The Dutch Monarchy

We’ve all heard the news of the pope’s resignation this past week.  But did you know that the Queen of the Netherlands is also stepping down from her throne?  (The Netherlands is home to Douwe Egberts so we here like to keep abreast of Dutch news.)

Last month, Queen Beatrix announced her intention to abdicate the throne on April 30th, 2013, exactly 33 years after she succeeded her mother, Queen Juliana.  She will be replaced by her eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander.  Queen Beatrix’s husband, Prince Claus, died in 2002 from complications with prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease.  Unlike the pope, Queen Beatrix is abdicating not because of the strain of the work but because she says the country should be led by a new generation.

The new king (who will be crowned on April 30th) and his wife will be known as Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, with the oldest of their 3 daughters Princess Catherina-Amalia, (9 years old) as the next in line to the throne, after her father.

Queen’s Day, which celebrates the Queen’s birthday (and is held on Queen Juliana’s actual birthday of April 30) is a national holiday and one of the biggest celebrations each year in Holland.  Starting next year, it will be held a few days earlier and, of course, be known as King’s Day.  Perhaps not by chance, it will fall on the new King’s 47th birthday next year.

We wish the pope, Queen Beatrix and the new King the best of luck in their future endeavors!

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