Dutch queen to hand throne to son after 33 years as a Dutch Monarch


Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands attends the 50th anniversary celebrations of the European School, Bergen on March 12, 2013. She will abdicate after 33 years as the Dutch monarch.

A chapter was closing in Dutch history Monday as Queen Beatrix spent her last full day on the throne after 33 years as the country’s monarch.

Beatrix will abdicate on Tuesday morning, handing over to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, who will be the first Dutch king in more than 120 years. The queen was due to give a televised speech later on Monday.

She steps down on the national holiday known as Queen’s Day, an opportunity for people across the Netherlands to dress up and party. The investiture of the new king will be the high point of a year of celebrations marking the end of the Napoleonic occupation in 1813.

The 75-year-old monarch announced her abdication in January, saying it was time for a new generation to lead. "I have always considered it as an extraordinary privilege to be able to put a big part of my life at the service of our country and in accordance with my task to add substance to my kingship," said Beatrix, who acceded to the throne when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated in 1980.

"Until today, this beautiful task has given me a lot of satisfaction. It is inspiring to feel close to people, to sympathize in grievances and share times of joy and national pride."

She went on: "It is with great confidence, that on April 30 this year I will pass my kingship to my son, the Prince of Orange. He and Princess Maxima are fully prepared for their future task. They will serve our country with devotion, faithfully serve the constitution, and with all their talents give substance to their kingship."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte added: "Anyone who has met the queen will agree that she touched people and helped them forward with her knowledge and experience and her great interest and involvement."

CNN

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