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Dutch Queen Abdicates

posted 28 Jan 2013, 12:05 by Mpelembe   [ updated 28 Jan 2013, 12:05 ]

Dutch Queen Beatrix abdicates in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, who will become king on April 30.

INNSBRUCKAUSTRIA (FILE - FEBRUARY 19, 2012) (REUTERS) - Dutch Queen Beatrix announced on Monday (January 28) she was abdicating in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, who will become king on April 30.

Queen Beatrix turns 75 on Thursday.

Willem-Alexander, 45, is married to Princess Maxima Zorrigueta and has three young children. Decades of grooming for the throne involved shaking off his image as a beer-drinking fraternity boy whose blunt comments upset the press and politicians.

Beatrix said in a television broadcast to the nation that she was stepping down because she felt her son was ready to take her place on the throne.

Her middle son, Prince Johan Friso, has been in a coma ever since he was buried in an avalanche while skiing last year.

Queen Beatrix, who remains very popular with the Dutch, became the sixth monarch of the House of Orange in 1980 following the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana, who reigned for 31 years.

Juliana was 73 years old and in deteriorating mental health when she abdicated butBeatrix has remained active and in good health despite some setbacks.


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