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February 06, 2013

Prince Willem-Alexander becomes king on April 30

Dutch Queen Beatrix has turned  75 years old on January 31st  2013
Dutch Queen Beatrix says Prince Willem-Alexander will become king on April 30
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will on his day of accession, be the country's first King in more than 123 years since the death of Willem III in 1890.

Dutch Queen Beatrix, who has turned  75 on January 31st 2013 , announced she was abdicating in favor of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, who will become king on April 30, 2013.

Dutch Queen Beatrix announced she would abdicate in favor of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, in a televised broadcast to the nation on Monday (January 28) evening.
Willem-Alexander, 45, is married to Princess Maxima Zorrigueta and has three young children. Decades of grooming for the throne involved shaking off his image as a beer-drinking fraternity boy whose blunt comments upset the press and politicians.

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima's carriage ride through Amsterdam following their wedding ceremony, and the balcony scene afterwards on 02-02-02.
Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange (Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand; who was born 27 April 1967), has been heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1980. He is the eldest child of Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus and has been the chief of the House of Amsberg since the demise of his father in 2002. He served in the Dutch military and studied history at Leiden University. Prince Willem-Alexander is currently interested in international water management issues and sports. He married Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti in 2002. They have three daughters: Princess Catharina-Amalia (born in 2003), Princess Alexia (born in 2005), and Princess Ariane (born in 2007).

Prince Willem-Alexander, UWC Atlantic College alumnus and long-time supporter of the UWC movement, will become King of the Netherlands later this year when the country’s reigning monarch, Queen Beatrix, abdicates.
The Prince of Orange attended UWC Atlantic College, studying the International Baccalaureate and graduating in 1985. He has been a regular visitor to the college since graduating, his most recent visit being in March 2012. He  also supported the UWC movement in many other ways in his home country and internationally. 
John Walmsley, Principal of UWC Atlantic College, offers his congratulations to Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, heir to the Dutch throne:
 “Our alumni go on to achieve many different things, from founders of charities to Olympians, astronauts, politicians, global business leaders and environmentalists.  We offer our heartfelt congratulations as Willem Alexander takes over as monarch.  At Atlantic College he studied with students from over 90 different nationalities and from a wide range of backgrounds and we are confident that his experience here will stand him in good stead for his new challenge as King.”   
 HRH Willem-Alexander attended the south Wales based college- who were involved in the conception of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and invented the Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RIB)- in 1983 and graduated with an IB qualification in 1985. Since his graduation, the Prince has made frequent visits to the college.

 A constitutional monarchy, the Netherlands had reduced the involvement of the Royal House in politics, a role long seen more as a formality than a position of power.

In the past, the Queen took part in forming government coalitions by appointing a political mediator, raising questions about behind-the-scenes influence on the democratic process.

That role was scrapped before the last election, which took place in September 2012.

It was widely rumored that Queen Beatrix was no fan of anti-immigrant, eurosceptic politician Geert Wilders. She alluded in speeches to the need for tolerance and multi-culturalism, comments that were seen as criticisms of Wilders' anti-Islamic views.

Wilders' poor showing at the last election and loss of influence in politics, could well have contributed to her decision to abdicate.

Queen Beatrix, who remains very popular with the Dutch, became the sixth monarch of the House of Orange in 1980 following the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana, who reigned for 31 years.
Juliana was 73 years old and in deteriorating mental health when she abdicated but Beatrix has remained active and in good health despite some setbacks.
The queen was emotionally shaken when a man drove his car into a Queen's Day procession in 2009.
Her middle son, Prince Johan Friso, has been in a coma ever since he was buried in an avalanche while skiing last year.

Translation of soundbite:

DUTCH QUEEN BEATRIX TALKING IN TELEVISED ANNOUNCEMENT, SAYING: "As you all know I hope to celebrate my 75th birthday in a few days. I am grateful that I have been allowed to approach that day in good health. At the end of this year we will commemorate the 200th anniversary of our kingdom, a day which opened a new chapter in our history. The coinciding of these two special events has been the reason for me to decide this year to resign from my office. It seems a good moment to take this step now, which I have considered taking for some years. I have always considered it as an extraordinary privilege to be able to put a big part of my life at the service of our country and in accordance with my task to add substance to my kingship. Prince Claus was a big support for many years. Until today, this beautiful task has given me a lot of satisfaction. It is inspiring to feel close to people, to sympathise in grievances and share times of joy and national pride. I was also allowed to experience this in the Caribbean parts of our kingdom, where I was always welcomed with lots of warmth and cordiality. That is why I am not resigning because the tasks of the function are too heavy for me, but because I am convinced that the responsibility of our country should be in the hands of a new generation. It is with great confidence, that on april 30 this year I will pass my kingship to my son, the Prince of Orange. He and Princess Maxima are fully prepared for their future task. They will serve our country with devotion, faithfully serve the constitution, and with all their talents give substance to their kingship. I feel strengthened by the thought that making place for my follower does not mean that I say farewell to you. I hope I will be able to continue to meet many of you frequently. I am deeply grateful for the trust you gave me during the many beautiful years I was allowed to be your queen."

Source : MinWashingtonNews
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