June 7 (UPI) — Inés Zorreguieta, the younger sister of Dutch Queen Maxima and a psychologist working for the Argentinian government, died Thursday, officials in the Netherlands announced. She was 33.
Zorreguieta was found dead in her apartment in Buenos Aires. A Dutch official told NOS TV it appeared that Zorreguieta killed herself.
“The sudden death of Queen Maxima’s sister comes as a big shock. It is intensely sad and heartbreaking news that can hardly be comprehended for those who stay behind,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
“With our hearts and our thoughts we are with the queen and her family. I wish them all the strength necessary to carry this horrible loss together. And I trust that they will get the peace and space for that.”
The Dutch royal family did not immediately issue a statement, though Queen Maxima’s scheduled state visits to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania next week were canceled.
Dutch state-run news agency RVD said the queen was “very shocked and very upset by the news.”
The queen and her sister are native Argentinians. Zorreguieta worked as a civil servant in Buenos Aires and was a guitarist.
She was a bridesmaid for her sister’s 2002 marriage to then-Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, and goddaughter for the couple’s youngest daughter, 11-year-old Princess Ariane.