Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands

Princess Laurentien
Spouse Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands
Issue
Countess Eloise
Count Claus-Casimir
Countess Leonore
Full name
Petra Laurentien
House House of Orange-Nassau
Father Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst
Mother Jantien Brinkhorst-Heringa
Born 25 May 1966 (1966-05-25) (age 43)
Leiden

Dutch Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg

HM the Queen *

Styles of
Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
NL - COA.png
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (née Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst; born 25 May 1966 in Leiden, Netherlands) is the wife of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, the third son of Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Jonkheer van Amsberg.

Early life

Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst was born in Leiden on 25 May 1966, the daughter of the former Dutch minister of Economic Affairs, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and Jantien Brinkhorst-Heringa. She has one brother. She is known by her middle name, Laurentien, a portmanteau of her parents' given names.

Princess Laurentien started primary school in Groningen. Her family then moved to The Hague, where she completed her primary education. She spent four years at the Christelijk Gymnasium Sorghvliet, and a year at the Eerste Vrijzinnige Christelijk Lyceum, both in The Hague. In 1984, she passed the Baccalauréat A examinations at the Lycée français in Tokyo. Her father was working in Japan at the time, being the Permanent Envoy of the European Union.

Princess Laurentien studied History at Groningen University were she received her propedeuse in 1986. After this she studied at the University of London were she received her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science in 1989 and subsequently at the University of California, Berkeley where she obtained her Master of Journalism (MJ) degree in 1991.

Marriage and children

The engagement of Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhorst was announced on 16 December 2000. The civil marriage was conducted by the mayor of The Hague, Wim Deetman, in the Oude Raadzaal, Javastraat, The Hague, on 17 May 2001. The church wedding took place two days later on 19 May in the Grote of St Jacobskerk, with Reverend Carel ter Linden officiating.

Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien have three children:

Issue

Name Birth Birthplace
Countess Eloise of Orange-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg 8 June 2002 The Hague
Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg 21 March 2004 The Hague
Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau, Jonkvrouwe van Amsberg 3 June 2006 The Hague


Her niece, Princess Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien of the Netherlands, second daughter of the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, received Laurentien as her fourth given name.

She is also the godmother of Leah Isadora Behn, the daughter of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway.

Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien and their children live in Brussels.

Style, titles and names

  • Miss Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst (1966 - 2001)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Petra Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. Van Amsberg (since 17 May 2001)

Since her marriage, Laurentien has held the courtesy titles of Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau. Princess Laurentien was not created a princess by law, but holds courtesy titles through her marriage, as custom allows a wife to use her husband’s titles. All children of the marriage hold the titles Count or Countess of Orange-Nassau and Jonkheer or Jonkvrouw van Amsberg.

By Royal Decree of 15 January 2003, nr. 36, Princess Laurentien was granted her own personal standard.

Work as Princess of the Netherlands

Princess Laurentien has a long record of fighting against illiteracy in the Netherlands, which is now to be considered an underestimated problem. Recently, in 2009, she was designated UNESCO Special Envoy on "Literacy for Development" in recognition of her “outstanding commitment to the promotion of education and her profound dedication to the Organization’s ideals and objectives”.

Official duties:

  • Spokesperson for "Scouts for Climate" for the World Organization of the Scout Movement's initiative up to COP15 in Copenhagen.
  • Vice-President of Fauna & Flora International.
  • Chair of the European Cultural Foundation.
  • Chair of the Dutch Reading and Writing Foundation (Stichting Lezen & Schrijven)
  • Honorary chair of the Dutch Association of Public Libraries (Vereniging van Openbare Bibliotheken)
  • Patron of the Dutch language society Genootschap Onze Taal
  • Patron of the Netherlands Listening and Braille Library (Nederlandse Luister- en Braillebibliotheek)
  • UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development.

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