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Willem-Alexander became Dutch king on Tuesday after his mother queen Beatrix signed her act of abdication in Amsterdam.
"I Queen Beatrix... abdicate in favour of my son Willem-Alexander," the act said, as read out before the signing that was broadcast live from the Amsterdam palace.
The queen shed a tear on arrival, and the act was then witnessed by Willem-Alexander, his Argentine-born Queen Maxima and members of the government.
The king and queen's three daughters, including their eldest, now Princess of Orange Catharina-Amalia, 9, attended the ceremony, wearing identical yellow and white dresses.