Maximilian was the son of Adolf of Burgundy and Anna of Bergen. He was a descendant of Antoine, bastard of Burgundy, illegitimate son of Philip the Good. Desiderius Erasmus was a regular visitor at his father's house and Erasmus wrote the young Maximilian letters to encourage him to study science.
In 1540 Maximilian succeeded his father as admiral of the Netherlands. In 1542 he became admiral of Flanders and in 1546 Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece. In 1547 he became Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht and Admiral-general of Zeeland. In 1555, Emperor Charles V promoted Veere to a marquisate, as reward for Maximilian's 25-year-long loyal service.
Maximilian married in 1542 with Louise of Croÿ, daughter of Philippe II de Croÿ. The marriage remained childless. After his death, all his possessions went to his nephew Maximilien de Hénin-Liétard, son of his sister Anna. However, the Marquisate of Veere had to be sold for debt.
As Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht, he was succeeded by William the Silent, at that time still loyal to the King of Spain.
- Deutscher, Thomas Brian; Bietenholz, Peter G. (2003). Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation, Volumes 1-3. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0802085776.