On the evening of January 28, 2013, at the Paleis Huis ten Bosch, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced that she will abdicate the throne in favor of her son and heir, His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander of Oranje.
Her Majesty’s pre-recorded message, which was shown and heard on Dutch television and radio, stated that she will step down on April 30, 2013. She also noted that she had been contemplating her abdication for some time and that now was the time to “…lay down my crown. [The] responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation…”
I have to admit that I am a sad that Her Majesty Queen Beatrix decided to abdicate; nevertheless, I am confident that His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander is well prepared for his new position.
And, with that, God Bless Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Long Live King Willem-Alexander!
Her Majesty’s speech in full:
“As you all know, I hope in a few days to celebrate my 75th birthday. I am grateful that I have the honor this day in good health to be facing. At the end of this year we will commemorate our country two hundred years ago kingdom, which in our history, a new era dawned. The coincidence of these two special events for me is the inspiration for deciding this year from my office to resign. It seems a good time to take this step, which I already have some year consider, now actually take.
I have always regarded as an exceptional privilege of a large part of my life in the service of our country to adopt and implement under my command to be able to give the kingship. It was Prince Claus me many years to great support.
To this day, this beautiful task given me great satisfaction. It is inspiring themselves with people involved feel, to live with grief and share in times of joy and national pride. I have also been able to experience in the Caribbean parts of our kingdom, where I always much warmth and cordiality have encountered. I come therefore not return because the office too heavy for me to fall, but from the conviction that the responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation.
It is with the greatest confidence that I am on 30 April this year the kingdom shall hand over to my son, the Prince of Oranje. He and Princess Máxima are fully prepared for their future roles. They will serve our country with dedication, faithful to the Constitution and to maintain all their talents own interpretation to the kingship.
I feel strengthened by the thought that the way to my successor does not mean that I say goodbye to you. I hope many of you still often meet. I am deeply grateful to you for the trust you have given me in the many beautiful years in which I could be your queen.”
Photo courtesy of Het Koninklijk Huis