Dutch queen handing throne to son
January 28, 2013 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
- Queen Beatrix to abdicate, handing throne to Prince Willem-Alexander
- She assured Dutch in televised speech: "I'm not taking leave from you"
- The queen turns 75 on Thursday
(CNN) -- Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will abdicate her throne to make way for her son Prince Willem-Alexander.
She will formally end her reign on April 30 -- the 33rd anniversary of her coronation.
"This doesn't mean that I'm taking leave from you," she said on Monday in a televised speech announcing the decision.
"I still will be able to meet many of you. I am deeply thankful for the faith that you've had in me ... in all these years that I've been able to be queen," she said.
Newly wed Beatrix and Prince Claus in Amsterdam on March 10, 1966. Prince Claus died aged 76 on October 6, 2002 at a hospital in Amsterdam.
The Dutch royal family in photos
The queen turns 75 on Thursday. She had three children with her husband, Prince Claus, who died in 2002.
The oldest Willem-Alexander will succeed her to the throne.
Under the Dutch Constitution the king or queen is head of state but politically neutral.
She said Monday: "I have always considered it as an extraordinary privilege to be able to put a big part of my life at the service of our country and in accordance with my task to add substance to my kingship.
"Prince Claus was a big support for many years. Until today, this beautiful task has given me a lot of satisfaction. It is inspiring to feel close to people, to sympathize in grievances and share times of joy and national pride."
She added: "It is with great confidence, that on April 30 this year I will pass my kingship to my son, the Prince of Orange. He and Princess Maxima are fully prepared for their future task. They will serve our country with devotion, faithfully serve the constitution, and with all their talents give substance to their kingship."
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: "Anyone who has met the Queen will agree that she touched people and helped them forward with her knowledge and experience and her great interest and involvement."
Read more: Dutch prince suffers brain damage after avalanche
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
February 8, 2013 -- Updated 0718 GMT (1518 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories