Willem-Alexander sworn in as king of Netherlands

  • Willem-Alexander was sworn in as king of the Netherlands on Tuesday.

    He is the country's first king since 1890 after his 75-year-old mother, Queen Beatrix, signed and abdicated earlier in the day after years on the throne.

    At the age of 46, he is now youngest monarch in Europe.

    King Willem-Alexander was inaugurated in a decommissioned church before a joint session of the Dutch parliament.

    "I swear that I shall defend and preserve the independence and territory of the state with all my powers," he said.

    "That I shall protect the general and individual freedom and rights of all my subjects and shall use all available means granted to me by law for preserving and promoting general and individual prosperity as I befitting of a good king.... So help me God almighty,” he continued.

    Princess Beatrix announced her decision to stand down in January, saying it was time for the throne to be held by "a new generation".

    King Willem-Alexander is the seventh monarch from the House of Orange-Nassau, which has ruled the Netherlands since the early 19th Century.

    He is also the monarch of the Dutch Caribbean territories of Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten.

    Under Dutch law, the monarch has little power and the role is seen as ceremonial.

    Explore the geography of Netherlands, visit Netherlands Map

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