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Queen Beatrix thanks country in farewell speech

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Amsterdam – Crowds in Amsterdam are gathering for the crowning of the first Dutch king in over a century. Queen Beatrix is stepping aside to pass the crown to her eldest son, Willem Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima.

The couple will usher in a new era of Dutch royalty as Willem Alexander will become the first Dutch king in 123 years. The Queen, 75, thanked the Dutch people for their “heart-warming displays of affection” and paid tribute to her late husband, Prince Claus, BBC News reports.

Queen Beatrix has served as head of state since 1980 when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated. Beatrix made the announcement that she would be following in her mother’s footsteps on January 28 of this year.

On Monday, she thanked her people and urged them to support her son, The Associated Press reports.

She is set to sign the papers Tuesday morning which will officially transfer power over to Willem Alexander.

“Now that my oldest son is set to take over this fine and responsible job tomorrow, it is my deep wish that the new royal couple will find themselves supported by your loving trust,” the popular queen said in a televised address. Willem’s Argentine-born wife Maxima will become the new queen.

“I am convinced that Willem Alexander will apply himself with true devotion for everything a good king is obliged to do,” she added. The last King of the Netherlands was Willem III who died in 1890, BBC News reports.

Earlier Monday, the streets began flooding with orange in honor of the ruling House of Oranje-Nassau, The AP reports. The government and noble guests are preparing for Tuesday’s ceremonies, and the country’s people are getting ready for a huge party. digitaljournal.com

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