On Tuesday, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will abdicate in favour of her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, who will become the King with his wife Princess Maxima by his side as Queen consort.
A day of celebrations will begin early in the morning and continue throughout the day, starting with the abdication ceremony in Amsterdam”s Royal Palace followed by an all-important balcony appearance. In cities and villages across the kingdom there will be festivities as the Dutch people welcome the new era.
Willem-Alexander will be the first male to ascend the throne for 123 years, and will become King as the monarchy celebrates its bicentenary.
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! Online has put together a timeline of all the events taking place so you can keep up to date with the biggest royal gathering since last year”s Diamond Jubilee in Britain for the Queen.
Monday 29th April 8pm
Royals from around the world will gather at the Rijksmuseum for a state dinner hosted by Queen Beatrix, with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall representing the UK. They will rub shoulders with European counterparts such as Spain”s Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, along with Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg who will attend with his wife Princess Stephanie.
Tuesday 30th April
Queen Beatrix will step down in a ceremony at the Royal Palace. The outgoing sovereign will give a short address, before the director of the Queen”s office reads the instrument of abdication, which she then signs. From that moment, Willem-Alexander becomes the King of the Netherlands. In an interview ahead of the big day, he promised to be “a 21st-century king, someone who inspires and accurately represents Dutch society”.
The new King appears on the palace balcony alongside his mother and wife, now Queen Maxima. He will give a short address. As will Princess Beatrix, as she will now be known. Earlier this year, the hugely popular royal said she believed it was now time to leave the monarchy in the hands of a younger generation.
Willem-Alexander and Maxima”s three children will join the couple on the balcony, their oldest daughter Princess Catharina-Amalia, who is nine, will now become The Princess of Orange.
Amalia”s official duties will not begin for some time. As her father explained: “Amalia”s title will be made formal when she”s 18 and she enters the State Council. Until then, we will protect her as much as possible. Her environment right now should only include her parents, her sisters, and her friends.”
Maxima has made sure their daughtes are well rehearsed for the big day. “It”s important they know what to do at all times, it”s not very complicated, but they have to do well”.
Princess Beatrix and other members of the Dutch Royal Family will head to the Nieuwe Kerk, next to the Royal Palace.
The King and the main cortege will proceed to the Nieuwe Kerk for the investiture ceremony where he will make a solemn declaration.
The investiture of the King will take place in the 15th-century church in front of the two houses of the States General, the two houses that make up the parliament. King Willem-Alexander will deliver an address and be sworn in.
The King and his retinue will return to the Royal Palace.
A reception will be held at the palace for royals, foreign ministers, dignitaries and council members of the states of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.
The new King and Queen will take part in a water pageant with the three princesses. They will sail from the Eye Film Museum, past key landmarks enjoying festive displays.