01-28-2013, 03:00 PM #1
NL - Queen Beatrix to abdicate in favor of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander
Dutch Queen Beatrix announces she is to abdicate (AP)
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Queen Beatrix announced Monday that she will abdicate on April 30 after 33 years as head of state, clearing the way for her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, to become the nation's first king in more than a century.
The announcement, in a nationally televised speech, signaled an end to the reign of one of Europe's longest-serving monarchs, whose time on the throne was marked by tumultuous shifts in Dutch society and, more recently, by personal tragedy.
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."
The timing of the announcement makes sense at multiple levels. It comes just days before Beatrix's birthday, and she is already the oldest ever Dutch monarch: the pragmatic Dutch do not see being king or queen as a job for life. The nation also celebrates the 200th anniversary of its monarchy, the House of Orange, at the end of this year, Beatrix said.
01-28-2013, 03:06 PM #2
When Beatrix became Queen of the Dutch in 1980, Elizabeth II had already been Queen of England for 28 years.
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