In as surprise move, the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands Queen Beatrix has abdicated in favor of her eldest son Prince Willem-Alexander. By this action, she follows in the footsteps of her mother Queen Juliana who gave up the throne for her daughter in 1980.
The future King will be Prince Willem-Alexander who will be the first King to sit on the Dutch throne in 123 years since King William III died in 1890. The Prince will be forty-six in April.
The Netherlands have a constitutional monarchy which is known as the House of Orange-Nassau. The Dutch royal family is one of the richest among existing monarchies.
The future King will be Prince Willem-Alexander. His wife is Maxima who he married in 2002. Initially the marriage was a source of some debate since Maxima's father was part of the Argentinean military dictatorship. However, over the last decade she has become wildly popular with the Dutch people. They have three daughters.
The Prince has great concern about water issues and is actively involved with the United Nations about the future water crisis on the planet. He is a pilot who has flown relief missions in Africa. He has run the New York Marathon and is an avid skier