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 Queen Beatrix, who turns 75 on Thursday, announces her abdication in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, in a hastily announced broadcast on Dutch National Television to the nation at her home palace in The Hague in this handout picture dated January 28, 2013.

Queen Beatrix, who turns 75 on Thursday, announces her abdication in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, in a hastily announced broadcast on Dutch National Television to the nation at her home palace in The Hague, 28 January 2013.

Queen Beatrix:

I am not abdicating because this office is too much of a burden, but out of conviction that the responsibility for our nation should now rest in the hands of a new generation.

Queen Beatrix is the sixth monarch from the House of Orange-Nassau, which has ruled the Netherlands since the early 19th Century. Queen Beatrix’s mother Juliana resigned the throne in 1980 on her 70th birthday, and her grandmother Wilhelmina abdicated in 1948 at the age of 68.

Queen Beatrix praised Prince Willem-Alexander as a talented and capable successor “fully prepared” for his future role. She said he would assume the throne on April 30 at the high point of a year of celebrations to mark the end of the Napoleonic occupation in 1813. The Kingdom of the Netherlands was then established two years later.

Willem-Alexander will become the first Dutch King since Willem III, who reigned until his death in 1890.

Source: The Telegraph, BBC news, Reuters