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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dutch Queen Abdicates

The moment a queen signed away her throne in favour of her son: Thousands of Dutch turn out to see monarch Beatrix abdicate

  • Crown Prince Willem-Alexander was inaugurated as the Netherlands' first king since 1890 today
  • His mother Beatrix, is abdicating after a 33-year reign - she is now Princess Beatrix
  • Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall attended the investiture
  • Her decision to step down from the largely ceremonial role had been widely expected
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands looked emotional this morning as she signed over her throne in favour of her eldest son Willem-Alexander.
The 46-year-old, the first Dutch king in more than 100 years, gripped his mother's hand after they both signed the abdication document at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.
The much-loved Beatrix ended her 33-year-reign as thousands of orange-clad people cheered outside and millions more watched on national television.
With her abdication, she becomes Princess Beatrix and her son ascends the throne as King Willem-Alexander.
The father of three's popular Argentine-born wife becomes Queen Maxima and their eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, becomes Princess Orange and first in line to the throne.
King Willem-Alexander has pledged to be a 21st century king, close to his nearly 17 million subjects, and not a 'protocol fetishist'.
Scroll down for video
End of an era: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signs the act of abdication next to her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Crown Princess Maxima during a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam
End of an era: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signs the act of abdication next to her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Crown Princess Maxima during a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam
New generation: Queen Beatrix passes the act of abdication to her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander who smiled widely as he signed the act
New generation: Queen Beatrix passes the act of abdication to her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander who smiled widely as he signed the act
Relaxed: Dutch Queen Beatrix, smiled as she sat down and prepared to sign the Act of Abdication
Relinquishing role: The much-loved Beatrix ended her 33-year-reign as thousands of orange-clad people cheered outside and millions more watched on national television
New leader:
New leader: King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his mother Princess Beatrix greet the crowd of Dam Square from the balcony of the Royal Palace Amsterdam, following the official abdication
New beginnings:
New beginnings: Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace with their children, from left: Catharina-Amalia, Ariane, and Alexia
Last night�Prince Charles and Camilla joined members of the Dutch Royal Family for a dinner in honour of Queen Beatrix at the world-famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which has just reopened after a lavish €375m renovation.

Celebration: Prince Charles and wife Camila, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive for a banquet hosted by the Dutch Royal family at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, last night
Celebration: Prince Charles and wife Camila, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive for a banquet hosted by the Dutch Royal family at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, last night
Celebration: Prince Charles and wife Camila, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive for a banquet hosted by the Dutch Royal family at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, last night
Celebration: The pair sported a monochrome looks as they arrived at the elaborate dinner

Dutch Crown Princess Maxima waved as she left the Royal Palace before the ceremony
Dutch Crown Princess Maxima waved as she left the Royal Palace before the ceremony. She wore a variety of stunning jewels for the occasion, which will see her husband take the throne and make her queen consort

Change over: Dutch Queen Beatrix, centre, and Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, left, and his wife Princess Maxima arrive for the banquet
Change over: Dutch Queen Beatrix, centre, and Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, left, and his wife Princess Maxima arrive for the banquet
Last dinner: Queen Beatrix Of The Netherlands hosts a Gala Dinner ahead of her abdication
Last dinner: Queen Beatrix Of The Netherlands hosts a Gala Dinner ahead of her abdication last night

Fit for a King and Queen: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, centre, hosts a dinner on April 29, 2013 at the National Museum
Fit for a King and Queen: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was surrounded by Royal figures, including Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who can be seen in sparkling white

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