The Dutch royal court has now released further information about the abdication of Queen Beatrix, which she announced in a televised address at 7 p.m. today. Queen Beatrix will sign the instrument of abdication at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on 30 April and the enthronement of the new King will take place in the adjacent New Church on the same day.
The new King will reign as King Willem-Alexander (not as King Willem IV, as many had expected) and his wife will be styled Queen Máxima (although the husbands of the three previous monarchs were only styled Prince). The eldest daughter of the new King will receive the title Princess of Orange.
Queen Beatrix will, following her abdication, assume the title Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix. Willem I retained the title of King when abdicating in 1840, but Queen Wilhelmina, upon her abdication in 1948, chose to be known as Princess Wilhelmina, arguing that Queen Wilhelmina was constitutionally dead. Queen Juliana followed her mother’s example.
The new King and Queen will for the moment continue to live at their estate Eikenhorst in Wassenaar, while the outgoing monarch will stay on temporarily at the Huis ten Bosch. Eventually the former Queen will vacate that palace for Drakensteyn Palace, and the new King and Queen will take over the Huis ten Bosch.
The abdication means that the two eldest sons of Princess Margriet (Queen Beatrix’s sister), who are now in line of succession, will lose their succession rights because of their more distant kinship to the new monarch. However, Princess Margriet herself will remain in line to the throne.
The national day of the Netherlands will now be moved from 30 April to 27 April. 30 April was the birthday of Queen Juliana, but Queen Beatrix (who is herself born on 31 January) decided to keep that date as the national day when she succeeded her mother in 1980. Now it will be moved forwards by three days to coincide with the birthday of the new King.
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