All known information related to the abdication of Queen Beatrix and the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, part II.
Time and place of abdication and investiture, 28 January 2013
The official programme for the abdication and investiture will take place on 30 April 2013. Her Majesty the Queen will sign the Instrument of Abdication at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam. The investiture of His Majesty the King will then take place at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.
The King and Queen's family home, 28 January 2013
Following the inauguration, the family of His Majesty the King will initially continue to live at Eikenhorst in Wassenaar. At an appropriate moment the family will move to Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague.
In the intervening period Huis ten Bosch Palace will be used for official receptions and meetings. Noordeinde Palace will continue to be used as the monarch's place of work.
An announcement will be made in due course concerning when Her Majesty the Queen, then Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, will take up residence at Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche.
Information about abdication and investiture on Royal House website, 28 January 2013
In the coming months preparations will take place for the abdication of Her Majesty the Queen and the subsequent investiture of His Majesty the King. In the runup to these events, regular information updates will be provided on the Royal House website.
Changes in the Royal Household, 28 January 2013
When a new monarch ascends the throne, it is customary for certain Officers of the Royal Household to resign their posts, to enable the new monarch to exercise his constitutional right to organise his Household, taking due account of the public interest (article 41 of the Constitution).The Officers in question include the Grand Master of the Royal Household, the Chief of the Military Household, the Principal Secretary to the Queen, the Treasurer, the Master of Ceremonies, the Marshal of the Court, the Comptroller of the Royal Palaces, the Crown Equerry, the Director of the Royal Archives and the Director of Human Resources.
Presidency of the Council of State, 28 January 2013
On the abdication of Her Majesty the Queen the presidency of the Council of State will pass automatically to His Majesty the King, who is President of the Council under article 74 of the Dutch Constitution.
On reaching the age of majority the Prince of Orange was automatically granted a seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State. Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands was granted a seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State on 1 October 2004. Princess Catharina-Amalia will be granted her seat in the Advisory Division of the Council of State when she reaches the age of 18.
For more information on the Council of State please visit www.raadvanstate.nl
State and official visits, 28 January 2013
Announcements will be made as soon as possible concerning planned State and official visits in the period before and after the abdication and investiture. The same applies to working visits and other scheduled events.
The new head of state and his wife plan to visit the entire Kingdom, 29 January 2013
Within a year of ascending the throne, King Willem-Alexander, accompanied by Queen Máxima, will visit all the Dutch provinces and the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom.
The King's standard and coat of arms, 29 January 2013
From his investiture onwards, His Majesty the King will fly the royal standard. The royal standard will be flown above the palaces where the monarch resides and works and at Eikenhorst in Wassenaar when he is in the country. Queen Wilhelmina adopted this standard in 1908, and it has also been flown by Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix.
From the time of his investiture the King will also use the royal coat of arms. This coat of arms is identical to the one used by Queen Beatrix except that it features a helmet instead of a crown. The royal coat of arms is the same as the coat of arms of the Kingdom, with the addition of the royal mantle. Illustrations of the royal standard and the royal coat of arms can be seen on www.koninklijkhuis.n
Following her abdication, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands will use the same coat of arms as before 1980, which is identical to that of her sisters.
Prince of Orange resigns from official positions, 29 January 2013
In preparation for his accession to the throne, His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange is resigning from his official positions, with due regard for the terms of office and procedures of the organisations concerned. In the year ahead Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince of Orange will decide as to the continuation of their honorary posts and their patronage of organisations. Further announcements will be made on this subject in due course. In principle Princess Máxima will continue as Queen to hold her current honorary and other posts.
The Prince has asked the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to immediately relieve him of his duties as an IOC member in the Netherlands. Under the Olympic Charter, this means that the Prince's resignation must be approved at the IOC's next session in Buenos Aires in September 2013 and will take effect at the end of 2013.
His resignation as Chairman of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) will take place in consultation with the Secretary-General. He will also be resigning as Chairperson of the Water Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment.
Following the appearance on the balcony, the investiture of the new King will take place on the same day in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. The ceremony takes the form of a joint session of the two Houses of the States General, similar to the state opening of Parliament in the Hall of Knights in The Hague, at which the monarch delivers the Speech from the Throne. Under the Constitution, the President of the Senate presides over the joint session and thus acts as the host.
During the investiture the new King is confirmed in office and swears to be faithful to the Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of his office. In return, the members of the two Houses swear or affirm that they will uphold the doctrine that the ministers, and not the King, are responsible for acts of governmentand that they will uphold the rights of the monarchy. The government and the President of the Senate issue invitations to the investiture to the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Cabinet, ministers of state, representatives of foreign governments, ambassadors, and members of other Royal Houses who are not reigning heads of state. The list of invitees will be released shortly before the investiture.
At the ceremony the King will wear a tail coat with white tieunder the royal mantle.
In addition to the Dutch constitution, the credence table beside the throne bears three regalia, symbols of the dignity and authority of the monarch. These are the crown (symbolising sovereignty and dignity), the sceptre (authority) and the orb (the territory of the Kingdom). The other two regalia - the sword of state (symbolising power) and the standard of the kingdom bearing the coat of arms of the Netherlands - are carried by two senior military officers. These regalia have been in use since the investiture of King Willem II in 1840.
On 30 April the Queen will sign the instrument of abdication in the Royal Palace, Amsterdam. This is the constitutional procedure by which she formally relinquishes the throne. Once the instrument is signed, in other words before the investiture ceremony, the Prince of Orange will become King under constitutional law. He will be King Willem-Alexander. The new King and the former Queen will then give a short address from the balcony of the Palace. The new King and Queen and their three young daughters will then make a public appearance on the balcony.
The abdications in 1948 and 1980 also took place in Amsterdam. In 1840, the abdication took place at Het Loo Palace.
Last update: 30 January 2013