Monday, January 28, 2013

Queen Beatrix Abdicates and History is Made

Today is a historic day for the monarchy in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced that she would abdicate in favor of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, on April 30th, a day which is known as Koninginnedag or 'Queen's Day'. The date is significant as the same date Beatrix's own mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated in Beatrix's favor in 1980. Upon her abdication Beatrix's title will revert to Princess Beatrix.

Beatrix's abdication is no surprise. In fact some would say that it was inevitable given the history of abdications in the Dutch monarchy. Beatrix's grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina and mother, Queen Juliana, both abdicated and now Beatrix has followed suit.

The Netherlands have been ruled by women since 1890. When Willem-Alexander becomes king, he will be the first male monarch in 123 years. The previous king, William III, was also named Willem-Alexander. By the new King's side will be his wife, Argentinian born Maxima.

Upon acceding to the throne, his oldest daughter, Princess Catharina-Amalia becomes next in line. This is notable for a few reasons. In doing so she will likely become Princess of Orange in her own right, a title normally reserved for the eldest son of the sovereign. Amalia also becomes the second female heir apparent in the world after her godmother, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Born in December 2003 she will be the second youngest heir apparent in the world after Prince Lerotholi Seeiso, born in 2007. She also becomes the youngest heir apparent to a reigning European royal house.

© Marilyn Braun 2013

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Rman said...

Hi Marilyn,

I think it's great to see Queen Beatrix step down while she's still healthy and able to see her son and daughter-in-law do a good job as King and Queen.

I truly respect the way the British way of doing things as well, by The Queen doing her job until she's not to go on any longer and then pass the throne over to Charles or until she passes away.

I just think it's good to pass the Dutch throne over in a good and happy way, instead for a very sad reason and when the world is in deep mourning.

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes, I agree. I like the way the Dutch do things. Abdicating while they can do so in a dignified way.

As far as I can tell Beatrix is a popular monarch so in a way her abdication is sad. But it is also happy because a new chapter will start, which I think is what keeps the monarchy relevant - youth and the ability to do a good job. Not becoming a martyr.

Unknown said...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Princess Ingrid Alexandra (Mette-Marit's kid) also an heir apparent to a throne? Not just Ca-Amalia and CP Victoria.
Thanks, Jackie (first time commenter)

Marilyn Braun said...

Hi Jackie,


Because her father is not king, Princess Ingrid Alexandra is not a Crown Princess - yet. She is currently second in line to the throne after her father, Crown Prince Haakon.

Princess Amalia and Princess Victoria are first in line to the throne after their father's who are kings. Thus the difference in their positions and titles from other heirs like Ingrid Alexandra, Elisabeth of Belgium and Christian of Denmark.

Hope this helps!


Anonymous said...

ah..that clears it up for me. Thank you very much. Jackie