The Hague, August 16: Princess Christina, youngest sister of Beatrix who ruled the Netherlands till her abdication in 2013, died Friday aged 72 after suffering from bone cancer, the royal family announced. Born nearly blind in 1947, Maria Christina, princess of Orange-Nassau, was the fourth daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard. "We are saddened at the death of our dear sister and aunt," the royal family said in a tweet.
"Christina had a striking personality and a big heart," said King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and princess Beatrix. "We cherish the many wonderful memories of her," the message said. She developed a love of music and song, and a life outside the royal court.
Christina married exiled Cuban teacher Jorge Guillermo in 1975, renouncing her succession rights. They had three children before divorcing in 1996. Prime Minister Mark Rutte remembered the princess as a "warm personality" and voiced his sadness in a statement. Christina will be cremated privately, the Royal House said.