Thousands in the streets to celebrate new King of Holland

Crowds celebrate the new Dutch King Willem-Alexander Photo: Reuters

Colourful celebrations have taken over the streets of Amsterdam as Queen Beatrix abdicated to make way for Prince Willem-Alexander, her son, to take the throne.

Queen Beatrix passes the act of abdication to her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, sitting next to his wife Crown Princess Maxima. Credit: Reuters

The party centred outside the Royal Palace in Amsterdam’s Dam Square where well-wishers gathered to mark the end of a 33-year reign.

In a farewell speech made last night, Queen Beatrix said she had been struck by "overwhelming expressions of heartfelt sympathy" since she announced her decision to retire.

Thousands watch Queen Beatrix's abdication ceremony on large screens in Amsterdam's Dam Square. Credit: Reuters

She added: "With the abdication of my role as monarch, I'm fulfilled foremost with feelings of deep gratitude.

A woman wearing orange, the royal colour, celebrates the new King Willem-Alexander. Credit: Reuters

“Without your heartwarming and encouraging signs of affection, the burdens - which certainly there have also been - would have weighed very heavily."

Read: Dutch Queen hands 'responsibility of our country to next generation'

Crowds gather outside the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Credit: Reuters

Read: The monarchies of Europe