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Dutch Queen Beatrix announces abdication

Departure of beloved Queen, affectionately called "Bea," marks end to 33-year rule.

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Dutch Queen Beatrix announces her abdication on television on January 28, 2013. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced on January 28, 2013 that she would abdicate in favour of her son Crown Prince Willem Alexander at the end of April, after 33 years in power. The queen, who is to turn 75 on Thursday, told national television that her birthday and the 200-year anniversary of the monarchy in 2013 'were the reason for me to step down.' (Lex Van Lieshout /AFP/Getty Images)

Dutch Queen Beatrix today announced she will abdicate the throne on April 30, reported the Associated Press, a move that was widely expected but no less traumatic for her many adoring fans in the Netherlands, said SKY

The move signals an end to her 33-year reign, one of the longest in modern-day Europe, according to SKY.

She will be succeeded by her oldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander, said AP, at an April event to coincide with the monarchy's 200-year anniversary. But that is not the main reason for her decision, The Telegraph quoted the Queen as telling the country on national telvision today: 

“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 turns 75 on Thursday, said BBC. The abdication sees her follow in the timely footsteps of her mother, observed The Daily Telegraph's James Kirkup

He also suggested this will put the pressure Britain's own elderly monarch, expecting it to trigger a "rash of speculation about whether our own Monarch will do likewise," adding, "Queen Elizabeth is, at 86, considerably older than her 74-year Dutch counterpart."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/130128/dutch-queen-beatrix-announces-abdication