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Wednesday 16 April  
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
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The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Time to relax - at last - for Dutch Queen Beatrix

Published on : 29 January 2013 - 5:44pm | By RNW News Desk (Photo: ANP)
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Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is retiring. She announced in a televised statement on Monday evening that she is stepping down in favour of her son, Prince William-Alexander.

The queen, who will celebrate her 75th birthday later this week, said she had been thinking about this moment for several years and that now was "the moment to lay down my crown".

Queen Beatrix has been head of state since 1980, when her mother abdicated. During Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard van Oranje-Nassau’s 32 years as monarch she travelled to every corner of the world on more than 50 state visits. 

The Queen has sworn in 13 cabinets and prime ministers, from Dries van Agt in 1981 to Mark Rutte in 2010 and again in 2012. She also received the Dutch national football team when they became European Champions in 1988 and was always quickly on the scene in times of disaster or mourning for the Netherlands.

She has remained active in recent years which have also seen traumatic events, In 2009 a would-be attacker killed eight people when he drove his car into crowds watching the queen and other members of the royal family at a national holiday parade.

In March last year her second son, Prince Friso, was struck by an avalanche in Austria and remains in a coma.

Queen Beatrix enjoys high approval ratings and is one of the most popular ruling monarchs in Europe. She will officially abdicate on Queen's Day, April 30th. From next year, the public holiday will be known as King's Day. 

• To mark the occasion of Queen Beatrix' abdication, RNW presents a pictorial review of her reign.

  • 30 April 1980 - Beatrix, then 42, is sworn in in Amsterdam. She succeeds her mother Juliana as Queen of the Netherlands.<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix and family on their annual skiing holiday in Lech, Austria (1981)<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix speaking in the White House garden, flanked by President Reagan (1982)<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix celebrating her official birthday in Amsterdam (1988)<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix receives the Dutch 11, who were European Champions in 1988. With Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Rinus Michels.<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix dancing with her husband, Prince Claus<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix visiting the scene of the 1992 plane crash in Bijlmermeer, Amsterdam.<br>&copy; Photo: RVD - http://www.rvd.nl/
  • Beatrix meeting with president Mandela in Africa (1996).<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix and two of her sons at the funeral of her husband Prince Claus (2002)<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix as a grandmother, with all her grandchildren but one.<br>&copy; Photo: RVD - http://www.rvd.nl/
  • Beatrix at a shopping centre where a gunman had killed six (2011).<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/
  • Beatrix wearing a much-discussed headscarf on a state visit to Oman (2012)<br>&copy; Photo: ANP - http://www.anp-photo.com/

 

Discussion

Sipho 25 March 2013 - 1:20pm / South Africa

Is there anyone who can confirm whether Queen Beatrix had presented the Dutch national football team diamond stones for winning the 1988 European Football Championship? Do you also know anything about Deezo and the Banana Beats. Deezo, whose last know address was in Amesfoort, is one of the South Africans who in 1983 went into exile in the Netherlands, joined the Anti Apartheid Movement and was once friends with Ruud Gullit. He has never returned to South Africa since.

Sipho 25 March 2013 - 1:15pm / South Africa

Is there anyone who can confirm whether Queen Beatrix had presented the Dutch national football team for winning the 1988 European Football Championship? Do you also know anything about Deezo and the Banana Beats.
Deezo, whose last know address was in Amesfoort, is one of the South Africans who went into exile in the Netherlands, joined the Anti Apartheid Movement and was once friends with Ruud Gullit.

user avatar
Awesome Ted 28 February 2013 - 7:15pm

Farewell, Beatrix,
You've shown the world the best example of a modern enlightened leader. You've spoken out against the racists and isolationists who would drag the country back a hundred years. One of the pitfalls of democracy is the pressure placed on elected officials to react with a knee-jerk to the latest perceived emergency. You took the long view and led gracefully. Your adoration by the Dutch public is well deserved. I hate to say it, but you're even more awesome than Ted.
Happy cycling in your retirement,
Your fan, Ted

Bill Versteegh 3 February 2013 - 6:42am / Australia

What a bitter, negative, joyless, not to mention illiterate, group of readers you seem to have attracted to your site! Is this a result of the new and more selective demographic you are attempting to cater for? Forget it! Radio National used to be much better and the comments much mire insightful and varoed.
How unfortunate that the comments above are all the responses you received to the news of the abdication of one of Europe's most spontaneous, natural and likeable monarchs.
Bill

Anonymous 6 February 2013 - 8:09pm / EU

You call yourself a fan of the Dutch Queen? With her Nazi husband that was in the Nazi youth leauge. This woman is one of the major shareholders in Roayl Dutch SHELL. The company that was founded guilty for polluting the enviroment in Africa but all these people think about is MONEY!

Her son is marrying a woman who is a daugther of a dictator, her parents are not even allowed to attend the wedding!! What a JOKE! And you call her Europe's most likeable monarchs? Please get off your high horse, her husband was a Nazi, her dad even help flew Nazis out of the Netherlands with KLM to Argentina. These people are an embarrassment to the world...never mind likeable!

brian foulkrod 18 February 2013 - 9:40am / usa

princess maxima's father was a government official, but not the dictator in charge of the nation of argentina. queen beatrix's husband was a military attache for the west german government. be reminded that nato's early high commanders had several ww II german veterans in their ranks. by law, officers were barred from belinging to any party. if you own any retirement asssets, odds are SOME of YOUR money is in companies that have "issues".
if you must post, please start with factual information. if you look above, you'll see a photo of the queen on a public street unescorted on her official birthday. changing times and social stupidity makes that impossible now, not anything she's done since then. i was one of the people who had the pleasure to see a leader who is actually more of a member of her society than any president we've had, and her son is known around the globe for promoting trade, but responsible environmental policies and human liberty. if you want to find a dictator in the wings in the netherlands, look to a certain party whose leader in only kept in check from becoming another hitler by a moral nation who is has a moral head of state to remind them of their history.

janv 5 February 2013 - 5:29pm / canada

"much mire insightful and varoed." Who is the illiterate?

Bill Versteegh 3 February 2013 - 6:42am / Australia

What a bitter, negative, joyless, not to mention illiterate, group of readers you seem to have attracted to your site! Is this a result of the new and more selective demographic you are attempting to cater for? Forget it! Radio National used to be much better and the comments much mire insightful and varoed.
How unfortunate that the comments above are all the responses you received to the news of the abdication of one of Europe's most spontaneous, natural and likeable monarchs.
Bill

janv 3 February 2013 - 11:49pm / canada

JFC Bill! Lighten up a little and get your head out of your ass. Anyone with half a brain knows these "monarchs" are a joke.

Neville19 2 February 2013 - 2:57am / EU

Queen Beatrix was definitely not the people's Queen. When she met Nelson Mandela in South Africa, he was speaking to her in Afrikaans (the Dutch dialect they speak in South Africa) she answered back to him in English! What a joke.

She is nothing like her mother. Her mother was more down to earth. The people's Queen. Beatrix on the other hand was trying too much to create a distance between her and the common people. No wonder she was not that much loved by her people. Always trying to prove she is royal and different from commoners. No wonder she was not that much loved by her people.

fredflange 25 February 2013 - 1:58pm

Afrikaans isn't a dialect. It is a language. And the reason Beatrix spoke English is probably that she doesn't know any Afrikaans.

user avatar
knirb 1 March 2013 - 7:48am

Correct, fredflange. The languages are somewhat, but not easily mutually understandable. It's unlikely that Mandela would have understood Beatrix if she had answered in contemporary Dutch. Mandela is fluent in English and Xhosa.
Neville19, the implication that Beatrix answered in English out of elitism is preposterous.

janv 31 January 2013 - 2:24am / canada

Old age and ugliness go hand in hand, even for thieves and frauds!

Anonymous 30 January 2013 - 8:10pm / Lalaland

it is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire and many things to fear; and yet that commonly is the case of kings. (Francis Bacon, Essays)

Anon 30 January 2013 - 8:47am

What will happen at the coronation? Will Maxima's father be allowed to come? To me, that would be an insult to all those who have been tortured everywhere, including those deported in The Netherlands during the Second World War. Also, she will be called "queen". Again, I find this an insult to the tortured. Furthermore, people forget that Bernhard, in collaboration with the KLM, assisted war criminals escape prosecution after World War 2. What a shame that this family represents The Netherlands!

Marco Marboni 29 January 2013 - 11:36am / UK

#Error.....You mean Dutch 11 were EUROPEAN Champions in 1988.......

user avatar
Louise Dunne 29 January 2013 - 1:02pm

 Hi Marco,

Oops! We got it right in the article but wrong in the photo caption. Thanks for pointing out the error, which has now been corrected.

Louise

shahrukh fayyaz 7 February 2013 - 6:57am / pakistan

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