While finishing a coffee, minutes before going to the radio to do This is not Hollywood -from Monday to Friday at MR 89.5-, Paula Galloni -author of the book Máxima, the construction of a queen, together with Rodolfo Vera Calderón- confesses that If you continue to write about royalty, you would like to investigate Letizia from Spain or Margarita from Denmark. “The first because I consider that she is very different from Máxima and that attracts me and I am a super fan of Margarita: she is a very advanced woman for her generation,” he says.
-Tell me how the idea of writing a book about Máxima Zorroguieta came about
– The initial idea was Rudy (Rodolfo Vera Calderón) because he, a few years ago, wrote “My life with Cristina” -the biography of Marina Dodero (Cristina Onassis’s best friend) – for Random House and had contact with editors. They asked him about what other character he could write and Rodolfo recalled that this year, in 2021, Máxima turns 50, so he said: “this is the time to write about her” and summoned me.
– Did it take you a long time to write it?
– A little over a year: we signed a contract with the publisher in January 2020 and delivered it in February 2021.
-In other words, if they had the illusion of traveling to the Netherlands to see Máxima, they lost it very quickly: a year of a pandemic.
(Laughs) Yes! We started the investigation and, after two months, we were already isolated. The only thing we could do was a trip to Pergamino -which was very useful for clarifying some aspects related to Máxima’s bond with her parents- and all of this is in the first chapter of the book.
-Would you have liked to interview Máxima in person?
– Yes, of course … Who not? But I also think that, being a biography not authorized by her, she gave us the freedom to expose all the voices: the sources that are condescending and those that have their criticisms or have experiences that can make the character uncomfortable. In fact, a Dutch journalist (whom we interviewed as part of the investigation) bought our book and told us: “Your book is much more interesting than the one published by a Dutch journalist who had access to the royal family.”
The censorship surrounding Máxima
–In the book many family members and friends from the Máxima environment are named. Was it difficult for them to access these people?
– Accessing them was not as difficult as getting them to allow us to publish their names in the book. During this investigation we discovered that in Máxima’s life there is a lot of censorship, no matter how strong that word sounds.
– Who are the ones who censor it?
– The censorship starts with Queen Beatríz, the mother of Guillermo Alejandro. During her reign she had an unspoken agreement with the press: to preserve her children from public exposure. In fact, she agreed with journalists in her country that she posed twice a year – once in summer and once in winter – so that, in exchange for this “favor”, the photographers would not chase her in search of “domestic” images. of the royal family.
– Is it to say that there are no “unofficial” images of Prince William during his adolescence, for example?
– There are, of course. We had the opportunity to speak with Dutch journalists and they told us that these photos were made the same and that, in fact, they circulated through the newsrooms but were never published. They also told us that – contrary to what many believe – Guillermo’s youth was quite rebellious and crazy but that was never leaked and, much less, was shown.
– And that agreement is still maintained today? Is the Dutch press prohibited from publishing images of the royal family that are not authorized by the Palace?
– The agreement is maintained but already with some discomfort on the part of the press and it is logical: it is impossible to do good journalism without freedom.
A woman of flesh and blood
–What is your favorite chapter of the book?
-I have many! But, if I think about the reader, I think that the second chapter of the book is very interesting because it will allow them to meet the true Máxima, the human being, the woman of flesh and blood, who is not the same as the queen of Holland that, at times, looks like a Hollywood actress who only smiles for the photo. It is a chapter in which we tell how it was for her to leave Argentina and settle in Holland and that was never revealed until today. It is unpublished information from our book.
–Is there dating also for lovers of fashion and royal jewelry?
-Obvious! There is a chapter on the royal chest where we talk about that. And I spoil you something: the tiaras that Máxima wears are not hers. In that chapter I think that Rodolfo Vera -who is a true specialist and scholar of the royal world- excels at explaining how the subject of royal jewels works and explains -not only who owns the tiaras- but which ones he used and why he could not use others. .
–Would you like Máxima to read the book?
-Yes, I would like you to read it and like it, but we do not have the commitment to send it to you because you were not one of our interviewees. We know that there are many anecdotes – which we talk about in the book – that were never told. Secrets that have not been revealed until now so it is possible that she will be upset when everything comes to light. But hey, they are the rules of the game and you should not get angry: it is your life and it is told with great respect by our sources.
– Do you think Máxima found out that you were writing about her?
-We think so because, I insist, our sources are very close to her. How can they not anticipate that a book is being written about his life?
The latin queen
Why do you think the Dutch people love her so much?
-I have no doubts: they love her because she is Latina. They are used to another type of personality: colder, more serious and austere women. They come from queens like Guillermina, Juliana and even Beatríz (Máxima’s mother-in-law) who were distant and not very expressive. And one day, of course, Máxima arrives, which is precisely the opposite of all of them … How could they not love her?
–It even has a very different look from the previous queens, doesn’t it?
-But of course! Sometimes I hear some say: “Máxima has a very Dutch style”. It is not like this! Máxima has a bizarre style very different from that of a traditional Dutch woman: she wears many accessories – she loves tiaras and she wears them every time she has! – and I think that generates a certain fascination in the Dutch people.
–You told me that in the future you would like to write about Letizia because you consider her very different from Máxima… How do you especially notice it?
-Well, to give you a minimal example, in what we just talked about: the look. Máxima is excessive: she wears large accessories, colorful and striking clothes and Letizia, in general, is rather the opposite: a lot of black, gray, white or neutral tones. I feel that Letizia is distinguished and Máxima a bit cocoliche (laughs) but hey, this is just an appreciation of mine. For those interested in fashion, in the book you will find the testimonies of several fashion designers who dress Máxima.
–Do you usually choose Dutch designers?
In general, no and it is rare. I think that Máxima should be inclined to wear designer dresses from her country to promote them and make them famous throughout the world -as many other queens do- but I think she prefers not to go unnoticed rather than support these local entrepreneurs. Let us remember that her wedding dress was made by Valentino, that is to say that this decision comes from always.
A strict, demanding and protective mother
–Last year the Dutch royal family made a trip to Greece that was not authorized (due to the pandemic) and it was highly criticized by people … Do you consider that it may have lost some popularity after that incident?
-From now on: those holidays generated a great discomfort and it seems to me absolutely logical. And not only that: Máxima is the queen who wins the most in Europe, much more than Letizia, for example. The Dutch began to become aware of what it costs to support the royal family and, at a time of global economic crisis, this detail was no longer minor. Despite all this information, my feeling is that it is precisely Máxima who manages to keep the popularity of the royal family afloat.
–Do you think her daughters will be as loved as she is?
-I believe that December 7, 2021 will be a key date to find out: Amalia turns 18 and begins to participate in the real agenda. The people will be able to meet her and she has the perfect mix: she was born in Holland but has Latin blood. My feeling is that they are going to adore her.
–And how do you think Máxima is like mom?
I think she is a very demanding mother, who sets limits and, at the same time, is super protective. In fact, I think she aligned herself with her mother-in-law’s decision not to allow the press to invade them as a family or learn details of their privacy. If you think about it, we hardly know the voices of Máxima’s daughters: they have rarely spoken in public. In fact, the time when one has the most opportunity to see her interact a little with her daughters is April 27, the day the king has his birthday and poses for the press with the family.
–Do you think she is in love with Guillermo?
-Totally. It is a real couple, with all the letters. In fact, we were able to speak with journalists who have shared trips with them and they say that the two have a lot of character and do not hesitate to argue in public, like any “normal” couple. I would say that it is a family that – if it were not part of royalty – would be the same as any other that one has next to his house.
–Do you think that any woman can become queen or do you think that Máxima had the necessary qualities to be one?
– I believe that any woman can become queen but I am not convinced that all manage to resist it. Being part of royalty has a dark side and difficult to tolerate and the closest example is Meghan Markle. Despite being a Hollywood star, accustomed to public exposure, she preferred to get away from the pressure and the “should be” that royalty forces you to do. I don’t know if I would say that Máxima had the qualities to be a queen, but she did have the desire to belong to that world and she managed to make each piece fit – even those that were a bit out of the mold – until she put together the perfect real puzzle.
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