Dutch Queen Méxima on Balancing Royal Life, Kids and Her UN Job: I Work When the Kids Are in Bed
Queen M xima of the Netherlands divides her time between her royal duties and working for the United Nations
Queen M xima knows the juggling act of motherhood and a full-time job.
The 44-year-old wife of King Willem-Alexander balances her royal duties between raising her three children – Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia Princess Ariana as well as Princess Beatrix – and working for the United Nations as Secretary General s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (or as it’s more simply known, UNSGSA).
“It’s more than a full time job,” she told the Dutch magazine Elsevier of her UN appointment, which she’s held since 2009. “But I have my duties in the Netherlands and I am also mommy to my girls. ”
Those Dutch royal duties included visiting a hidden Catholic church on Tuesday in Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light district – all while mysteriously wearing a single glove.
“I hold telephone meetings when the children have gone to bed. And I give speeches via video links so I don’t have to fly,” M xima said of her work-life balance.
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But sometimes flying unavoidable – she’s set to travel from Europe to New York City where she’s due to deliver her annual report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday.
“Still, I try to visit as many countries as possible,” she added.
Her UN role is all about encouraging access for people in developing nations to get the legitimate financial benefits that will help them prosper and thrive, she said.
“I advocate improving financial services so that individuals and businesses can get reasonable cost savings, loans and insurance,” said the queen, who campaigns for fair bank charges and financial autonomy through technology.
The rise of the smartphone helps women’s independence and prosperity, she said, because it enables mobile payments.
“But there’s still a persistent gap between men and women,” the royal said. “Women are less likely to have a cell phone, and if they do it’s probably of lesser quality.”
That, M xima said, can restrict their ability to use their phones for banking.
The royal said many in developing economies still encounter obstacles, like the necessity for an ID to open a checking account.
“In many countries many of these people may not even know when they were born,” she said.
M xima, who holds a degree in economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, also called herself a “real data-freak” while holding a press conference to promote a new book for the UN, The Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion 2015 which looks at 41 country-level indicators of financial inclusion.
“Measuring is knowing,” she added.
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