Willem-Alexander Takes Netherlands Throne

Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander has become Europe's youngest monarch after his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated the throne.
Beatrix signed the official act of abdication in Amsterdam on Tuesday, making her eldest son the first Dutch king in more than 100 years.
The Queen ended her 33-year reign as thousands of revellers dressed in orange cheered outside the Royal Palace in the Dutch capital and millions more watched on television.
With her abdication, she becomes Princess Beatrix and her son ascends the throne as King Willem-Alexander.
He is the first Dutch king since Willem III died in 1890.
The 46-year-old's popular Argentinian-born wife becomes Queen Maxima and their eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, becomes Princess of Orange and heir to the throne.
Willem-Alexander gripped his visibly emotional mother's hand after they both signed the abdication document.
The two then appeared together on a balcony of the Royal Palace on the city's famous Dam Square and briefly addressed the crowd.
They were then joined by the new queen and their three daughters.
The investiture will now be held before 2,000 guests in Amsterdam's Nieuwe Kerk, which also serves as a joint session of the two houses of the States General - the Dutch parliament.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be among those in the audience as the new king swears to be faithful to the constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of his office.
Later in the afternoon the king, queen and their children will head a royal boat parade which will see a performance by the Dutch club DJ Armin van Buuren with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Beatrix, 75, announced her decision to relinquish the crown in January to make way for a new generation.
On Monday night Queen Beatrix thanked the Dutch people in a televised address, where she urged them to support her son.
Beatrix said: "Now that my oldest son is to take over this fine and
responsible job, it is my deep wish that the new royal couple will feel themselves supported by your loving trust.
"I am convinced that Willem-Alexander will apply himself with true devotion for everything a good king is obliged to do."
She also praised her late husband, Prince Claus, who died in 2002, for teaching their children to be in tune with changes in society.
"Prince Claus brought our House (Of Orange) closer to this time," she said.
"Possibly history will show that the choice of this husband was my best decision."
The new king has become the youngest monarch in Europe, in a country where public support for the royal family consistently runs at over 80%.
However, the Dutch government has allowed six protests to be staged around the city by anti-monarchist groups, and those who believe such an expensive ceremony is unjustifiable when the country's economy is in recession.
The king receives a stipend of 850,000 euros (£718,000) a year, and an online petition to see that reduced has now reached over 20,000 signatures, half the number required to trigger a parliamentary debate.
Organiser Anjo Clement told Sky News: "The monarchy is not democratic. It costs a lot of money. They pay no taxes and have free housing and enormous staff. And they have a hidden political power."
Supporters argue Queen Beatrix has presided over a decline in the monarchy's influence over the day-to-day running of the country, but her son has courted controversy for living an openly privileged life.
At university, Willem-Alexander was nicknamed Prince Pils for his party antics and caused consternation when he married the daughter of an Argentinian politician who had a leading role in the military junta of Jorge Rafael Videla.
The prince tried to defend Maxima by issuing a letter proving her father had only played a minor role in the regime, which later proved to be written by Videla himself.
Maxima later apologised for her husband's actions telling reporters, in fluent Dutch, that he had been "a little bit dumb".

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