Princess Maxima of the Netherlands has publically spoken for the first time since her mother-in-law, Queen Beatrix, announced she would abdicate.
"It is a tremendous honour to be able to succeed my mother-in-law," RTL News reports her as saying. She added that she and husband Willem-Alexander expect a certain amount of pressure, and said they had "plenty of work" to do.
Her comments came as she arrived to give a speech at the Feeding the World conference in Amsterdam's Hilton Hotel. With such positive news fresh in her mind, Maxima was all smiles as photographers captured her entrance into the global development forum.
The altruistic engagement is good practice for the mum-of-three, whose duties and public profile will increase tenfold once she is crown Queen of the Netherlands.
News of Beatrix's abdication means Maxima's husband Willem-Alexander is poised to become king, and she will assume the title of queen consort. Their day will come on April 30, an annual holiday – known as Koninginnedag, or Queen's Day – which is held in honour of the reigning monarch. This will change to King's Day once the new sovereign is in position.
While Maxima gets the title of queen, she won't be inaugurated on the day, given that it is Willem-Alexander who succeeds his mother as head of state.
As with her wedding, Maxima's parents won't be amongst the huge crowds expected to turn out for the ceremony, due to her father's former role as an agriculture minister in the military dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla.
Diederik Samson, leader of the Dutch Socialist Party, has shown his support for incoming Queen's delicate choice to exclude her parents from proceedings. He said: "This is a decision of the royal family and because of the sensitivity of this issue I understand it has been taken.
"I'm glad that this issue has been solved in this way and that ends the discussion interminable whether the father of the Princess would be welcomed in an official ceremony given his past."
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