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.