Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced her abdication yesterday, after 33 years on the throne.
The Dutch royal, who celebrates her 75th birthday later this week, made a short appearance on national television and radio, in which she said it was time to place the nation 'in the hands of a new generation'.
The Queen will make way for the eldest of her three sons, Prince Willem-Alexander, who will take over as head of the monarchy in April.
In the speech, delivered from her Huis ten Bosch palace, the Queen said: 'I am not abdicating because this office is too much of a burden, but out of conviction that the responsibility for our nation should now rest in the hands of a new generation.'
'I am deeply grateful for the great faith you have shown in me in the many years that I could be your Queen,' she added.
The Queen follows in the footsteps of her mother, Queen Juliana , who abdicated the throne in 1980, and grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, who abdicated in 1948.