Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is retiring. She announced in a televised statement on Monday evening that she is stepping down in favour of her son, Prince William-Alexander.
The queen, who will celebrate her 75th birthday later this week, said she had been thinking about this moment for several years and that now was “the moment to lay down my crown”.
Queen Beatrix has been head of state since 1980, when her mother abdicated. During Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard van Oranje-Nassau’s 32 years as monarch she travelled to every corner of the world on more than 50 state visits.
The Queen has sworn in 13 cabinets and prime ministers, from Dries van Agt in 1981 to Mark Rutte in 2010 and again in 2012. She also received the Dutch national football team when they became European Champions in 1988 and was always quickly on the scene in times of disaster or mourning for the Netherlands.