Queen Beatrix abdicates, King Willem-Alexander succeeds Dutch throne

Queen Beatrix, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
waves to cheering crowds. (Image copyright AP)

Queen Beatrix, whose infectious smile and warm personality endeared her not only to her subjects, but also the entire world, abdicated today. His eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander succeeds to the Dutch throne. He is the Netherlands' first king since 1890. 

The Mail Online reports that the former queen was rather "emotional" as she passed her throne to her eldest son before thousands of adoring subjects that "poured on to the streets of Amsterdam to welcome their first king in more than 100 years."

The 46-year-old king clutched his mother's hand after each has placed their signatures on the instrument of abdication at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

The 75-year-old queen was on the verge of tears while making her appearance on the balcony. More than 200,000 flocked in front of the royal palace to witnessed the historic event.

"Today, I make way for a new generation," she said.  

"I am happy and grateful to introduce to you your new king, Willem-Alexander."

Moments later, as a sign of passing the reins of the kingdom to the new king, the queen left the balcony. The king, his wife and three daughters (children in matching yellow dresses and head bands) were waving before the crowd.

The king, himself, was emotional. He said, "Dear mother, today you relinquished the throne. 33 years moving and inspiring years. We are intensely, intensely grateful to you."

Queen Beatrix signs the instrument of abdication.

Queen Beatrix holds the hand of son and successor King Willem-Alexander.

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and daughters (in matching yellow clothes)
at the balcony of the Royal Palace as they wave before
thousands of cheering crowd. 

The document of abdication.

More than 200,000 crowds flocked in front of the Royal Palace to
witness Queen Beatrix's abdication.
Last night, royals from all over Europe converged at the world-famous Rijksmuseum to join Queen Beatrix and members of the Dutch Royal Family at the state banquet in honor of the Queen and her successor.

Among the royalties who attended include Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, the Crown Prince and Princess of Belgium, Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco, Former UN Secretary General and Mrs. Kofi Annan, the Prince and Princess of the Asturias, the Crown Prince and Princess of Belgium, Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway, the Crown Prince and Princess of Brunei, Crown Princess Victoria and husband Prince Daniel of Sweden, the Crown Prince of Japan, Grand Duke Guillaume and Grand Duchess Stephanie of Belgium, and the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark.

Former UN Secretary General and Mrs. Kofi Annan

The Prince and Princess of the Asturias

Prince Albert II of Monaco

The Crown Prince and Princess of Belgium

The Crown Prince and Princess of Norway

The Crown Prince and Princess of Brunei

From left to right, Prince Daniel, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan

Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

The Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands is tucked between his wife
Princess Laurentien (left) and sister-in-law Princess Mabel (right),
whose husband Prince Johan Friso is still in comatose. 

Queen Beatrix's sisters, Princess Christina (right)
and Princess Irene.

Queen Beatrix (at the center) enjoys the state banquet with her family
and royal guests

Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Crown Princess Maxima.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall


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