April 30. - Tens of thousands of Amsterdam residents wear orange and flood the streets to celebrate Queen's Day as Queen Beatrix formally abdicates, leaving the throne to her eldest son. Jessica Gray reports.
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Tens of thousands packed Amsterdam's central square waiting for this - the moment Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands handed the throne to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander.
"Dear mother, today you resigned from your reign, 33 moving and inspiring years for which we are deeply grateful," said the new King, thanking his mother for her service.
After the announcement, the crowd joined the royal family to sing their national anthem and celebrate the queen's retirement.
Royal supporters were all too happy to flood the streets on the holiday the Dutch mark as Queen's day.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLOTTE AARIYIE SAYING:
"Oh I will miss Beatrix very much, because I grew up with Beatrix as a Queen, as my Queen, so yes I will miss her very much."
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ARNO BERG SAYING:
"I am so happy, I'm happy I am from Dannenburg in Germany and I know the history a bit, I learned it when I was in the school, a little boy, and this is the first chance to see a new king in the Dutch for me, it is perfect."
The 46-year-old new king is a water specialist and has three young daughters with his Queen Maxima, who is from Argentina.
Nearly a million people are expected to spend the day celebrating the popular royal family.
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