Abdication of Queen Beatrix
During her national address on Monday, 28 January 2013, Her Majesty the Queen announced her decision to abdicate in spring 2013. “As you all know, in a few days I hope to celebrate my 75th birthday. I am thankful that I have been granted the opportunity to do so in good health,” began Queen Beatrix. “At the end of this year we shall mark the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, an occasion that ushered in a new era in our history. The fact that these two special events coincide led me to decide to relinquish the throne this year.”
The Queen will be succeeded her eldest son Willem-Alexander. His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange will become King Willem-Alexander, while his spouse, Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands will become Queen Máxima. King Willem-Alexander will be the nation’s first king since 1890 and will be 46 years old when he ascends to the throne.
30 April 2013
Queen’s Day (30 April) is renowned for being one of the biggest and most colourful festivities in the Netherlands, and especially so in Amsterdam. The announcement that this special day in 2013 will also mark the official programme of abdication and investiture means that the eyes of the world will be watching the city, while it will also be a very special occasion for everyone in Amsterdam. On this day, Her Majesty the Queen will sign the Instrument of Abdication at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam. The investiture of His Majesty the King and Queen Máxima will then take place at the Nieuwe Kerk. The new king is then expected to appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace to greet the people.
Additional information about the abdication and an overview of the official programme (including times) can be found on the Royal House website.
Celebrations in Amsterdam
This grand occasion will naturally result in revisions to the traditional Queen’s Day programming in Amsterdam. The city will attract a great number of national and international visitors, not only on the day of the abdication and inauguration, but before and after. As such, plans are currently underway for the organisation of this historic occasion and its surrounding celebrations. “Amsterdam is proud to host the abdication and will do all that is necessary to facilitate the security, public order and accessibility of the city,” confirmed a spokesperson for Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan. Detailed plans will be announced in due course.
As of 2014, King’s Day (Koningsdag) will be officially celebrated on 27 April, the birthday of the future king – although the first King’s Day will actually be held on Saturday, 26 April 2014, as the event is traditionally not celebrated on a Sunday. On this occasion in 2014, the Royal Family will visit two locations in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area: Amstelveen and De Rijp.