Queen passes 'beautiful task' to Prince Willem-Alexander

In a televised speech Queen Beatrix announced she abdicating the Dutch throne in favour of her son Prince Willem-Alexander.

In her speech she paid tribute to her son and his wife, Princess Maxima:

As you all know I hope to celebrate my 75th birthday in a few days. I am grateful that I have been allowed to approach that day in good health. At the end of this year we will commemorate the 200th anniversary of our kingdom, a day which opens a new chapter in our history.

The coinciding of these two special events has been the reason for me to decide this year to resign from my office.

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

It is with great confidence, that on April 30 this year I will pass my kingship to 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.

I hope I will be able to continue to meet many of you frequently. I am deeply grateful for the trust you gave me during the many beautiful years I was allowed to be your queen.

– Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

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Dutch queen to abdicate

Dutch Queen Beatrix has said she will abdicate the throne on April 30th.