Magazine apologizes for calling princess and heir to Dutch throne, 16, ‘plus-sized’ after uproar

A Portuguese celebrity magazine has issued an apology after publishing a front cover that referred to Princess Catharina-Amalia, the heir to the Dutch throne, as “plus-size.”The weekly magazine, which is published in Lisbon, featured a photo of Queen Maxima of the Netherlands holding hands with her eldest daughter, 16-year-old Catharina-Amalia, the Evening Standard reports.The controversial July issue, which translated to English reads: “Maxima’s oldest daughter proudly wears her ‘plus-size’ look,” sparked instant backlash online, with the teenage royal’s Instagram followers rushing to her defense and slamming the tabloid.

Taking to the comments section after the magazine posted the cover image, social media users condemned the headline as “dangerous”, “disrespectful” and “shameful.” It is not believed the princess, whose father is King Willem-Alexander and has two younger sisters, provided any quotes to the magazine prior to publication, nor has she ever spoken publicly about her image. The cover photograph, one of several released this month by the Dutch royal family, was also not taken specifically for the gossip magazine’s use.But the issue received immediate backlash for the corresponding headline, which when translated to English, read, “Maxima’s oldest daughter proudly wears her ‘plus-size’ look.”

Also on the cover, together with the smiling mother-daughter photo released by the Dutch royal family, the subhead reads: “The harassed heir to the throne of the Netherlands faces criticism with force and with the support of her parents. A princess who goes through puberty without taboos and defends her figure of ‘real woman’.”As reported by The Independent, one social media user commented in Portuguese: “They are talking about the body of a minor, adolescent and growing. Position yourselves. What authority or concern do they have to talk about it…Hopefully they reconsider and stop denigrating journalism, using the platform they have in such a useless and harmful way.”

Another writes: “Who gave you permission to comment on the body of a 16-year-old girl?”Initially, the magazine’s director Liliana Castano released a statement defending the Princess Catharina-Amalia cover, writing on Instagram: “Reading the whole text will go a long way to constructive discussion,” adding the young royal’s story about “bullying” could prove to be an “inspiring” read.The cover of the weekly magazine prompted criticism on social media, where people used the comment section on Instagram to call out the publication for its “harmful” description of the teenager.

However the magazine, who reportedly did not seek comment from the young royal for the story, has since issued a public apology to Princess Catharina-Amalia and her family over their poor choice of focus, the Daily Mail reports. Writing on its website, Castano acknowledged that the cover “provoked the least desired controversy by our publication.”

The apology read: “And we believe that it may be the opportunity to create a healthy space for reflection. We live in a time of deconstruction of stereotypes. The media are also mirrors of society. And of the changes that are transforming the world. We are all learning, the media too.

“We recognize our responsibility in this deconstruction and feel that we are part of it. We understand that even without malicious intent we made a mistake,” Castano added, concluding, “I offer my sincere apologies to all those who have felt aggrieved.”However it is not thought the princess provided any quotes to the magazine or has ever commented on her weight in public.

As per Yahoo News, the magazine’s editor Hector Maugeri also released a statement, arguing the story of Princess Catharina-Amalia is one of “self-improvement and resilience.”He added: “The teenager, after having undergone brutal bullying during her childhood (something that Maxima also suffered and commented on on more than one occasion) managed to overcome it along with the love of her family, and above all, believing in her and in the woman she wants and chooses to be.”

Maugeri fiercely defended the magazine as one that “always gave a ‘voice’ to those that society once tried to silence.”“We are not qualifiers,” he writes. “We are communicators and this week, Amalia’s story is an example for other girls who could – or go through – the cruelty of those who only know how to see darkness and not light.”

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