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  • Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
    H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands has been committed to literacy for years, based on the conviction that literacy is a basic human right and a precondition for a healthy, strong and durable society.

    It was while doing her Masters in Journalism at UC Berkeley in the US that Princess Laurentien first encountered people who had learned to read and write later in life. Following her studies, she worked for CNN Headline News in Atlanta. Years later, alongside her professional activities in Brussels, she taught Flemish adults with low literacy skills as a volunteer.

    In the Netherlands, Princess Laurentien received the ABC award for her literacy work in 2003, the year she also established the Reading & Writing Foundation (Stichting Lezen & Schrijven).

    The aims of the foundation are to raise awareness, bring together traditional and new stakeholders and develop pilot projects with a view to rolling out these practical solutions more broadly. Princess Laurentien remains the Chair of the foundation.

    Princess Laurentien was appointed UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development on 24 March 2009. In addition, Princess Laurentien is patron of a range of literacy and language-related organisations, including: UNESCO Amsterdam World Book Capital 2008; the Dutch Language Association; Foundation for studying with disabilities; the Netherlands Audio and Braille Library; Association of Public Libraries. In 2006, she chaired the Jury of the prestigious AKO Literature Prize 2006 and in 2005 she was Patron of the Hans Christian Andersen Year. She is also President of the European Cultural Foundation.

    Professionally, the Princess has held European functions in strategic communications, having worked both within large PR companies and as an independent advisor. In the area of the environment, she is a Fellow at the European Climate Foundation and Vice-President at Flora & Fauna International.

    She is currently writing a children’s book series (Mr Finney), working with Dutch illustrator Sieb Posthuma (it is a parable that looks at the world through children’s eyes, asking profound questions about how we treat our planet). Publication in Dutch and English is planned for October 2009.
    Princess Laurentien and Prince Constantijn have three children: Eloise (6), Claus-Casimir (5) and Leonore (2).

  • The Dutch Royal House

  • The Dutch Reading and Writing Foundation
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands


    Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands designated UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development
    HRH Princess Laurentien.jpgOn the 27 March 2009 UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura designated H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands as UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development in recognition of her “outstanding commitment to the promotion of education and her profound dedication to the Organization’s ideals and objectives”. More

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