Excitement is building in the Netherlands as its royal family prepares to make history. In a little more than three weeks, Prince Willem-Alexander will officially take over his mother Queen Beatrix's role as head of the Dutch monarchy. Now royal watchers have been given their first glimpse of the programme for the day which will herald the start of this new reign.
The Dutch royal household have released an outline of the abdication and investiture programme — subject to change — ahead of the momentous occasion on April 30.
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Festivities will begin on the evening of 29 April, when Beatrix hosts her final dinner as Queen for members of the royal family and other VIP guests at the Rijksmuseum.
The following morning, at 10, her abdication ceremony will begin in Amsterdam's Royal Palace. Infront of dignitaries, members of parliament and her family, Beatrix will give a short address before the Director of the Queen's Office reads aloud the instruction of abdication, which the Queen will assent to with her signature.
At 10.30, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima will appear with Beatrix, now Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix, on the balcony of the palace to greet their people. Beatrix and Willem-Alexander will both give a short address which will be followed by the national anthem.
The new Princess of Orange, Amalia, and her sister Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane will then join their parents and their grandmother on the balcony.
The royals will retire inside the Palace until 13.50, when Princess Beatrix and other members of the family process to the Nieuwe Kerk for the official inauguration — the Dutch specifically use the term 'inauguration' rather than the more common 'coronation'. At 14.00, the King and the main cortege will make their way to the 15th-century church.
The ceremony will take place from 14.00 until 15.30, during which the new king will deliver an address and be sworn in. The party will then return to the Royal Palace, where a reception will be held for royal and foreign guests and other dignitaries, held from 16.30 until 18.00.
At 19.30, Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will be treated to a performance of The Song for the King, an anthem written specially for the occasion, before the couple take part in a water pageant with their three daughters. They will sail from the EYE Film Institute, past the Oever Park and the Kop van Java. At several points along the route, they will be treated to a festive displays, including a 'mini sail'.
The celebrations will conclude with a gathering hosted by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Council of Ministers for the Kingdom.
In addition to the programme, the royal household has announced that Willem-Alexander and Maxima will be taking part in an interview in the run-up to the abdication and investiture, which will be broadcast on 17 April.
It's also been confirmed that the Crown Prince will relinquish his active military status. Before his investiture as King of the Netherlands, he will, at his request, be granted an honorable discharge.