Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to abdicate for sonThis year we will also celebrate the fact that the kingdom of the Netherlands exists 200 years.The queen made the announcement in pre-recorded address broadcast on Dutch television.
The queen, who is approaching her 75th birthday, said she had been thinking about this moment for several years.
She said the responsibility of being the monarch had not been too great, but now was "the moment to lay down my crown".
Queen Beatrix has been head of state since 1980, when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated.
Queen Beatrix is the sixth monarch from the House of Orange-Nassau, which has ruled the Netherlands since the early 19th Century.
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