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.
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.
She added: "With the abdication of my role as monarch, I'm fulfilled foremost with feelings of deep gratitude.
“Without your heartwarming and encouraging signs of affection, the burdens - which certainly there have also been - would have weighed very heavily."