(Last updated: 29 January 2013 01:05am)
Note: the text below is an unofficial, unauthorised English translation of the official transcript released today, Monday 28 January 2013. Click here for the original transcript (Dutch). Translation below provided by Jo Hughes (accepting no liability for any issues or damages as a result of copying from or linking to this content, should they occur).
“As you all know, I hope to be celebrating my 75th birthday in a few days. I feel grateful to be blessed with good health as I approach this day. At the end of this year we will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of our nation becoming a monarchy, the establishment of which represented a new era in our history. These two very special occasions coinciding prompted me to decide to relinquish my position as Queen [of the Netherlands] this year. Having already considered this step for a number of years, I feel now is the right moment to actually take it.
I have always felt exceptionally privileged to dedicate much of my life serving our country and executing my duty as monarch, for many years with tremendous support from [my husband, the late] Prince Claus.
To this very day I feel great fulfilment from [performing] this beautiful role. Dedication to people, sharing moments of pain as well as times of joy and national pride, has been inspiring. I have also experienced this in the Caribbean regions of our Kingdom, where I have always been met with cordiality and warmth. As such, I am not retiring from my duties for them being too hard to fulfil, but rather in the conviction that responsibility for our country shall now be passed to a new generation. It is with great confidence that on 30 April this year I will pass the crown to my son, [Prince Willem-Alexander,] the Prince of Orange. He and [his wife] Prinses Máxima are fully prepared to take on their future responsibility. They will serve our country with dedication, maintain loyalty to the constitution, and apply all their talents in their fulfilment of their roles as Sovereigns.
Confident in the knowledge that making way for my successor will not mean saying farewell to you, I look forward to continuing to meet with many of you. I am deeply grateful to you for your trust throughout the many beautiful years that I was blessed to have been your Queen.”
(Further to the above, it was announced that following the change of monarch, the Netherlands’ annual national holiday will change from 30 April —Queen’s Day— to 27 April —King’s Day— effective 2014.)
Once again, please note: the above is an unofficial, unauthorised English translation of the official transcript released today, Monday 28 January 2013. Click here for the original transcript (Dutch). Translation by Jo Hughes (accepting no liability for issues or damages as a result of copying from this content, should they occur.)
Text in square brackets has been added for the purpose of clarity and represents content not present in the original Dutch transcript.