A magazine has drawn heavy criticism after calling Princess Amalia, the 16-year-old heir to the Dutch throne, "plus-size" on its cover. 

Caras magazine – which is published across Argentina, Brazil and Portugal – featured a photoshoot with Princess Amalia and her parents, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and her sisters Alexia and Ariane taken in their residence, Palace Huis Ten Bosch.

The cover showed Amalia walking with her mother and looking over her shoulder, while the headline read: "Maxima's oldest daughter proudly wears her "plus-size" look."

"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"', the subheading continues. 

The magazine immediately came under fire for making such a point of the princess's weight, with many readers and commentators criticising their decision. 

"You have to be very nefarious to propose/approve this cover. They belittle her Amalia, a beautiful, sensitive and intelligent teenager playing cool. They talk about bullying and they are doing it to them. And they give a very dangerous message to the girls of 16 who read", one commenter said underneath the magazine's post on Twitter. 

The magazine responded by releasing a statement, saying that the story was intended to tackle stigma and encourage others who may be struggling with their body image. 

Hector Maugeri, one of the magazine's editors, took to Instagram to clarify what the magazine intended to do. He stated that the cover story was one of "self-improvement and resilience". 

He wrote that Princess Amalia had undergone "brutal bullying" during her childhood, and that she had "managed to overcome it along with the love of her family, and above all, believing in her and in the woman he wants and chooses to be".

"CARAS is a magazine that always gave 'voice' to those that society once tried to silence. We are not qualifiers. 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."

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, visit Bodywhys.ie, phone their helpline on 1890 200 444 or email alex@bodywhys.ie.