Princess Laurentien

Princess Laurentien is married to Prince Constantijn. The couple have three children, Eloise, Claus-Casimir and Leonore.

Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst was born in Leiden on 25 May 1966 to Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and Jantien Brinkhorst-Heringa.

Education

Prinses Laurentien, 2012 © RVD, foto: Frank van Beek

Princess Laurentien received her secondary education in The Hague and later at the Lycée français in Tokyo, Japan, where she passed the Baccalauréat A examinations.

The Princess studied history at Groningen University, completing her foundation year in 1986. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Queen Mary College, London University, in 1989. In July 1991 she obtained her Master of Journalism degree at the University of California at Berkeley.

Marriage and family

Princess Laurentien married Prince Constantijn in The Hague on 17 May 2001. The marriage was blessed on 19 May 2001 in the Grote of St Jacobskerk in The Hague.

Princess Laurentien and Prince Constantijn have three children. Their first daughter, Eloise, was born on 8 June 2002, their son Claus-Casimir on 21 March 2004 and their second daughter, Leonore, on 3 June 2006. The family lives in Brussels.

Work

Besides a number of official duties as a member of the Royal House, Princess Laurentien works as a freelance communications consultant. Since June 2008 she has worked for the European Climate Foundation, and in 2009 she set up the Missing Chapter Foundation. In the same year she published the first in a series of children's books which centre on a character called Mr Finney and deal with issues such as sustainability and climate change. The second book in the series was published in February 2011.

Princess Laurentien is also actively involved with the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), in particular the 'Rewilding Europe' initiative. On 1 November 2012 she was appointed President of Fauna & Flora International (FFI), a nature conservation organisation focusing on the protection of threatened animal species and ecosystems worldwide. The Princess was first associated with the FFI in 2003, initially as a member of the Executive Committee and, more recently, as Vice-President. 

Until 2003 Princess Laurentien worked as a video journalist and in various public relations appointments.

Special interests: literacy work

Princess Laurentien is especially interested in promoting literacy and has been active in this field since 2001. She is the Chair of Stichting Lezen & Schrijven (the Reading and Writing Foundation), which was set up on her initiative in May 2004. The foundation's objective is to prevent and reduce functional illiteracy in the Netherlands. On 24 March 2009 Princess Laurentien was designated UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development. In this capacity, she acts as an advocate for the cause of literacy all over the world. Since 1 February 2011 the Princess has been Chair of the European Commission's High Level Group on Literacy.

Honorary posts

As a member of the Royal House, Princess Laurentien holds a number of honorary posts:

  • Patron of the Dutch Listening and Braille Library (NLBB)
  • Patron of the Dutch language society Genootschap Onze Taal
  • Honorary Chair of the Association of Public Libraries
  • President of Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
  • President of the European Cultural Foundation