Friday, May 12, 2023

Queen Wilhelmina to abdicate

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Queen Wilhelmina will abdicate in favor of her only child Princess Juliana next September after her Golden Jubilee celebration,  according to the New York Times.

Earlier today, the Queen, who is 67 years old,  made the announcement in a broadcast to the Dutch people.  She said it was the "pressure of work,  coupled with failing strength" for her decision, although the announcement did come as a surprise to her subjects.

Wilhelmina was only ten years old when her father King Willem III died on November 23, 1890. She has been a "symbol for the Dutch people for almost sixty years.    She began her public role with her mother. Queen Emma as Regent, until she reached her 18th birthday, and now will step back with her daughter as Queen."

Wilhelmina spoke for about 15 minutes from her palace, Het Loo, near Apeldoorn.  "I must accept reality and I know full well that man proposes and God disposes.  I think in the interests of you all and the Empire, the Government should be confided to Juliana, who apart from the wisdom of insight is favored by her age with fresh youthful forces at her disposal."

The queen also explained that Juliana insisted that no change be made until after Queen celebrates 50 years on the throne, which is scheduled to take place on August 31, a week after Wilhelmina's 68th birthday.

Juliana, 39. is married to Prince Bernhard of Lippe.  They have four daughters  Princesses Beatrix, Irene, Margriet, and Maria Christina.

The Queen chose today's date with care.  On May 12, 1889, she was in Amsterdam with her father, as the country commemorated his fortieth anniversary as King.

During her brief broadcast, Wilhelmina spoke of "enduring great fatigue, harmful to health and work." She ended her speech with "Go into the future shoulder to shoulder with Juliana.  God Bless you and my beloved child."

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