The people of the Netherlands are taking in the idea that their queen who has reigned for 33 years is to abdicate.
The announcement by Queen Beatrix, who will be 75 this Thursday, was broadcast on Monday.
She said it was time for responsibility to be entrusted with a new generation.
Unlike in Britain, Dutch monarchs have a tradition of stepping aside, but many people will take a while to get used to the change.
“I’ve come to know her as my queen. And I’ve always been quite proud of our royal family,” said one young woman.
“It’s a bit weird. She’s, you know, my queen. Things will be different, but I don’t know how,” said another.
A young man said: “I hope she gets to enjoy herself a bit. That she can pay more attention to her children, and of course to Friso.”
The queen’s middle son has been in a coma since a skiing accident in 2012.
Beatrix’s eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander, will take over the largely ceremonial role of monarch on April 30 – Queen’s Day in the Netherlands.
At 45, he has overcome some image problems and has been groomed for decades to become king. In the words of his mother, he and Princess Maxima are entirely ready for their future tasks.
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