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Saturday 25 October  
Queen Beatrix not set to abdicate quite yet
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Hilversum, Netherlands
Hilversum, Netherlands

Queen Beatrix not set to abdicate quite yet

Published on : 29 April 2012 - 8:00am | By RNW News Desk (Photo: ANP)
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On 30 April the Netherlands is celebrating Queen’s Day. This year, Queen Beatrix will be making walkabouts in provincial Dutch towns as usual. This year, it’s the turn of Rhenen and Veenendaal. But the question on everyone’s lips is: how long will she continue on the throne?

By Dutch royalty expert Ben Kolster

The question of when she will abdicate in favour of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander comes up regularly both on her real birthday and on Queen’s Day. Dutch law says the sovereign alone decides how and when the abdication should take place.There would seem to be no point to speculation, but some Dutch royalty watchers like to think they know a bit more than most people.

What might be the reasons for Queen Beatrix to choose a particular moment to hand over the post of head of state to her son? The state of her physical and mental health perhaps, but she appears to be in fine shape. Insiders point out that she still enjoys her ‘job’.

What about family circumstances? It’s well known that her son and his wife would like to enjoy their young family as long as possible. Her memories of happy years with her late husband, Prince Claus, and her children at Drakensteyn Castle is said to play a major role in her deliberations.

Christmas message
What about the political and social developments taking place in the country? She is said to be worried by the disintegration of the once so stable political middle ground in The Hague, and by the growth of populist parties on both the right and left.

She isn’t allowed to comment on these developments in public, but she sometimes manages to include a subtle suggestion of her dissatisfaction in her annual Christmas messages.

Now that the Rutte government has fallen, the economic crisis shows no sign of abating and new elections are scheduled for early in September, she will be keen to deploy all her experience once again to help keep the country on the rails.

Calmer waters
No doubt, the queen will be hoping that the Netherlands will get itself back into calmer waters so she can hand over her mission to her son. She knows only too well that it can’t be too long before a new generation of the House of Orange ascends the throne.

Next week, we’ll celebrate another Queen’s Day, but there can’t be many more to go under the present sovereign.

(hs/mw)

Discussion

Nina 29 January 2013 - 1:36pm / Netherlands

The monarchy is still very popular in The Netherlands, it is a living connection to our past and the Queen stands above all party politics. In difficult times people take comfort in her presence, something I do not see our prime minister pull off. Yes it costs taxpayers money but looking at the Netherlands as a corporation, she is the best marketing strategy we have abroad, she vists many countries and meets with the heads of states and a lot of Dutch business people travel with her. The Netherlands is a democracy with a prime minister and a cabinet and elections but we have a very special added bonus. Some comments make it seem like the Dutch people need to be liberated from the monarchy, you are all very mistaken, it is our choice and the vast majority of us would not have it any other way. However I do think there is room for improvement, in my opinion the Royals could do with less taxmoney and over the last decades their small influence on the government is getting even smaller and that is a good thing. However I think it is a good thing to keep this institition that functions as a glue in our nation, and with the royals gone, it would be strange to dress up in orange during international sporting events ;)

Nina 29 January 2013 - 1:34pm / Netherlands

The monarchy is still very popular in The Netherlands, it is a living connection to our past and the Queen stands above all party politics. In difficult times people take comfort in her presence, something I do not see our prime minister pull off. Yes it costs taxpayers money but looking at the Netherlands as a corporation, she is the best marketing strategy we have abroad, she vists many countries and meets with the heads of states and a lot of Dutch business people travel with her. The Netherlands is a democracy with a prime minister and a cabinet and elections but we have a very special added bonus. Some comments make it seem like the Dutch people need to be liberated from the monarchy, you are all very mistaken, it is our choice and the vast majority of us would not have it any other way. However I do think there is room for improvement, in my opinion the Royals could do with less taxmoney and over the last decades their small influence on the government is getting even smaller and that is a good thing. However I think it is a good thing to keep this institition that functions as a glue in our nation, and with the royals gone, it would be strange to dress up in orange during international sporting events ;)

Anonymous 21 January 2013 - 7:32pm / USA

We now have a King in the USA - with increasing use of Executive Order (healthcare issues, gun control issues, tax issues) that usrps the Senate and House of Representatives.
A small victory in elections does not mean a mandate rule and absolute power by one person.
Note the big difference between 'democracy' and 'republic'. The latter prevents mob-rule that the former can bring.

Joni 24 September 2012 - 8:13am / United States

Monarchy is still very important today because they represent culture and the identity of a country. Queen beatrix is the netherlands herself. The Queen is not outdated and she carries an important role of the country. Democracy can live within the monarchy like in great britain. So i think there is no reason for anyone to rid of the system. There is a saying if you do not know where you come from then you do not know where you're going

jasmin 30 April 2012 - 3:40am

Happy Koninginnedag..

Anonymous 29 April 2012 - 8:31pm / Spain

The "Kingdoms" are outdated, do not fit in our society anymore. It is an injustice to all "Normal" or average citizens to see these people wasting OUR MONEY!
It is very annoying to see these persons with an "Air" of self assured and "Above the law and others. They are completely out of order or line.
My very first advice stop this nonsense, and give everything back to the rightful owners, The Dutch people!

Jamaes 21 October 2012 - 3:38am / Canada

Look at the Republics around the world, are they really in any better shape then the Monarchies?

Do you really think that any money saved by abolishing the monarchy would go back to the people?

They would just waist it on something else.

I like the idea that as a Canadian by Head of State,The Queen, is not a politician. She has no political agenda.

Look at the United States, how does one divide their loyalty to the President as Head of State

and the President as a politician?

President Obama may be Head of State but he still has Democratic Party agenda to push

President Bush was Head of State but still had a Republican Party agenda to push

The great republic of the United States has a government that has become so politicized as to become

dysfunctional. They cannot even agreed on passing a budget while they run towards the debt clift.

Vive Republic indeed.

Joni 24 September 2012 - 8:17am

If you want to rid of the system then tell your children not to watch fairytales because its about Kings and Queens. And don't watch Tina Turner because she's the Queen of Rock n Roll kidding

Anonymous 29 April 2012 - 1:07pm

It is time to turn Holland into a real democracy and get rid of the interfering house of Orange; they take huge sums of money from the state - somewhere in the region of 40 million a year - and exert far too much influence on politics in the country. Why should the Dutch tax-payers have to cough up money for the security at the new luxury villa in Greece? Beatrix is one of the richest women in the world; it's time she and the rest of the family retired and left us to create a real democracy, not this ridiculous half-half situation.

Anonymous 15 September 2012 - 10:20pm / United States

I highly doubt your a Dutch citizen, because the monarchy is still hugely popular there and with no signs of going away anytime soon.

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