Dutch Queen Beatrix abdicates, Willem-Alexander new king

Amsterdam, April 30 (IANS) After 33 years on the throne, Dutch Queen Beatrix Tuesday abdicated in favour of her son Willem-Alexander.

After the Queen gave a short address at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, the abdication document was read out in presence of members of the royal family, the presidents of the senate and the house of representatives, the council of ministers and the kingdom’s governors and prime-ministers of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten.

Beatrix signed the document, which meant her 46-year-old eldest son Prince Willem-Alexander became the new king. The signing was followed by loud cheers of the people gathered outside, reported Xinhua.

Willem-Alexander signed the document along with his wife, now Queen Maxima, followed by all the other witnesses at the table. The instrument of abdication was shown and approved again by Beatrix and Willem-Alexander.

Beatrix, who now will be called Princess again, King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima moved to the balcony of the Royal Palace, where the outgoing queen and the new king addressed the gathered audience at Dam Square.

“Several moments ago, I waived the throne and I am happy and grateful to introduce to you your new King Willem-Alexander,” said Beatrix.

“Dear mother,” Willem-Alexander said. “We are intensely grateful for the past 33 years. I also want to thank all the people in the kingdom for their support and trust. Thank you.”

The speeches were followed by the playing of the Dutch national anthem.

The ceremony will be followed by the investiture of the new king at De Nieuwe Kerk church.

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