5 Stories

Japan Passes Law to Let Emperor Quit

Akihito will be first to abdicate in 200 years

(Newser) - Japan's Emperor Akihito is 83 years old and in declining health—and he is finally being allowed to step down. Japan's parliament passed a law Friday that will allow Akihito, who became emperor when father Hirohito died in 1989, to abdicate, reports Reuters . Akihito has had heart surgery... More »

Spain's King Juan Carlos Steps Down

76-year-old passes throne to Prince Felipe

(Newser) - At 76, Spain's King Juan Carlos is abdicating after four decades, handing the throne to his son, Prince Felipe. "A new generation must be at the forefront," he said in a nationally televised address. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the move today, calling on the courts to... More »

Qatari Emir Abdicates, Hands Power to Son, 33

Peaceful handovers unusual among Gulf Arab dynasties

(Newser) - The emir of Qatar has abdicated and will hand the reins to his 33-year-old son, who in turn becomes the youngest monarch in the region. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 61, announced the news on national TV yesterday, though he didn't say when Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani would... More »

Dutch Get 1st King in 120 Years

Huge street party greets Willem-Alexander

(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... More »

Windsors Schemed to Deny Elizabeth Throne

Duke plotted to step in as his brother's health failed

(Newser) - Within a decade of abdicating the throne, the former Edward VIII was plotting a return to power that involved an end run around his niece Elizabeth—better known today as Queen Elizabeth II. A letter the Duke of Windsor wrote in 1946, when his brother and successor King George VI... More »

5 Stories