Today, 74-year-0ld Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated the throne after her 33-year reign. She passed the crown to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, who was inaugurated this afternoon with a giant ermine cape and a big to-do in Amsterdam. The AP describes him thus:
Willem-Alexander is a 45-year-old father of three young daughters, an International Olympic Committee member, a pilot and a water management expert.
Over the years, he has struggled to win the affection of this nation of 16 million, but his immensely popular wife, the Argentine-born Maxima, has helped him gain more acceptance ever since she brushed away a tear during their wedding in 2002.
Tears — or “tear” — aside, Maxima will make a fitting queen for the Netherlands, as she’s glamorous and Nordic-looking like the rest of their royal family. Also, she has the waving-at-the-crowd routine down pat. (And, come on, her name is Maxima!) The newly crowned couple was joined by their absurdly large extended family as well as surplus royals like Prince Charles and Camilla, Princess Letizia of Spain, and others for what was probably a fantastically rowdy post-coronation ceremony (we all know what happens on those boats, or at least we think we do). Who knew there were so many obscure princes and princesses in Europe? See all the attendees in their fanciest garb in our slideshow.