Friday, February 1, 2013

Hot Topics: The Dutch Abdication

Royal bloggers around the world, regardless of their particular focus, lit up the blogosphere with posts about the abdication announcement by Dutch Queen Beatrix. Blogs with a British angle, asked whether Queen Elizabeth would or even could follow suit. Fashion blogs updated the world on the sartorial choices of Beatrix's daughter-in-law, the soon-to-be Queen Maxima. History bloggers explored the impact on the next Dutch heiress, 10-year-old Princess Catharina Amalia, especially in contrast to British Queen Elizabeth who became heiress at the same age. Blogs focused on other nations explained those countries' histories of abdication. Just about every imaginable topic has been addressed in the cyberworld. What will the new King's inauguration be like? What jewels will his wife now be able to wear? How jealous are the other Crown Princesses of Europe? There is even a Facebook page devoted to encouraging the future King Willem Alexander to grow a beard.

This opportunity to examine the differences and similarities among Europe's monarchies has provided a refreshing break from lists of the maternity clothes the Duchess of Cambridge is buying and arguments whether Prince Harry has been too cavalier about killing Taliban fighters while deployed in Afghanistan.

So, thank you, Queen Beatrix for giving us a reminder of what monarchy is really about: symbolizing the history, culture, and peoples of a nation; the peaceful transition of power; and a loving dedication to service. We salute you for your long devotion to your country and your family. Long live Beatrix!