Tag Archives: netherlands

Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands to abdicate on 30 April 2013

Tonight at 7 PM CET Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands addressed her people via all national television and radio stations, letting them know that she has decided to abdicate this spring on 30 April. The address was pre-recorded at her home Huis ten Bosch in The Hague and lasted just under three minutes.

The monarch, who will celebrate her 75th birthday on 31 January, said in her address that facing this age at a good health and also the upcoming celebrations of the kingdom’s bicentennial anniversary provided her with inspiration to take this step now. Her Majesty also said that it was time to hand over to a new generation after having had the privilege to serve The Netherlands for soon 33 years. The Queen ended the address by reassuring her people that she will not disappear from the stage completely but hope to meet many of her citizens also in the future and thanked for the trust during the years she has been allowed to rule.

The abdication of Queen Beatrix will fall on the same date as that of her mother, Queen Juliana. The Netherlands has been ruled by female monarchs since the death of King Willem III (who had three sons that predeceased him) in 1890 and Beatrix is the third reigning queen in a row after Queen Wilhelmina (1890-1948) and Queen Juliana (1948-1980) who all abdicated in favour of their heir.

Queen Beatrix will be succeeded by her oldest child and son who will become King Willem-Alexander upon the abdication, the country’s first king in 123 years. He is currently titled Prince of Orange, a title that his oldest child and daughter Princess Catharina-Amalia, soon Europe’s second female heir apparent to the throne together with her godmother Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, will shoulder from then on. At his side the new king will have his Argentinian-born wife Máxima who will be titled queen. Queen Beatrix will revert to being titled as princess upon her abdication, as regulated in Dutch law.

The future King Willem-Alexander will be 46 years old when he accedes to the throne, he was almost 13 when his mother became queen and he the heir apparent as Prince of Orange in 1980. Princess Catharina-Amalia will become the world’s second youngest heir apparent on 30 April, she is only 9 years old.

Queen Beatrix’s abdication will take place at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and the following formal ceremony marking King Willem-Alexander’s accession to the throne in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) just next door at Dam Square.

PHOTO: RVD

Royal Christmas & New Year’s messages 2012/2013

There’s a strong tradition for both monarchs and political leaders around the world to hold speeches or messages to the people in the time between Christmas and New Year’s. Tradition varies a little from country to country, some of the speeches and messages are rather long and go through the past year while others are shorter and focus on the holiday greeting. Sweden’s royal Christmas speech was the most recent one to reach television after only being broadcast on radio until a few years ago. Almost all of them, except the one of Queen Margrethe of Denmark, have in common that they are recorded well ahead of Christmas and New Year.

Here’s my re-cap of this year’s messages from the European monarchs…

Belgium, King Albert II – 24 December

Full text in French here and Dutch here.

Denmark, Queen Margrethe II – 31 December

Full text in the Danish original here and in English here.

Japan, Emperor Akihito – 1 January

Full text in original Japanese here.

Luxembourg, Grand Duke Henri – 24 December

Full text in original Luxembourgish here and French here.

Monaco, Prince Albert II – 31 December

A video shared on Facebook, can be seen here.

The Netherlands, Queen Beatrix – 25 December

Full text in original Dutch here.

Norway, King Harald V – 31 December

Full text in original Norwegian here.

United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II – 25 December

Full text in original English here.

Spain, King Juan Carlos – 24 December

Full text in original Spanish here.

Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf – 25 December

H.M. Konungens jultal 2012 from Kungahuset on Vimeo.

Full text in original Swedish here.

Non-reigning

Prince Leka of Albania – 1 January – text here.

King Simeon of Bulgaria – 20 December – text here.

King Michael of Romania – 24 December – video

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Prince Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta – 31 December – text here.

Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia – 21 December – text here.