"Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation," Queen Beatrix said in the speech delivered from her Huis ten Bosch palace, she will celebrate her 75th birthday on Wednesday.
"I am deeply grateful for the great faith you have shown in me in the many years that I could be your Queen," she added.
The queen's abdication from the largely ceremonial role had been widely expected, but it is sure to bring an outpouring of sentimental and patriotic feelings among the Dutch, most of whom adore Beatrix. In everyday conversation, many of her subjects refer to her simply by the nickname "Bea."
More top news
Charity says social media is helping fuel a nation of 'deeply unhappy' children as figures show rise in number hospitalised over self-harm.
It'll become increasing cloudy tonight, with outbreaks of rain in the northwest
Six months on from the referendum, Political Editor Robert Peston takes a road trip to find out what people feel about Brexit now.