Netherlands welcomes first king in 120 years



Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima wave to the crowd with their daughters Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia (L), Princess Alexia (R) and Princess Ariane (C) on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam April 30, 2013. Photo by Paul Vreeker, Reuters

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated on Tuesday, handing over to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, who became the first King of the Netherlands in over 120 years.
"Some moments ago I abdicated from the throne. I am happy and thankful to present to you your new king."

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, her son King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima (R) sing the national anthem at the Royal Palace balcony in Amsterdam April 30, 2013, after Queen Beatrix's abdication. The Netherlands is celebrating Queen's Day on Tuesday, which also marks the abdication of Queen Beatrix and the investiture of her eldest son Willem-Alexander. REUTERS/Robin Utrecht/Pool

Wearing a sober purple dress, Beatrix signed the abdication document in front of the Dutch cabinet, Willem-Alexander and Maxima, who wore a pale rose-coloured dress with a shimmery skirt and enormous bow on her left shoulder.

Willem-Alexander, a 46-year-old water management specialist, is expected to bring a less formal touch to the monarchy together with Maxima, a former investment banker from Argentina.


Beatrix chose to retire after 33 years in the role, following in the tradition of her mother and grandmother.

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