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the royal family suffered from the death of Princess Christina

Princess Christina, Beatrix's younger sister, who ruled the Netherlands until 2013, died Friday at The Hague at the age of 72 due to bone cancer, the royal family said.

"We are saddened by the death of our dear sister and aunt. Christina had a great personality and a big heart," said Princess Beatrix and the royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Maxima.

"We cherish the many beautiful memories of her," they continued in a tweet.

Princess Maria Christina of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lipp-Besterfeld, was born with partial blindness on February 18, 1947 at the Soestdake Palace in Baarn (center).

Passionate for music, singing and dancing, Christina was the fourth daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard and the younger sister of Princess Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 to 2013. She abdicated on April 30, 2013 after 33 years of reign in favor to his eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander.

Princess Christina married a Cuban professor in exile Jorge Guillermo in 1975, with whom he has three children – Bernardo, Nicholas and Juliana. Since that union dissolved by divorce in 1996, it is no longer eligible for the throne.

Princess Christina will be cremated in seclusion, the royal house said, without specifying a date.

Prime Minister Mark Rute said in a statement about his "sadness" and praised the "warm personality" of a princess who has been suffering from bone cancer for several years.

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