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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.

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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. (Read more Netherlands stories.)

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