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26/04/2013Dutch enthronement: the key moments
Here are the key moments on Tuesday when Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander becomes king, succeeding his mother Queen Beatrix after 33 years on the throne. All times local (GMT+2).
10:00 am -- Queen Beatrix arrives to sign her abdication in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Willem-Alexander, who turns 46 on Saturday, and his Argentine-born wife Maxima witness the document. Beatrix reverts to her title of princess and her son becomes king.
10:30 am -- King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, their three children and Princess Beatrix appear on the balcony of the Royal Palace.
The national anthem is sung following brief speeches. At least 20,000 people are expected to watch the balcony scene from Dam Square.
11:30 pm -- Guests invited to witness the enthronement ceremony including Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrive at De Nieuwe Kerk church in central Amsterdam.
1:50 pm -- Princess Beatrix and the royal family depart for De Nieuwe Kerk.
2:00 pm -- King Willem-Alexander and his procession depart for De Nieuwe Kerk.
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Willem-Alexander to be sworn in at a ceremony at De Nieuwe Kerk after which Dutch lawmakers take an oath to the Dutch State. The king will make a short speech.
3:30 pm to 6:00 pm -- The royal family returns to the palace to host guests for a reception.
7:30 pm -- Fifty top Dutch artists perform the "King's Song", a melody especially written for the enthronement, via videolink from Rotterdam to Amsterdam's EYE Film Institute, where the royal couple will be watching.
7:45 pm to 8:30 pm -- The royal family embarks on a boat trip along Amsterdam's waterways behind the main railway station. The end of the water pageant is to be marked by a salute by the accompanying flotilla and an F-16 fly-by.
9:15 pm to midnight -- Koningsbal sees some 50,000-70,000 partying the night away at Amsterdam's famous Museumplein -- renamed the "Orange Square" for the day.
© 2013 AFP
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