Dutch Queen Beatrix will abdicate
BY Associated Press
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
1/29/13 at 6:15 AM
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.
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. In everyday conversation, many of her subjects refer to her simply by the nickname "Bea."
"Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation," Beatrix said in the speech delivered from her Huis ten Bosch palace just days before she was to turn 75.
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, 45, who will become King Willem IV, is a trained pilot and expert in the quintessentially Dutch field of water management who has long been groomed for the throne.
Original Print Headline: Dutch Queen Beatrix announces abdication
Dutch Queen Beatrix announced that she's leaving the throne in a nationally televised speech in The Hague, Netherlands, on Monday. Associated Press file