HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
HRH Princess Laurentien has worked on sustainability and environmental issues for many years. She was elected as Fauna & Flora’s new president in October 2012, having served as a vice-president since 2006, and previously as a member of council in 2003 and 2004. She was a senior adviser to WWF and is currently a special adviser to Rewilding Europe, a Dutch Foundation that aims to rewild one million hectares of land by 2020. She is also a Fellow at the European Climate Foundation.
Princess Laurentien is the author of the Mr Finney children’s book series (available in several languages) about sustainability and climate change. The Princess also established the Missing Chapter Foundation, an NGO that facilitates inter-generational dialogue involving children and young adults with a view to changing mindsets, primarily among decision-makers, in order to achieve a more sustainable future.
Princess Laurentien has a special focus on the promotion of literacy. In March 2009 she was appointed as the UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development, acting as an advocate for literacy globally. She is also a recipient of the Dutch Majoor Bosshardt (Salvation Army) Prize for her dedication in fighting illiteracy. The Princess established an agenda-setting NGO ´Stichting Lezen & Schrijven´ (reading and writing foundation) in the Netherlands aimed at preventing and reducing illiteracy. She chaired the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Literacy in 2011–2012 and, in addition, holds a range of honorary positions in culture- and language-related organisations, including President of the European Cultural Foundation.
Princess Laurentien’s career has encompassed a number of roles in strategic communications and journalism, with previous positions including Head of the Corporate Communications Practice for Webershandwick and BSMG Worldwide and deputy director of Edelman Worldwide, both international public relations agencies, and Executive Director of the Belmont European Policy Centre in Brussels, a think tank on European affairs. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of London.
She and her husband HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands have three children: Eloise (2002), Claus-Casimir (2004) and Leonore (2006).