Queen Beatrix Of The Netherlands Announces Her Abdication In Favour Of Her Son Willem-Alexander

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has announced her abdication in a televised statement to the nation, in which she said it was "time to lay down her crown" for "a new generation".

The queen, who will be celebrating her 75th birthday later this week, will step down in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander on 30 April.

She came to the throne in 1980 on the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, who died in March 2004.

On 30 April 2009, she survived an assassination attempt when a man drove a car into crowds celebrating a Queens Day parade in the town of Appledoorn. Eight people were killed, including the assailant Karst Tates.

Her second son, Prince Johan Friso remains in a coma after being caught in an avalanche while in Austria in 2012.

Willem-Alexander, aged 45, is currently styled Prince of Orange and will become the first King of the Netherlands since 1890.