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Generational change in Dutch royalty as queen abdicates and is replaced by son as king

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

AMSTERDAM - Queen Beatrix has signed the official act of abdication at the Royal Palace in downtown Amsterdam, making her eldest son Willem-Alexander the first Dutch king in more than 100 years.

The much-loved Beatrix ended her 33-year-reign Tuesday in a nationally televised signing ceremony as thousands of orange-clad people cheered outside and millions more watched on television.

With her abdication, she becomes Princess Beatrix and her son ascends the throne as King Willem-Alexander. He is the first Dutch king since Willem III died in 1890.

The 46-year-old father of three's popular Argentine-born wife becomes Queen Maxima and their eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, becomes Princess Orange and first in line to the throne.

Willem-Alexander gripped his visibly emotional mother's hand after they both signed the abdication document.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/130430/generational-change-dutch-royalty-queen-abdicates-and-replac