Willem-Alexander takes Dutch throne after mother abdicates

By The Citizen

Willem-Alexander was sworn in as the first Dutch king in more than 120 years on Tuesday after his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated the throne, ending 33 years as the country’s monarch.

The 75-year-old monarch handed over power in a constitutionally ordained ceremony in the Mozes Hall of the royal palace in Amsterdam. The transfer became official as she signed the “instrument of abdication” that means she will now be known as Princess Beatrix.

Cheers erupted from crowds gathered outside the palace who were watching proceedings on a big screen as the queen signed the document. CNN’s Max Foster reported that many in the Netherlands had been partying well into the night.

Thousands of well-wishers, many of them wearing orange wigs, T-shirts and hats, flooded down Damrak towards the center of the city. Lots of flags were waving, saying “Dag Beatrix” on one side and “Hallo Willem-Alexander” on the other.

Church bells rang out across the city as the family appeared on the balcony of the royal palace and people in the square waved flags and blew horns. “I’m happy and grateful to present you your new King Willem-Alexander,” Beatrix told the crowd.

King Willem-Alexander told the crowd he was “grateful for your confidence and support” as he started his reign and thanked his mother for “33 touching and inspiring years.” (CNN)