Home » Dutch heir to throne spent year in Madrid amid safety fears, reports say

Dutch heir to throne spent year in Madrid amid safety fears, reports say

The heir to the Dutch throne, Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, spent more than a year in Spain as the Dutch royal family grappled with threats to her safety, according to media in the Netherlands.

The 20-year-old lived and studied in Madrid, royal sources told the public broadcaster NOS on Wednesday, after reports she had been mentioned in communications by organised crime groups, sparking fears she could be the target of attacks or kidnappings.

In September 2022, Amalia began studying at the University of Amsterdam, moving into shared accommodation with other students as she pursued a bachelor’s degree in politics, psychology, law and economics. Soon afterwards, the royal family said she had been forced to leave her student housing, citing concerns for her safety.

She returned to the royal palace in The Hague, venturing out of the heavily guarded residence only to attend classes, her mother said at the time. “She can’t live in Amsterdam and she can’t really go outside [the palace],” Queen Máxima said. “It has enormous consequences on her life.”

In February last year, during a visit to the Dutch island of Sint Maarten, the princess lamented the fact that her life as a student had turned out differently from what she had hoped. “I had the thought that what a student does, that I could do it too,” Amalia reportedly said. “Unfortunately, the reality was anything but that.”

At the time, Amalia was already on the radar of Spanish media, who had revelled in sightings of her near Madrid’s sprawling Retiro Park and ducking in and out of shops in the upmarket neighbourhood of Salamanca. At times she was seen in the company of her mother, who grew up in Argentina.

While NOS said this week that the threat to Amalia had not completely disappeared, it noted that she had since returned to Amsterdam after measures had been taken to ensure her safety. No further details were provided.

The Dutch royal household, which on Wednesday was preparing to host a state visit by Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, did not reply to a request for comment.

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Agence France-Presse and Reuters contributed to this article.