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.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]