King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima take over on April 30: H.M. Queen Beatrix abdicates

POSTED: 01/29/13 1:13 PM

St. Maarten / THE HAGUE – H.M. Queen Beatrix announced yesterday that she will abdicate on April 30 and transfer power to her son Willem Alexander. Starting next year, Kings Day on April 26 will replace the celebration of the Queen’s birthday that was traditionally celebrated on April 30 – the birth date of the queen’s mother Juliana.

Juliana held the throne from September 4, 1948 until April 30, 1980, when Beatrix took over.

The Queen turns 75 on Thursday and the Kingdom exists 200 years this year. In a televised speech, the queen indicated yesterday that these are the main reasons for her abdication.

Her successor’s title will be King Willem-Alexander, and not King Willem IV. His wife Máxima will become Queen Maxima, Beatrix’ royal title after her abdication will be princess.

Jorge Zorreguieta, Máxima’s father will not be present at the inauguration of the royal couple. The King will keep residence at Eikenhorst in Wassenaar for the time being.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a reaction that Queen Beatrix is an icon for the Netherlands.

The Queen visited St. Maarten in November of 2011 in the company of crown prince Willem-Alexander and princess Máxima. This visit was generally seen as part of a farewell tour ahead of the queen’s abdication. During her visit to St. Maarten, Queen Beatrix surpassed King Willem III as the Kingdom’s oldest reigning monarch.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams offered her well wishes and gratitude to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix yesterday after she learned about the abdication. “I look back fondly on the reign of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix and her visits to what was then the Netherlands Antilles as well as to new country St. Maarten in 2011. I wish her well in the coming years and we hope to see her back on our islands sometime soon. Similarly I would like to congratulate His Royal Highness King Willem Alexander on his succession and look forward to having him as Monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”

The prime minister said that Queen Beatrix has always had a fondness for the Dutch Caribbean and that her reign has been one of close consultation with all the islands in the Caribbean.

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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima take over on April 30: H.M. Queen Beatrix abdicates by

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