QUEEN BEATRIX OF THE NETHERLANDS ANNOUNCES THAT SHE WILL ABDICATE

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced on January 28, 2013 that she will be abdicating on April 30, 2013 in favor of her eldest son and heir, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.  The Queen is following in the footsteps of her mother, Queen Juliana, who abdicated n 1980, as well as Queen Beatrix’s grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, who abdicated in 1948.  When Queen Beatrix abdicates, she would have been head of state for thirty-three years and when her son succeeds her, he will be the Netherlands’ first king in in more than a century.  Queen Beatrix made the announcement from Huis ten Bosch Palace, three days before her seventy-fifth birthday.   In her speech, Queen Beatrix said, “Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation.”  She also added that, “I am deeply grateful for the great faith you have shown in me in the many years that I could be your Queen.”  Queen Beatrix also declared, “It is with the greatest confidence that on April 30 of this year I will pass on the kingship to my son, the Prince of Orange.  He and Princess Maxima are entirely ready for their future tasks.”  Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (45)  and his Argentine-born wife, Princess Maxima (42, nee Maxima Zorreguieta), are the parents of three daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia (9), and Princess Alexia (7), and Princess Ariane (5).  Photos by Getty Images.

A Dutch family watches television footage of Queen Beatrix announcing her plans to abdicate

A Dutch family watches television footage of Queen Beatrix announcing her plans to abdicate

Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander, and Princess Maxima on an official visit to Singapore, January 25, 2013

Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander, and Princess Maxima on an official visit to Singapore, January 25, 2013

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Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her eldest son and heir, Prince Willem-Alexander

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her eldest son and heir, Prince Willem-Alexander

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Princess Maxima, who will become queen consort on April 30, 2013

Princess Maxima, who will become queen consort on April 30, 2013

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Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima and their daughters

Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima and their daughters

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