‘She was unable to find happiness’: Grieving Queen Maxima breaks her silence after her younger sister’s apparent suicide - and says the 'only consolation' is that she has found peace
- Inés Zorreguieta, 33, was found dead in her apartment earlier this month
- A Dutch government spokesman said her death was an apparent suicide
- The 33-year-old is thought to have had depression and mental health issues
- Sister Maxima returned to work on Tuesday following her sibling's funeral
- Paid tribute to 'sweet and talented' Ines during a visit to Groningen
Griefstricken Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has broken her silence following the apparent suicide of her younger sister - and paid tribute to her 'sweet and talented' sibling.
The Dutch royal visited a proton therapy centre in Groningen on Tuesday after a brief hiatus from public duties following the news her sister Inés Zorreguieta had been found hanged in her home in Argentina earlier this month.
The Queen, who was back on duty just a fortnight after attending her 33-year-old sister's funeral in their native Argentina, said she was pleased to visit a centre that works to help cancer patients who are 'ill, but who haven't lost hope to recover'.
'My sweet and talented younger sister Ines was also ill. She was unable to find happiness and sadly couldn't get better,' said Maxima.
She added: 'Our only consolation is to think that she has finally found peace,' Hello! reported.
Queen Maxima, whose sister Ines Zorreguieta died in an apparent suicide a fortnight ago, said her sibling was 'unable to find happiness'
Inés Zorreguieta, pictured with her late father Jorge Zorreguieta last year, worked for the government in Argentina
The Queen also thanked well-wishers who had sent cards and messages of support in the wake of the tragedy.
'It's been a great help,' she said. 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'
Máxima, 47, appeared to be in a reflective mood yesterday as she spoke to scientists and learned about the pioneering cancer treatment they offer there.
Inés Zorreguieta, 33, was found dead at her apartment in Buenos Aires, according to the Dutch Embassy in Argentina, who told La Nacion that authorities 'assume it was a case of suicide.'
She is understood to have suffered from depression and mental health issues.
Back to business: Queen Máxima of the Netherlands returns to work on Tuesday, two weeks after her younger sister died of an apparent suicide
Queen Maxima of Holland's sister Inés Zorreguieta (pictured in a red hat at Princess Ariane's christening in 2007) was found dead in her Buenos Aires home on Wednesday night
Inés' body was removed from her home in the early of hours ofJune 7 with a post-mortem examination set to take place, authorities said.
Maxima's beloved sister was a psychologist who worked for an office on social policies at the president's office.
Inés was also godmother to Queen Maxima's 11-year-old daughter Princess Ariane.
Queen Maxima had previously cancelled all upcoming engagements and flown to Argentina to be with her family.
She had been due to attend Holland Festival that week, but her appearance was subsequently cancelled, according to Hello! magazine.
Public duties: The Dutch royal visited a proton therapy centre in Groningen on Tuesday after a brief hiatus from public duties following the news her sister had been hanged in her home
Neutral: The Dutch royal wore muted colours, pairing a pistachio dress and skirt with a simple taupe scarf
Mourning period: Máxima, 47, appeared to be in a reflective mood as she spoke to scientists and learned about the pioneering cancer treatment they offer there
Sad: The news came after Queen Maxima, her husband and their three children flew to Argentina last year to attend the funeral of her father after his death from cancer
She had also been set to accompany her husband, King Willem-Alexander, on their tour of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia next week.
The Dutch Prime Minister said the news was 'intensely sad and heartbreaking.'
'The sudden passing away of Queen Maxima's sister comes as a great shock. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Queen and her family,' he said.
'I wish them all the strength they need to cope with this horrible loss. I trust that they will be afforded the space and privacy they need.'
The sad news came just months after after Queen Maxima, her husband and their three children flew to Argentina last year to attend the funeral of her father after his death from cancer at the age of 89.
Queen Maxima and her sister Inés are seen greeting each other in Buenos Aires in 2016
Inés was also godmother to Queen Maxima's 11-year-old daughter Princess Ariane. She is pictured on the day of Princess Ariane's baptism in October 2007
Inés was the youngest daughter of government minister Jorge Zorreguieta and his second wife María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart's children.
The Zorreguieta family have been landed gentry, professionals, politicians, and statesmen for generations.
Inés and Queen Maxima have two brothers as well as three half-sisters; Maria, Dolores and Angeles.
Inés travelled to Holland for her sister's wedding without her parents in 2002.
Their father was not permitted to attend due to his role as Argentina's Minister of Agriculture during the National Reorganization Process, the brutal military dictatorship led by General Jorge Rafael Videla that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983.
Queen Maxima and Inés are pictured as the Dutch royal made a trip to Argentina after their father was hospitalised last year
Queen Maxima (pictured in Amsterdam earlier this month) pulled out of all upcoming engagements, but this week appears to spell the end of her hiatus
Queen Maxima became the first Latin American-born queen-consort of Holland when King Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne after his mother's abdication on April 30, 2013.
The pair met in Seville, Spain, in 1999, but she was unaware he was a prince since he introduced himself only as 'Alexander.'
They announced their engagement two years later.
The news sparked controversy in Holland as her father's tenure as a minister was during the early stages of the Dirty War in Argentina - a period of state terrorism that saw up to 30,000 people killed or go missing during a seven-year military regime.
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local branch. See www.samaritans.org for details
- LIFELINE: 13 11 14. Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- If you or anyone you know needs to talk, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)