Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Queen Beatrix Abdicates & Why Queen Elizabeth II Won't Be Doing The Same

As you may have all heard Holland's Queen Beatrix announced she is abdicating in favour of her heir apparent Prince Willem-Alexander. In a short televised speech the Dutch Queen said it was time to place the nation "in the hands of a new generation". Queen Beatrix turns 75 in a few days and is already the country's oldest monarch. Both her mother, Queen Juliana and grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina also abdicated.


The full speech is available here.

"As you all know, in a few days I hope to celebrate my 75th birthday. I am thankful that I have been Granted the opportunity to do so in good health. At the end of this year marks the 200th anniversary of  the foundation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, an occasion That Ushered in a new era in our history. The Fact That these two special events coincide led me to decide to relinquish the throne this year. It seems to me to be an 'appropriate time to take this step, All which I have been considering for some time.
 I have always Regarded it as an exceptional privilege to have been able to dedicate a large part of my life to the service of our country and to have been able to discharge the duties of the monarchy as I was called to do. For many years Prince Claus was a great support to me in this task.
 Throughout this time I have derived great satisfaction from fulfilling Such a role. It is inspiring to feel close to people, to sympathise with them in times of sorrow and to share in times of joy and national pride. That has also been my experience in the Caribbean parts of our Kingdom, where I have always Encountered great warmth and hospitality. So I am not abdicating Because my duties are becoming too burden-some, but because I am Convinced That it's time for the responsibility for our country to pass to a new generation. On 30 April this year, with the Utmost confidence, I shall hand over the duties of the monarchy to my son, the Prince of Orange. He and Princess Máxima are fully prepared for Their future role. They will serve our country with dedication, faithfully uphold the Constitution and use their many talents to discharge the duties of the monarchy in Their Own distinctive way.
 I feel fortified by the knowledge That making way for my successor does not mean that I am taking my leave of you all. I hope still to have plenty of opportunities to meet many of you. I am deeply grateful to you for the trust you have placed in me That Throughout the many rewarding years I have had the privilege of being your Queen."

For those of us from the UK, abdicating seems almost unheard of but it's not at all uncommon for the Dutch monarchy who do not see the role of king or queen as one for life. No doubt a tremendous amount of consideration went into this decision. The family experienced a terrible tragedy last year when Queen Beatrix's middle son, Prince Johan Friso, was buried in an avalanche while skiing, and he is still in a coma. The Queen is expected to move to Drakensteyn Castle at the end of April and will return to her previous title of Princess.

Beatrix pictured outside Drakensteyn Castle which she acquired and renovated in 1959.

Willem-Aleander will become the first king since Willem III, who reigned until his death in 1890. Willem-Alexander is relatively young at 45 and is a trained pilot. His wife, the beautiful Maxima is an Argentinian and worked as an investment banker. Her father was an agricultural minister.


The couple work very well together and bring years of experience and vitality to the role. I anticipate they will do a terrific job. Below we see the couple with their children.

Meanwhile, various reports claim Prince Charles is 'interested' by Queen Beatrix's abdication. The Prince of Wales is just ten years younger than Beatrix and has previously said he feels he is running out of time. Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 87th birthday in April, but isn't slowing down with more engagements than ever scheduled for this year, not to mention her coronation festival this summer. Will the Queen possibly follow Beatrix's lead? Not a chance. I have no doubt HM will serve until her death and I think Charles will be waiting for quite a while before he ascends to the throne.


  1. Great post! wasn't the queens mother over 100 when she passed away? so if she takes after her mother, Charles has a long to go still. That must be hard for Charles, do you know if he will become the oldest person to become King in the UK? I can also see why there are rumors that William will be come the next king, because people may think Charles is to old. and that the monarchy needs younger blood.

  2. I love Maxima and Willem,hard working,happy family,popular and ready for the royal job!
    Queen Elisabeth,no abdication!!!

  3. Thank you so much for this post. I must admit that I am excited about Maxima becoming Queen! I have admired her, and her family, for many years. I hope Queen Beatrix enjoys many happy years to come - she has earned them.

    Regarding Queen Elizabeth, I wish her a long and healthy life as her Mother enjoyed. The thought of a Queen Camilla is not a cheerful thought IMHO.

  4. I hope Charles will never get the chance to become a King. There are should be a justice from heaven. For what he's done to Diana he must pay the price.

    Willem-Alexander and Maxima such a beautiful and lovely couple. Their girls are adorable. Maxima seems to be a nice lady, she is always smiling, you can just see a geniune and happy woman. There is a true love in their home. All the best of luck to a new Monarch!

  5. Sarah from Calif.31 January 2013 at 02:14

    Wow Charlotte, Thank you for all that info. I continue to try to understand the history of the European families. I don't have an opinion on abdicating or not, I just find it all amazing to see history playing out in front of me. My heart goes out to Queen Beatrix with her son still in a coma, Bless them. Best wishes for the future King of the Netherlands too.
    Have been reading a lot of WW2 stories lately lets hope we (in every country) have learned some things.
    As always thank you for all you do :)
    Here's a big hug. O

  6. This has been a tradition in the Dutch monarchy but I don't see it happening here. If the queen lives as long as her mother, Charles will be past eighty, but there is, of course, no way to be certain, how long anything will be. Long life to her majesty! Part of Charles' difficulty, is the unpopularity of Camilla, and the fact that marriage has made him increasingly disregarded by the public. William's marriage also shifted attention. Imagine how different it would have been if he had stayed married to Diana but fate doesn't work that way. I'm certain this disregard has made him even more anxious to take the title. Few people want a Queen Camilla but it's likely to happen at least for a couple of decades.

  7. Even if Charles were to become king it wouldn't be for very long. I think William would be fine with his father having the position for a while. Gives him more time with his duchess :) (Princess of Wales then, no?).

    Also, HM's birthday is in April not May.

  8. Sarah from Calif.1 February 2013 at 01:36

    Okay I'll stick my neck out. If Charles would have married his (heart throb) William and Harry wouldn't be around. Nor would any of the wonderful things Diana brought to us.
    I am a believer in second chances. I don't know Camilla personally and, I adored Diana (but she wasn't perfect.)

    Charlotte I'm asking you to stick your neck out with me now. Do you think the British public will embrace Charles and Camilla as King and Queen?

    I guess I'll say it again I believe in second chances. Charles is not Henry the 8th (many lover's)
    It would be (the romantic top) if they could be excepted as the next royalty and, Kate and William could have time to enjoy their little ones and continue to grow in their respective roles as monarchy.

    I tend to always want thinks to be resolved, happy, worked out, etc..maybe that's not reality. Oh well my world is far from perfect. At this point I'll zip my lips (be quiet)

    1. Hello Sarah,

      I absolutely believe Charles will be accepted and embraced as King when the time comes. He certainly won't be the most popular sovereign but I'm sure he'll be accepted. Since the royal wedding attitudes towards him have changed a little. It's his birth right and I do feel he'll be supported.

      As for Camilla, I honestly don't know. Had Charles and Diana stayed together it would have been a very different story but many people in Britain are still very loyal to Diana and won't accept Camilla as their Queen. I know it will happen in time but I think there will be a great many people unhappy about it.

    2. Jean from Lancs.1 February 2013 at 13:03

      I hope that when the time comes the British people will be more forgiving, after all the two people most affected by what happened are William and Harry and they appear to have accepted Camilla.
      Charles fell in love with her at an early age, but was packed off to sea to separate them.
      Perhaps he should never have married Diana, but then we would never have had the two Princes, nor all the things that Diana made possible.
      I don't think William would accept the throne over his father and I do not think Diana would have wished to place her beloved son in such a position.
      If their sons can forgive, then so should the rest of us.

    3. Sarah from Calif.1 February 2013 at 13:07

      Hi Charlotte,
      Thank you for you response.
      Have a lovely week end!

    4. Sarah from Calif.2 February 2013 at 16:25

      Jean, thank you for that. Well said.

    5. I think the idea of King Charles isn't at all bad in the current royal climate. His dedication through his years as Prince of Wales has been under-appreciated, IMO, and when the time comes, the general public will embrace him. He will not be as loved like the Queen. Nor will he be as popular as William. But he will be respected.

      I think The Duchess of Cornwall, too, will be accepted in time. The endless debate on her future "queen" title is a bit silly, as she certainly will be such in rank, if not by title. The British public, having seen that William and Harry accept her, will likely follow.

      Remember that Diana's Panorama interview (where she hinted that Charles was unfit to be the next monarch) was done in a very sad and angry period in her life. She herself admitted it later. Had she been alive, I imagine things would have been very different. She may well have moved on and even accepted Camilla in Charles's life. And in turn her fans may have learned to forgive as well...

    6. Kate, Texas, USA3 February 2013 at 21:59

      In my opinion I think you are right Dash, that Charles will not be loved like his mother, but respected. As far as Camilla, the few Brits I have encountered did not have kind words about her. I don't know. Do you think maybe William and Harry "had" to accept her because of duty? Who would want that type of dissention and detest in the family when you are in their position? Also, I have read many times their love and loyalty towards their father. Maybe they accept Camilla to keep the peace and make their father happy? I guess it doesn't matter. The fact is she will one day be queen consort like it or not. I just wonder what her title will be.....will she be called queen or still the Duchess of Cornwall? I also wonder when William does inherit the throne after his father, if he will restore his mother's HRH status? I know she is no longer here so it won't really matter, but just a thought.

  9. I think its wonderful both for Beatrix and for Elizabeth to honor their separate precedences and customs.

  10. I don not know much about the Dutch Royal family, but they certainly look like a lovely couple with a beautiful family. Best wishes to Queen Beatrix!

    Queen Elizabeth abdicate, absolutely not! Long live the Queen! The thought of Camilla as queen consort gives me a stomach ache.


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