29 Jan 2013

Dutch Queen to abdicate in favour of son

8:05 am on 29 January 2013

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has announced she will abdicate in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander.

In a televised address on Monday she said would formally stand down on 30 April.

The queen, who turns 75 on Thursday, said she had been thinking about this moment for several years and that now was "the moment to lay down my crown".

Queen Beatrix has been head of state since 1980, when her mother abdicated, the BBC reports.

In statement, the queen said it was time for the throne to be held by a new generation, adding that her son was ready to be king.

Prince Willem-Alexander, 45, is married and has three young children.

He will become the Netherland's first king since Willem III, who died in 1890.