Abdication of H.M. Queen Beatrix

POSTED: 01/29/13 1:05 PM

The long awaited abdication of H.M. Queen Beatrix comes at a logical moment that has not surprised many royalty-watchers. On Thursday the queen turns 75 and this is also the year that the Kingdom of the Netherlands celebrates its 200th anniversary.

When Beatrix visited St. Maarten in November 2001, she surpassed King Willem III as the oldest reigning monarch in the Kingdom. If her successor Willem-Alexander wants to break his mother’s record he’ll have to remain on the throne until at least April 28, 2042 – the day after he will turn 75.

Come April 30, the Kingdom will have its King Willem-Alexander, with Queen Maxima on his side. At 46, Willem-Alexander will be four years older than Beatrix when she took the throne in 1980.

It seems awkward to celebrate the queen’s announcement, because this would create the impression that her subjects are happy to see her go. That is not the case, because Beatrix popularity has increased over the years to above 80 percent.

It would not surprise us a bit if her son, with a radiant queen on his side, will do even better and strengthen the place of the royals in our constitutional democracy further.

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