Dutch Queen Beatrix abdicates (UPDATES)


Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in a head-to-toe lavender number.


Sean Gallup

Dutch Queen Beatrix announced today that she will vacate the throne in favor of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, on April 30, ending a 33-year reign, said BBC News.

In a pre-recorded address broadcast on television, the queen said, “I am not abdicating because this office is too much of a burden, but out of conviction that the responsibility for our nation should now rest in the hands of a new generation," Bloomberg News reported.

The queen turns 75 on Thursday, said BBC.

Prince Willem-Alexander, who's 45, will become the Netherland's first king in more than a century, BBC News reported.

A history student at Leiden University, he later served in the Royal Netherlands Navy and is currently chairman of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, Bloomberg News reported. The prince is married to a former investment banker from Argentina, Maxima Zorreguieta, 42, and has three daughters.

The move sees the queen follow in the footsteps of her mother, observed The Daily Telegraph's James Kirkup. In an article before the announcement, he also suggested an abdication in favor of Dutch Prince Willem-Alexander would put pressure on Britain's elderly monarch: 

If and when Queen Beatrix does indeed abdicate (Dutch royal-watchers think it's inevitable; apparently there's a tradition of such thing — her mother also stepped down in her 70s) then expect a rash of speculation about whether our own Monarch will do likewise. Queen Elizabeth is, at 86, considerably older than her 74-year Dutch counterpart.