Queen Beatrix announces abdication

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Dutch Queen Beatrix has announced that she will abdicate the throne on April 30 after 33 years as head of state.

Abdicating means that she will give up her title of Queen which will mean her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander,  will become King. He will be the first Dutch King in more than 100 years.

Queen Beatrix made the announcement during a TV speech. She is one of Europe’s  longest-serving monarchs, as well as one of the most popular.  In everyday conversation, many Dutch people refer to her simply by the nickname “Bea.”

“Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation,” Queen Beatrix said in the speech delivered from her Huis ten Bosch palace just days before she was to turn 75.

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