28 January 2013

Queen Beatrix to abdicate on 30 April 2013

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced in a televised address to the nation earlier tonight that she was going to abdicate on 30 April 2013, exactly 33 years after she succeeded to the throne on the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana. (The Queen's speech in English.)

After the speech the Royal Court issued a press release which contained quite interesting information about the many changes that will affect the members of the Dutch Royal House.
Time and place of abdication and investiture

The official programme for the abdication and investiture will take place on 30 April 2013. Her Majesty the Queen will sign the Instrument of Abdication at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam. The investiture of His Majesty the King will then take place at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.
King's Day on 27 April from 2014
From 2014 onwards, King's Day will be celebrated on 27 April, the birthday of the Prince of Orange and future King Willem-Alexander. In 2014 it will be celebrated by the Royal Family in Amstelveen and De Rijp. These municipalities will be able to use the programme that has already been developed for the planned celebration of Queen's Day on 30 April this year, which will assume a different character because of the abdication and investiture.
Prince of Orange to become King Willem-Alexander

When Queen Beatrix abdicates, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange will become King Willem-Alexander, and Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands will become Queen Máxima. They will both be addressed as 'Your Majesty'. After abdicating, Queen Beatrix will be called Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, etc. As soon as the Prince of Orange ascends the throne, his eldest child, Her Royal Highness Princess Catharina-Amalia, will be the first in line to the throne. She will then become the Princess of Orange (under section 7 of the Membership of the Royal House Act).

The titles and names of the other members of the Royal Family will not change after Queen Beatrix's abdication. The membership of the Royal House and the line of succession will however change under the above Act.*

After the abdication, the line of succession will begin with the children of His Majesty the King: Her Royal Highness the Princess of Orange, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia, and Her Royal Highness Princess Ariane. The next in line will be His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn, his children and finally Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet.

After the abdication, the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven will no longer be eligible for the throne. They will also cease to be members of the Royal House.
A truly historical event is going to take place in April. Oh how much I would love to be present! It feels strange that Queen Beatrix will not longer be the Queen of the Netherlands. She has held that position for a little more than three quarters of my life, and she has always been one of my favourites. A Queen with capital Q. Devoted, loyal, constitutional, popular and distant at the same time. She deserves to take it a bit easier after all these years. And I am confident that the new king - who will use his name Willem-Alexander and not Willem IV - will do well in the position he has been groomed for and will also become a popular monarch as the years go by.

As of now the line of succession to the Dutch throne is as follows (all Prince or Princess of the Netherlands (and other titles) unless otherwise noted):
  1. Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange
  2. Princess Catharina-Amalia
  3. Princess Alexia
  4. Princess Ariane
  5. Prince Constantijn
  6. Countess Eloise of Orange-Nassau
  7. Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau
  8. Countess Leonore of Orange-Nassau
  9. Princess Margriet
  10. Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau
  11. Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau
Updated on Tuesday 29 January 2013 at 19:45 (link to the Queen's speech in English added).

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