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Queen of the Netherlands to Abdicate, Queen of NZ will not

29 January 2013

Queen of the Netherlands to Abdicate, Queen of New Zealand Will Not

With the announcement today of Queen Beatrix’s abdication, Monarchy New Zealand wishes her well for the future and sends its best wishes to Crown Prince Willem-Alexander as he prepares to serve the Dutch people in his role as king.

The abdication of a Dutch sovereign is a significant matter for the people of the Netherlands. However, it is safe to say that the event will not be replicated here in New Zealand. While both of the monarchs who preceded Queen Beatrix ended their reigns by abdication, her mother in 1980, and her grandmother in 1948, such a process is unprecedented in New Zealand’s monarchy. There has only been one monarch in all of New Zealand’s history who has abdicated. Edward VIII left the throne in 1936 under exceptional circumstances.

"Queen Elizabeth II has made it clear on many occasions that she feels it is her responsibility to serve the people of New Zealand, and the other Commonwealth Realms, for her whole life," said Dr Sean Palmer, Chair of Monarchy New Zealand. "Though she is 20 years past the age of retirement in most professions, her role is not one that she can simply resign. Being queen is not just about palaces, parades, and pageantry. She is an important part of our constitution and is obligated to fulfil her role for her entire life. "

Other monarchs may choose to step down, but New Zealand’s Queen clearly intends to keep a promise she made decades ago. In 1947, at the age of 21, Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) said, "I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service."

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