Willem-Alexander has been sworn in as the new king of the Netherlands following the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix, on Tuesday. With his inauguration, Willem-Alexander becomes the country’s first king since 1890. Numerous orange-clad revelers gathered in Amsterdam’s Dam Square outside the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) where the monarch’s inauguration ceremony took place.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander succeeds mother Beatrix
Gilbert Kreijger and Thomas Escritt, Reuters
April 30, 2013
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Willem-Alexander became the first king of the Netherlands since 1890 on Tuesday, ascending a throne largely stripped of political power but still invested with enormous symbolic significance for the Dutch people.
Blinking back tears, former Queen Beatrix stepped out onto the balcony of the Royal Palace and presented her son to crowds of orange-clad well-wishers who had gathered in Dam Square from early on Tuesday.
“Some moments ago I abdicated from the throne. I am happy and thankful to present to you your new king,” said Beatrix, 75, who retired after 33 years in the role, following in the tradition of her mother and grandmother. She now takes the title princess.
An estimated 25,000 people massed in the square – many dressed in the color of the House of Orange or wearing orange wigs, hats, feather boas and pretend crowns – cheered as the abdication and automatic succession were broadcast live.
Wearing a sober purple dress, Beatrix signed the abdication document in front of the Dutch cabinet, Willem-Alexander, 46, and his wife Maxima, a former investment banker from Argentina.