Queen Beatrix to become oldest reigning Dutch monarch
Queen Beatrix, who is currently visiting the Caribbean, will become the oldest reigning monarch of the Netherlands tomorrow.
Up to now, King Willem III had been the oldest Dutch head of state. He died on 23 November 1890 as reigning monarch at the age of 73 years and 277 days. Willem III died after a long period of illness. None of the so-called 'stadhouders' who ruled the country before the Dutch monarchy came into being, reached such an old age in office.
Queen Juliana was 70 when she handed over the throne to her then 42-year-old daughter, in 1980. She had been queen for 32 years and abdicated because “her strength was diminishing”. On 30 April 2012, Queen Beatrix will have been on the throne for 32 years.
Meanwhile Queen Beatrix has ended her two-day visit to Curacao by unveiling a plaque commemorating her first visit since the former Dutch Antilles island became independent last year. On 10 October 2010, the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved. Curacao and Sint Maarten became independent, like Aruba has been since 1986. The other islands are special municipalities of the Netherlands.
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