January 28, 2013
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has announced she is abdicating in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander.
In a pre-recorded address broadcast on TV, she said she would formally stand down on 30 April.
The queen, who is approaching her 75th birthday, 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.