|« Shock Justin Bieber gropes young fan's breast | Main | No Destiny's Child Reunion At Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show? »|
Queen Beatrix of Netherlands Gives Up Her Throne to Son
The abdication of Beatrix sparked some speculation in the British press Tuesday about whether Queen Elizabeth II, at 86, might follow suit and step down so her son Charles could become King.
Elizabeth has indicated that she regarded being queen as a job for life.
Charles, 64, has been heir to the throne since 1952.
The queen, who turns 75 this week, announced her abdication in a prerecorded televised address Monday. The coincidence of her birthday and the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was the reason for her decision, she said.
"It seems like a good point in time to take this step, which I've been thinking about for several years," the queen said. "The coincidence of these two special events has been the occasion for me to decide to step down from my position."
The investiture will take place in Amsterdam on April 30, when the Dutch celebrate Queen's Day. The date marks the birthday of Queen Beatrix's mother, Queen Juliana, who was queen from 1948 until April 1980.
In 1966, Beatrix married Claus von Amsberg, who died in 2002. They had three sons, Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince Friso and Prince Constantijn. The eldest, Willem-Alexander, has been prince of Orange--the title of the Dutch heir apparent--since the queen's investiture in 1980.
"It is with the greatest confidence that I will pass on the throne on April 30 to my son, prince of Orange," the queen said. "He and Princess Máxima are fully prepared to take on their future task," she said.