Earlier today, the world was buzzing when Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced that she would make a formal announcement to the people of the Netherlands this evening.
Instantly, experts and journalists everywhere began speculating: would Beatrix be announcing her abdication from the throne?
At 7pm today, Beatrix made it know that this was, indeed the case. On this day, three days before her 75th birthday, Queen Beatrix announced that she would be abdicating the throne in favor of her middle son, Crowned Prince Willem-Alexander.
Now this means several interesting things (besides the end of Beatrix's 33 year reign):
- When Beatrix officially steps down on April 30, Willem-Alexander will become the first king of the Netherlands since 1890 (123 years ago!).
- Once Willem-Alexander takes to the throne, his wife, Maxima will become Queen. This is particularly interesting as the husbands of the past three queens (Wilhelmina, Juliana, and Beatrix) were all named princes when their wives became queen.
- As of April 30th, Beatrix will take over the title of princess from Maxima.
- Queen's Day, the most beloved of Dutch holidays, will - beginning in 2014 - become King's Day.
- Not only that, but Willem-Alexander has decided to change the celebration date from April 30 (which has been celebrated since Juliana became queen in 1948) will now be celebrated on the day of Willem-Alexander's birthday, April 27.
Beatrix, much beloved by her people, will undoubtedly be sorely missed. But, no doubt, the Dutch will just as proudly stand behind their new king.
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