Dutch Queen Beatrix to address nation
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands inspects honor guards with Singapore's President Tony Tan, behind her, during a welcome ceremony on Thursday Jan. 24, 2013 at the Istana or presidential palace in Singapore during her official four-day state visit to the country. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch Royal House says Queen Beatrix will deliver a nationally televised speech this evening and speculation is growing that the popular monarch will announce she is to abdicate.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday Jan. 24, 2013 at the Istana or presidential palace in Singapore during her official four-day state visit to the country.(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Beatrix, who turns 75 on Thursday, has ruled the nation of 16 million for more than 32 years and would be succeeded by her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander.
The Royal House announced Monday afternoon that the speech was recorded earlier in the day at Beatrix's Huis ten Bosch palace on the outskirts of The Hague and will be aired on television and radio at 7 p.m. (1800 GMT).
The announcement made no mention of the subject of the speech and the Royal House refused to comment further.