia are set to visit the Netherlands on Wednesday for a two-day state visit, which Amalia will take part in with her parents King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. The Princess of Orange will also make her debut at the state banquet on Wednesday night at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

The Spanish and the Dutch royals have always been on good terms, with Willem-Alexander and Maxima's three daughters Princesses Amalia, Alexia, and Ariane all growing up bilingual speaking their Argentinian mother's native tongue, Spanish.

The state visit and state banquet will be a big moment for Amalia, particularly as she will one day be the queen of the Netherlands. 

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands with King Felipe of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain at The Noordeinde Palace on October 15, 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands© Getty
The Dutch royals and the Spanish royals enjoy a close relationship

"It's her first state visit so it is a big milestone," Dutch royal journalist, Annemarie de Kunder, of RTL Boulevard told HELLO!. "And we weren't expecting her to attend. 

"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."

Amalia is currently studying politics, psychology, law, and economics at the University of Amsterdam and it sounds like her degree is her priority for now.

"Maxima and Willem-Alexander don't push her to do things," Annemarie said. "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."

Princess Catharina-Amalia during Christmas photoshoot© Getty
Princess Amalia is studying at the University of Amsterdam

Earlier this year, the princess moved back to Amsterdam. She had started her university life living in student accommodation in autumn 2022, however, after she became the victim of kidnap threats and her safety became a major security risk, she moved back home to her parents' residence in The Hague, the Huis Ten Bosch palace.

To read more about Amalia's terrifying experience of receiving kidnap and death threats, read our exclusive interview on the HELLO! Royal Club here

LISTEN: What Scoop's Sam McAlister really told Prince Andrew that convinced him to do Newsnight interview

Amalia would only leave the house to travel to lectures, about an hour's drive away, effectively limiting her exposure to a normal student experience.

"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," Annemarie said. "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 and she couldn't go out with other students. 

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

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