Netherlands' Queen Beatrix to Abdicate
Son Willem-Alexander to become country's 1st king in century
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2013 12:38 PM CST
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands inspects honor guards with Singapore's President Tony Tan, behind her, during a welcome ceremony on Thursday Jan. 24, 2013.   (Wong Maye-E)

(Newser) – Dutch Queen Beatrix announced today 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."

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Jan 29, 2013 7:05 PM CST
When will Europe leave behind it's silly royalties? They've caused enough damage to the world already. It's a stain on European culture.
Jan 28, 2013 4:53 PM CST
This should be an example for all Monarchs that have passed their prime and have younger and more energetic heirs to take the reins and run with it. Hint hint Queen of England. Give Charles a go at it. There comes a time when your just not as sharp as you used to be. Time to relax and enjoy the roses.
Jan 28, 2013 1:46 PM CST
Abdication runs counter to the very idea of monarchy. You'll never see Bess quit Her thrones, unlike that pseudo-Nazi closet queer uncle of Her's.