Dutch Queen Beatrix to abdicate in favour of son on April 30
THE HAGUE (AFP) - Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced Monday that she would abdicate in favour of her son Crown Prince Willem Alexander after 33 years in power.
"It is with the greatest of confidence, that I will hand over the throne on April 30 to my son, Willem Alexander, Prince of Orange," Queen Beatrix said in a televised address, using the official title of the heir apparent.
The queen, who is to turn 75 on Thursday, said her birthday and the 200-year anniversary of the monarchy in 2013 "were the reason for me to step down".
"I'm not standing down because public service is too heavy for me, but because of the belief that responsibility for our country should be in the hands of a new generation," she said.