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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Dutch Get First King In Over 120 Years

Royal duty: King Willem-Alexander raises his right hand as he swears to uphold the Dutch constitution during his investiture ceremony next to Queen Maxima in the Nieuwe Kerk or New Church in Amsterdam
King Willem-Alexander raises his right hand as he swears to uphold the Dutch constitution during his investiture ceremony next to Queen Maxima in the Nieuwe Kerk or New Church in Amsterdam

Willem-Alexander has been sworn in as king of the Netherlands at a colourful ceremony attended by 2,000 visitors in Amsterdam.
The 46-year-old became the country's first king since 1890 when his 75-year-old mother Beatrix signed the abdication deed after 33 years on the throne this morning.
As King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima took centre stage in Nieuwe Kerk, a decommissioned church, Princess Beatrix smiled happily, watching the proceedings with her three granddaughters, who all wore matching royal blue dresses.

vFocus: The new King and Queen took center stage in front of 2,000 visitors at the official investiture ceremony in the 600-year-old building
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima take their place in Nieuwe Kerk or New Church in Amsterdam for his inauguration
Wearing a fur-trimmed ceremonial mantle, swore an oath of allegiance to his country and the constitution in the historic New Church.
In a speech in the church, Europe's youngest monarch underscored the ceremonial nature of his monarchy in this egalitarian society but also the symbolic and economic value a king can deliver on state visits aimed at drumming up trade.
'I will proudly represent the kingdom and help discover new opportunities,' he said.
The investiture ceremony was the final formal act on a day of high emotion within the House of Orange-Nassau and was to be followed by an evening boat tour around the historic Amsterdam waterfront. 

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his wife Nane
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his wife Nane on the blue carpet
The new king gripped his mother's hand and looked briefly into her eyes after they both signed the abdication document in the Royal Palace on downtown Amsterdam's Dam Square.
Beatrix looked close to tears as she then appeared on a balcony decked out with tulips, roses and oranges, overlooking 25,000 of her subjects.
'I will proudly represent the kingdom and help discover new opportunities,' he said.
'I am happy and grateful to introduce to you your new king, Willem-Alexander,' she told the cheering crowd, which chanted: 'Bea bedankt' ('Thanks Bea.')
Moments later, in a striking symbol of the generational shift, she left the balcony and the new king, his wife and three daughters - the children in matching yellow dresses and headbands - waved to the crowd. 

Guests: Prince Charles and Camilla in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam for the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander
Prince Charles and Camilla in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam for the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander
'Dear mother, today you relinquished the throne. 33 years moving and inspiring years. We are intensely, intensely grateful to you,' the new king said.
With her abdication, she becomes Princess Beatrix and her son ascends the throne as King Willem-Alexander.
The father of three's wife becomes Queen Maxima and their eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, becomes Princess Orange and first in line to the throne.
Willem-Alexander, a 46-year-old water management specialist, is expected to bring a less formal touch to the monarchy together with his wife, a former investment banker from Argentina.
He has pledged to be a 21st century king, close to his nearly 17 million subjects, and not a 'protocol fetishist'.

The regalia of state, including the globus cruciger, lie on the credence table The regalia - crown, sceptre, globus cruciger and sword of state- lie at the credence-table
The regalia  - crown, sceptre, globus cruciger and sword of state- lie at the credence-table during the ceremony


Wearing a sober purple dress, Beatrix signed the abdication document in front of the Dutch cabinet, Willem-Alexander and Maxima, who wore a pale rose-coloured dress with a shimmery skirt and enormous bow on her left shoulder.
'Today, I make way for a new generation,' said Beatrix.
April 30, or Queen's day, is always a day for partying in the Netherlands. Many people took Monday off work and started celebrating in earnest from Monday evening with street bands and music.

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