Tonight, Queen Beatrix announced that she is abdicating and that her son, Willem-Alexander, is taking over the throne. The abdication will be final on April 30, The Queen’s Day, and Willem-Alexander will take over the throne on that day. (I presume this means that the day will be called The King’s Day for the duration of Willem-Alexander’s reign.)
It’s been 122 years since King Willem III died (November 1890) and it’s that long since the Netherlands had a male monarch. There are also a slew of male-only titles related to the Dutch throne, which may come into play again now. (Then again, since the majority of them are outside the Netherlands, I’m not sure it is worth the bother.)
Queen Beatrix will become Princess Beatrix after April 30, 2013. She will revert to the title Princess as her mother and grandmother did before her. In
Since three queens in a row have abdicated in the Netherlands now, Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix, I suppose it really has become a Dutch tradition.
(As an aside: the humorous fake Twitter of Prince Charles around the time of the announcement is even better than the QueenUK’s.)
The abdication was not unexpected. Rumours have been going around for years that she would do it any day now… and they finally came true. Incidentally, her mother abdicated in January, 1980, and it went through on The Queen’s Day that same year.
The Dutch Prime Minister had his speech after the Queen’s – and revealed through it that Princess Máxima will get the title Queen, and not, as have been presumed earlier by royal watchers, remain a Princess.
Princess Catharina-Amalia will, most probably, receive the title Princess of Orange as the first heir to hold it in her own right.