Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to abdicate for son

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LONDON. January 29.KAZINFORM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has announced she is abdicating in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander.

In a pre-recorded address broadcast on TV, she said she would formally stand down on 30 April.

The queen, who is approaching her 75th birthday, said she had been thinking about this moment for several years and that now was "the moment to lay down my crown".

Queen Beatrix has been head of state since 1980, when her mother abdicated.

In the short televised statement, the queen said it was time for the throne to be held by "a new generation", adding that her son was ready to be king.

Prince Willem-Alexander, 45, is married to Maxima Zorreguieta, a former investment banker from Argentina, and has three young children.

He is a trained pilot and an expert in water management.

He will become the Netherlands' first king since Willem III, who died in 1890.

Speaking on television immediately after the abdication announcement, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte paid tribute to the queen.

"Since her coronation... she has applied herself heart and soul for Dutch society," he said.

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