Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Netherlands gets first king in a century

Yesterday the Dutch Queen Beatrix announced her abdication in favor of her eldest son Prince Willem-Alexander in an address to the nation.
"I have the greatest confidence to hand over the throne to my son, the Prince of Orange. He and Princess Maxima are prepared for their tasks. With all their talents, they will choose their own approach. I hope to meet you very often and I am grateful for the confidence and the many years that I have been the Queen," she said.

The resignation from the throne will take place on April 30 this year.

She went on with: "On Thursday, I hope to celebrate my 75th birthday. I am grateful that I can do this in good health. At the end of this year, our Kingdom will last two hundred years. These two things made me decide to step aside from the throne."
Beatrix is the eldest daughter of late Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. In 1966, Beatrix married Prince Claus van Amsberg from Germany, with whom she has three children: Prince Willem-Alexander (1967), Prince Friso (1968) and Prince Constantijn (1969). Beatrix's marriage caused a massive protest in Amsterdam, because her German husband was associated by a part of the Dutch population with German Nazism. Beatrix's husband died in 2002.

Beatrix was crowned Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on April 30, 1980, as successor of her mother Juliana. During the investiture, some people used the occasion to protest against poor housing conditions in the country and against the monarchy in general. The rioters clashed violently with the police.

The traditional Dutch Queen's Day will not longer be celebrated on April 30, the birthday of Juliana. Instead, from 2014 on, the King's Day will be celebrated on April 27, the birthday of Willem-Alexander, said the Government Information Service (RVD).

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