Prime Minister’s response to the Queen’s announcement of abdication

After the announcement of the Queen’s abdication, Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed deep respect and admiration for the exceptional dedication that the Queen had shown to the Netherlands and its people for over 30 years.

He referred to her as ‘a Queen at the heart of society’ and ‘a Dutch icon’, adding that in other countries, too, she had made a deep impression on numerous official occasions.

The Prime Minister said: ‘Queen Beatrix was always there. On festive occasions, at celebrations of sporting successes and at major cultural events. But notably she was also there in difficult times. For example, when tragedy struck in the Bijlmermeer, in Enschede, and of course on Queen’s Day in 2009. Her moving words immediately after the awful attack in Apeldoorn are forever engraved in our collective memory.’

The Prime Minister also spoke of Prince Willem-Alexander, who is to succeed his mother after years of intense preparation, saying that an important and demanding task awaited him.

He went on: ‘I am confident that the Prince and Princess will fulfil their new tasks and roles as King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima with great success.’

Finally, the Prime Minister expressed the hope and expectation that 30 April 2013, the day of the abdication and investiture, would be an unforgettable celebration throughout the Kingdom. ‘A celebration that gives expression to the way we feel today. To the close connection we feel with the House of Orange and our deep affection for a monarch who has worked for the Netherlands with ceaseless devotion for over three decades.’

More information about the abdication and investiture can be found on the website of the Royal House.