The Dutch Government on Tuesday announced details of the programme for the abdication of Queen Beatrix and the inauguration of her successor King Willem-Alexander on April 30, 2013.
The full programme for the national holiday is not known yet. A National Committee, installed by the Prime Minister only last Friday, is preparing the festivities surrounding the official programme.
10.00 – 10.30 AM
Abdication of Her Majesty the Queen, in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, in the presence of members of the Royal Family, the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament and members of the Government of the Kingdom - including representatives of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten. The moment the Queen signs the Act of Abdication she will become 'Princess Beatrix' and her son Willem-Alexander is automatically 'King of the Netherlands'.
10.30 – 10.50 AM
His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen, and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix will appear on the balcony of the Royal Family to greet the public on Dam Square. Both will give a brief speech, after which they will be joined on the balcony by the new Princess of Orange - a historical first, as heir to the throne - and the young Princesses Alexia and Ariane.
The King, Queen and their suite leave the Palace for the adjacent 'Nieuwe Kerk'.
2.00 – 3.30 PM
The King is installed and takes the oath in a joined session of both Houses of Parliament, the so-called States-General.The King is not crowned, although the royal regalia will be on display on a table next to his seat.
King Willem-Alexander will also address Parliament, and the Speaker of the Senate will address the King, after which all members of Parliament and representatives of the parliaments of the overseas parts of the Kingdom (Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten) will vow allegiance to the new monarch.
© RB Hans Jacobs; Photos by © RPE and DPP