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News of: Sunday, January 31 2010,

Queen Beatrix celebrates 72nd birthday

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (1938) celebrates her 72nd birthday today.

The birthday is celebrated in private, at home with her family.

The public celebration is traditionally held on April 30 (Queen's Day), which is really the birthday of her mother, the late Queen Juliana.
Traditionally, the Queeen visit a few towns somewhere in the country, on Queen's Day. This year Beatrix will visit Wemeldinge and Middelburg, both in the province of Zeeland.

Queen's Day is always a big party in the Netherlands, particularly in Amsterdam. Everyone is allowed to sell things, without a licence, which results in the world's biggest garage-sale, with lots of music and partying. It is one of the biggest events in Amsterdam.

Although there are consistent rumours that she will soon give up the throne in favour of her son Prince Willem-Alexander, it does not seem likely she will do this any time soon.

Government buildings are supposed to fly the Dutch flag on this day, but when it is on a Sunday (like this year), this will be done on February 1.

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