Queen Maxima's younger sister Inés Zorreguieta was found dead in Buenos Aires from an apparent suicide at age 33
Inés grew up in Argentina as the youngest of four children. She and Maxima have two brothers, Juan Zorreguieta Cerruti and Martín Zorreguieta Cerruti and three half-sisters from their dad’s first marriage: Dolores Zorreguieta López, María Zorreguieta López and Ángeles Zorreguieta López. As a teenager, Inés loved music and studied singing and guitar at the Escuela de Música Contemporánea, reports El Mundo.
Inés graduated high school in 2002, the same year she served as a bridesmaid in her sister’s wedding to King Willem-Alexander, then a prince. Their father, Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta — who worked as the Secretary of Agriculture the during the dictatorship of President Jorge Rafael Videla — was not permitted by Parliament to attend the nuptials due to his involvement with Argentina’s Dirty War, which saw the disappearance and murder of thousands of Argentinians. Maxima and Inés’ mom María del Carmen Cerruti Carricar didn’t attend the nuptials either in support of her husband.
While Maxima went on to become Queen of the Netherlands, Inés stayed in Buenos Aires and studied psychology at the University of Belgrano. When Maxima welcomed her youngest daughter, Princess Ariane, in 2007, she named Inés as Ariane’s godmother. Their dad was allowed to attend the christenings of all three of Maxima’s daughters, since they’re considered private family affairs and therefore are not subject to government approval.
The queen’s sister took a job at the United Nations in Panama from 2009-2011, according to La Nacion, but returned to Argentina in 2012 when her marriage to a fellow Argentinian she met in college ended. Also at that time, international media started to report that Inés was receiving treatment for depression and an eating disorder at a clinic in Almagro.
She never lost her passion for music though, reportedly taking the stage at the New Voices Festival in 2014. She was captured performing as recently as January 2017, when a Twitter user shared a video of Inés singing Amy Winehouse‘s “Take the Box.”
Inés was involved with controversy when she took her latest job in 2016 as the director of the Office and Desk of the General Directorate of Administration of the Executive Secretariat of the National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies of the Presidency of the Nation. Outcry stemmed from the basis that she lacked the proper training and experience to be involved with coordinating the social policy of President Mauricio Macri Macri. The government came to her defense, according to the Santiago Times, saying that “a high exception” had been made for Inés’ employment.
She remained close with Maxima, 47, and the two came together last summer to attend the August funeral of their father, who died from cancer at age 89. Maxima had gone undercover to visit her sick dad in 2014, taking a commercial flight Buenos Aries, where he was being treated.
Maxima will return to her homeland once more to attend her sister’s funeral. The royal mom has canceled all of her upcoming scheduled appearances and is believed to be making plans to travel from Holland to Buenos Aires.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).