Queen Beatrix to abdicate the Dutch throne
The Queen appeared on national television in the Netherlands to make the announcement. It was widely expected she would abdicate the throne soon, as she approaches her 75th birthday, and because she recently suffered a personal tragedy when her second-eldest son, Prince Friso, was left in a coma after an avalanche overtook him while skiing.
The AP reports that it is largely thought that Beatrix remained on the throne for so long for two reasons. The first being unrest in the Dutch society due to an increasing number of immigrants, and the second being Beatrix giving time for son Willem-Alexander to enjoy fatherhood with his three daughters before becoming King Willem IV.