When Willem-Alexander became King: best moments

The world watched and celebrated as the Netherlands welcomed a new King and Queen, Willem-Alexander and Maxima, with open arms in what was the biggest regal gathering since the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Tens of thousands gathered in the festively decked-out capital of Amsterdam to welcome the country's first king in 120 years and Europe's youngest ruling royals.

Emotions ran high during the national celebrations, but no-one would have been more moved than Willem-Alexander himself and Princess Beatrix, who held hands as she signed the document of abdication in the Royal Palace, standing down from her role as queen after 33 years.

The red carpet was rolled out for the many royals who travelled from all corners of the world to celebrate the event, including British representatives Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and their counterparts from Denmark, neighbouring Norway, Belgium, Spain, Morocco and Thailand. Even Japan's Prince Naruhito and his wife Princess Masako turned out, making her first official overseas appearance in 11 years.

The protagonists of the country's celebrations smile happily as they arrive to attend a state dinner in Amsterdam on the eve of the abdication of Queen Beatrix, who reigned for 33 years. 

For her last event as a princess, Maxima chose to recycle a red Valentino dress that she had previously worn in 2008 to a gala party hosted by Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate Prince Charles' 60th birthday 

Europe's royals guaranteed sparkle and diamonds at the biggest regal gathering since the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Pictured here: the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Letizia from Spain, Princess Mette-Marit from neighbouring Norway, Princess Mary of Denmark and Princess Victoria of Sweden 

Queen Beatrix hosts a dinner at the National Museum (Rijksmuseum) in Amsterdam attended by royals from all over the world, on the eve of her abdication. The National Museum, which is home to masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt and famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, reopened this month after a ten-year restauration which cost a whopping £320million 

Princess Beatrix looks at the signed Act of Abdication while her son holds her hand during a ceremony held at the Royal Palace 

The Netherlands' new King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, his wife Queen Maxima and their children Catharina-Amalia, now Princess of Orange, 9, Princess Alexia, 7, and Princess Ariane, 6, wave to the thousands of well-wishers gathered on Dam Square from the balcony of Amsterdam's Royal Palace 

Royals line up to honour the new king at the inauguration ceremony, raising their arms in the air as they shout "hooray" three times 

The King and Queen pose after their investiture ceremony with Beatrix, now a Princess after being queen for 33 years, and the couple's three daughters 

Light colour appears to have been the order of the day with royal attendees of the inauguration ceremony. Here, Princess Letizia, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Mette-Marit from Norway, Princess Mary of Denmark  all look stunning in floor-length dresses in light grey and blue tones. Princess Masako turned out in cream, making her first official overseas appearance in 11 years 

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima wave to well-wishers on their way to the water pagaent. In her third ensemble of the day, Maxima wowed in a beautiful burgundy and nude lace gown 

King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands aboard the King's boat for the water pageant to celebrate the inauguration of King Willem of the Netherlands after the abdication of his mother Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands 

Europe's princesses shimmered and shone as they stepped out for the gala dinner, a celebration to round off a fantastic day of festivities in the Netherlands.

Princess Letizia of Spain showed patriotism for her host country in a blue gown while Princess Mary of Denmark stepped out wearing a bright red gown almost identical to the Valentino number the new queen had been wearing the night before. Princess Victoria of Sweden and Princess Mathilde of Belgium looked beautiful in gold and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway wore a cream, crepe pleated dress and kept the evening chill at bay with a pale pink shrug 

F-16 aircrafts of the Dutch Royal Airforce fly over the IJ lake in Amsterdam to mark the end of the King's boat trip 

Princess Amalia waves to the crowds from the King'’s boat for the water pageant. Amalia, now The Princess of Orange, which is a title similar to the Prince of Wales in Britain, is the new heir to the throne and will inevitably have a higher profile. Prince Willem-Alexander spoke of his daughter ahead of becoming King: "Amalia's title will be made formal when she's eighteen and she enters the State Council. Until then, we will protect her as much as possible."