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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/31/2013

Queen Beatrix gives throne to son — while the rest of Europe’s royals heirs wait for the crown


Netherlands' Queen Beatrix (R) and her son Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. (Jerry Lampen/Reuters)

Netherland’s Crown Prince Willem-Alexander is one of the lucky royals — he only waited 33 years for the throne.

Unlike most royal parents, Queen Beatrix, 75, is abdicating in April for her eldest son, a 45-year-old pilot and father of three. It’s a family tradition: Her mother, Queen Juliana , stepped down after 32 years; her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, turned over the throne after 57 years.

The news prompted snickers in Britain, where Prince Charles, 64, has waited 61 years (the longest in British history) to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth. Sorry Charlie — she’s 86, but not going anywhere, most royal-watchers agree. Beatrix’s decision probably only “reinforce[d] her feeling that the Dutch don’t know what monarchy is about,” British author Robert Lacey told AP.

●●Some of the other European monarchs-in-waiting:

• Spanish Crown Prince Felipe, 45. His dad King Juan Carlos, 75, has reigned since 1975.

• Danish Crown Prince Frederik, 44. His mom Queen Margrethe, 72, assumed the throne in 1972.

• Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, 39. His pop King Harald V, 75, has reigned since 1991.

• Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria, 35. Her dad King Carl XVI Gustaf, 66, got the crown in 1973, before she was even born.

Aw, well — being a rich heir isn’t so bad. Prince Albert of Monaco, 54, waited 47 years for the throne — and 53 years to marry.

Read earlier: Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix to leave throne in April; son will be 1st king in more than century, 1/28/13

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By  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/31/2013

 
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