The Netherlands’ long-reigning monarch Queen Beatrix announced in a television broadcast that she would be abdicating the throne in favor of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander.
The queen announced she would leave the throne on April 30, transitioning the crown to her son because she said he was ready to rule and it was time for a new generation to take power.
Willem-Alexander will become the nation’s first king since Willem III died in 1890. He is a trained pilot and is married to former investment banker, Argentinean Maxima Zorreguieta. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte praised the queen and her service to the Netherlands in a broadcast following hers.
Queen Beatrix is of the House of Orange-Nassau, which has ruled the Netherlands since the 19th century. The monarch’s role is largely ceremonial and Beatrix’s abdication was expected as abdication has become somewhat of a tradition, with Beatrix’s mother Juliana abdicating in 1980 and her grandmother Wilhelmina abdicating in 1948.