While King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands had to undertake his Baltic state visits without Queen Maxima, his wife was not far from his mind. The royal mom-of-three was due to accompany her husband to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this month, however pulled out after her younger sister Inés Zorreguieta committed suicide in Argentina. The palace noted in the state visits' programs: "Following the death of her sister Inés Zorreguieta, Queen Máxima will not be accompanying King Willem-Alexander on the state visits to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania."
VIEW GALLERY The royal couple (pictured in 2012) attended Inés' funeral in South America before the King's state trips Photo: YORICK JANSENS/AFP/Getty Images
“Of course, it’s a shame when your buddy isn’t here but she has good reason not be here. I am constantly in touch with her and with the children as well, because they were are home alone,” the Dutch King said (via Royal Central). “They have support, of course, but I wanted to be sure that they wouldn’t fall into a black hole after visiting Buenos Aires.”
Maxima, 47, along with her husband, 51, and their three daughters — Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, 14, Princess Ariane, 11, and Princess Alexia, 12 — traveled to Argentina for the funeral earlier this month. The Queen’s sister was found at her home in Buenos Aires on June 6. A palace spokesperson said Her Majesty was "deeply shocked and devastated" to learn of her sister's tragic death.
VIEW GALLERY Queen Maxima's sister committed suicide in Buenos Aires Photo: Getty Images
Prior to kicking off his state visits on June 11, the King made an emotional statement about the death of his sister-in-law, noting that his family was grateful for the sympathy they received. "The death has been a big shock to us and has very much taken us in," the King said in Dutch (via NOS). "Inés was unique and deeply dear to us, so the grief is great." He also added that while Maxima would not be coming along on the trip, he said, “My wife will be there in my mind and I will join her.”