Dutch Princess Christina, sister of former queen, dies at 72

Undated handout photo of Dutch Princess Christina. The Dutch Royal House said Friday Aug. 16, 2019 that Princess Christina, the youngest sister of former Dutch Queen Beatrix, has died at age 72 after a battle with bone cancer. (Emanuela Loddo via AP)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Princess Christina, the youngest sister of former Queen Beatrix, died Friday after a battle with bone cancer. She was 72.

Christina, the youngest of four daughters of the late Queen Juliana and her German-born husband Prince Bernhard, died at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, according to the Dutch Royal House.

In a tweet, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Beatrix described Christina as “a striking personality with a warm heart.”

Publicity-shy Christina and her former husband Jorge Guillermo, the son of a Cuban doctor, had three children, Bernardo, Nicolás and Juliana. The couple divorced in 1996.

The marriage removed Christina from the line of succession to the Dutch throne and allowed her to live outside the royal court. During her life, she lived in countries including Italy, the United States and Canada.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said by relinquishing her right to the throne, Christina “created room for herself to lead her own life. A life dominated by family, her great love of music and development of young singing talent.”

Christina was born partially blind and her mother’s decision to seek help from a faith healer, Greet Hofmans, led to a royal crisis in the 1950s.

Hofmans reportedly exerted increasing influence over Queen Juliana to the annoyance of Prince Bernhard, leading to rumors of a possible divorce. The royal couple, however, remained married.

Christina’s remains will be taken to Fagel’s Garden Pavilion on the grounds of Noordeinde Palace, where friends and family will pay their last respects before a private cremation.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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