Queen Beatrix to step aside for son

Jan. 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced Monday she will end her 33-year rule in favor of her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.

The queen said this year, which includes her 75th birthday and fetes to mark the bicentennial of the monarchy, would be good time to abdicate and turn the crown over to a new generation, DutchNews.nl reported.

She will leave the throne April 30, the date 33 years ago that she ascended to the thrown after her mother, Juliana, abdicated, CNN reported. The position of queen or king in the Netherlands is largely ceremonial.

The queen will celebrate her 75th birthday Thursday.

Willem-Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima, are "fully prepared for their future role," she said.

"I am deeply thankful for the faith that you've had in me ... in all these years that I've been able to be queen," she said.

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