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Watch: Queen Juliana Abdicates

Queen Juliana. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Addressing the thousands of her beloved Dutch countrymen who turned out as she bid adieu to a meaningful reign, Queen Juliana admitted that the years of hard work and dedication had their catch--it made her power fade with age. After 31 years on the throne, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands announced her abdication in favor of her daughter, Crown Princess Beatrix.

The 70-year-old queen made the surprise proclamation in a national television broadcast from Soestdijk Palace outside Amsterdam. The announcement came during Beatrix's 42nd birthday, on January 31, 1980.

The Queen said she would step down on her 71st birthday, on April 30, 1980.

The Queen said: "As one gets older, one realizes that sooner or later that one's powers decrease and that one cannot fulfill one's duties as before."

"We remain in your midst; my husband and I, and I hope to be able to experience the satisfaction of making myself useful in our society.

"Now is not yet the moment to express the feelings in me and that's why I would like to restrict myself to the sober facts only.

"All I want to ask is to give your support to the new queen after my abdication."


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