Dutch Get 1st King in 120 Years

Huge street party greets Willem-Alexander

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2013 5:06 AM CDT | Updated Apr 30, 2013 10:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's party time in Amsterdam: Queen Beatrix has signed her abdication papers, making her son Willem-Alexander the country's first king since William III died in 1890. Huge orange-clad crowds gathered in the Dutch capital to say farewell to the popular queen and celebrate the annual Queen's Day holiday, which will be King's Day next year, the BBC reports. Crowds watched giant screens in the city's Dam Square outside the palace as Beatrix, Willem-Alexander, and his Argentine-born wife signed the papers before emerging on a palace balcony, followed by the couple's three young daughters.

The new king and queen's eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, is now Princess of Orange and next in line for the throne. Willem-Alexander—who says he wants to be "a king that can bring society together"—was later inaugurated in a ceremony attended by royal guests from 18 countries, though it wasn't a crowning. "A Dutch monarch is never crowned," the Guardian explains. "It’s not a coronation. There is of course a Dutch royal crown, but it’s never actually worn. It’s almost more like a Washington thing. It’s an inauguration and swearing in." At 46, he is now Europe's youngest monarch, notes the Telegraph.

Still waiting... Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camila, Duchess of Cornwall take their seats at the New Church in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Still waiting... Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camila, Duchess of Cornwall take their seats at the New Church in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)
Dutch King Willem-Alexander follows his mother Princess Beatrix onto the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander follows his mother Princess Beatrix onto the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.   (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Dutch King Willem-Alexander follows his mother Princess Beatrix onto the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander follows his mother Princess Beatrix onto the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.   (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
A crowd gathered in Dam Square watches as King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, and Princess Beatrix appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
A crowd gathered in Dam Square watches as King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, and Princess Beatrix appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Manoocher Deghati)
Two men walk in Dam Square as they arrive outside the Royal Palace in downtown Amsterdam.
Two men walk in Dam Square as they arrive outside the Royal Palace in downtown Amsterdam.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace with their children, from left: Catharina-Amalia, Ariane, and Alexia.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace with their children, from left: Catharina-Amalia, Ariane, and Alexia.   (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Dutch Queen Beatrix, left, looks down as she prepares to sign the Act of Abdication in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, center.
Dutch Queen Beatrix, left, looks down as she prepares to sign the Act of Abdication in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, center.   (AP Photo/Michel Porro, pool)
Dutch King Willem-Alexander is greeted by his mother Princess Beatrix on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander is greeted by his mother Princess Beatrix on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (Associated Press)
Dutch Princess Beatrix gives her son, King Willem-Alexander, the Act of Abdication which she signed to end her reign as Monarch in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Dutch Princess Beatrix gives her son, King Willem-Alexander, the Act of Abdication which she signed to end her reign as Monarch in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jerry Lampen, pool)
People walk along a street on their way to the Royal Palace in downtown Amsterdam, The Netherlands today.
People walk along a street on their way to the Royal Palace in downtown Amsterdam, The Netherlands today.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Dutch Princess Beatrix with the daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima: Catharina-Amalia, Alexia, and Ariane at the New Church in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Dutch Princess Beatrix with the daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima: Catharina-Amalia, Alexia, and Ariane at the New Church in Amsterdam, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)
Dutch King Willem-Alexander takes the oath during his inauguration inside the New Church in Amsterdam, Tuesday April 30, 2013.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander takes the oath during his inauguration inside the New Church in Amsterdam, Tuesday April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and wife Queen Maxima stand inside the New Church in Amsterdam for his inauguration, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and wife Queen Maxima stand inside the New Church in Amsterdam for his inauguration, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, and members of the royal household during the inauguration, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, and members of the royal household during the inauguration, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and wife Queen Maxima leave the New Church in Amsterdam, after his inauguration, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and wife Queen Maxima leave the New Church in Amsterdam, after his inauguration, Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Queen Maxima leaves the New Church in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, after her husband's inauguration Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Queen Maxima leaves the New Church in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, after her husband's inauguration Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
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