Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 28 January 2013

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announces her abdication

The Dutch monarch has just a short time ago announced her abdication as Queen of the Netherlands, in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, with the change taking place formally on 30th April 2013 - see (*) at end. The Queen said in her television broadcast to the Dutch people that she had been thinking about this for some time; she is approaching her 75th birthday (which she will reach on Thursday 31st January). She herself succeeded to the throne in 1980, when her own mother Queen Juliana abdicated at the age of 70, whose own mother Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in 1948 at the age of 68. Prince Willem-Alexander is currently 45, so if recent tradition holds and he enjoys a reasonably-long life he will presumably be on the throne for 25-35 years. The BBC has a report here.

This practice is very different from our own in the UK, where the monarch normally reigns until He or She dies.

(*) 30th April is celebrated as "Queen's Day"; about Princess's/Queen's Day - this has since 1885 been celebrated as Princess's Day, later Queen's Day, although it was originally observed on 31st August, the 5th birthday of the then Princess Wilhelmina, being moved to 30th April in 1948, on the accession to the throne of Queen Juliana as this was her birthday and this tradition has been maintained by Queen Beatrix, although her own birthday is on 31st January.

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