Future King of The Netherlands Willem-Alexander gave his final interview as a Crown Prince joined by his wife Princess Máxima on national Dutch TV channels NOS and RTL on Wednesday.
In his last major interview before he becomes King Willem-Alexander later this month has said that his subjects will not have to address him as “Your Majesty”.
On January 28 this year current Queen Beatrix announced that her abdication and that the Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander, her eldest son, would succeed her.
The abdication and the investiture of the new King, at that time Prince Willem-Alexander will be 46 years old, will take place in Amsterdam on April 30.
He will reign under the name King Willem-Alexander.
In the interview, the couple spoke about their lives, about Willem-Alexander becoming king and about the way forward for the Dutch monarchy.
The interview took place at the Huis ten Bosch palace, Queen Beatrix’ formal offices, and, say commentators, the couple came over as self-assured and relaxed.
Prince Willem-Alexander said he had no problem if the Netherlands moved towards a purely ceremonial monarchy.
The future king’s role is continuing to build on the tradition of his predecessors.
“It is a tradition which represents the continuity of this country and its stability. But I also want to be a king who can unite people in the 21st century,” he said.
If people wanted to move away from this, Prince Willem-Alexander said he accepted everything, as long as it was a democratic decision in accordance with the constitution.
“That is what I am king for and if something has to be signed, I will do it,” the prince said.
The previous government reduced the role of the monarch in forming a new government and there had been speculation the prince wanted a more active role as head of state.
Asked why he did not want to be named king Willem IV, the prince laughed and said he did not want to be a number.
“Willem 4 is in a field, next to Bertha 38,” he said, referring to the way cows are named and registered.
Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima said they had been aware of the queen’s abdication plans for a year and watched her broadcast to the nation together with their three daughters.
“It was a very emotional moment, as it probably was for everyone,” Princess Máxima said.
The couple’s oldest daughter, and future queen, Amalia, is well aware of her future role.
Prince Willem-Alexander said: “She has already asked how many years I plan to do it… I can probably put a date in my diary now.”
Some 4.6 million of the Dutch population of nearly 17 million watched last night’s televised interview with Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima, according to audience research figures.
A viewers’ panel after the broadcast was positive about the role of the future king and queen.
Nine out of ten said they think Prince Willem-Alexander will make a good king, and 30% think he will do a better job than his mother. And 93% expect Princess Máxima will be a good queen. Her title is a courtesy one as wife of the king.