Prince of Orange set to resign from IOC after becoming Dutch King

Monday, 28 January 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Prince OrangeJanuary 28 - Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, is set to stand down as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after his mother, Queen Beatrice, announced today that she will abdicate on April 30 after 33 years as head of state, clearing the way for her eldest son to become the Netherlands' first King in more than a century.

Willem-Alexander has been a member of the IOC since 1998 but said at the time of his election that he would step down when he became King. 

The Dutch Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF) confirmed today that they expected Willem-Alexander to formally announce shortly his decision to resign from the IOC. 

"When he was appointed in 1998 he said at the time that is what he had agreed with the Dutch Government," said a spokesman for the NOC*NSF.

"So we assume that he will do now that he is King."

It means that the Netherlands will be left without a representative on the IOC following the death in 2010 of Anton Geesink, who had been a member since 1987, the resignation of  Hein Verbruggen, the former President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) in 2008, and Els van Breda Vriesman, who forfeited her place five years ago after she lost her position as head of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). 

The 45-year-old Prince had been the member of several IOC Commissions during his period on the IOC, including the Evaluation Commssion for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the Coordination Commission for Sochi 2014, until he stepped down from that role in 2012. 

He is also a member of the influential Marketing Commission. 

Queen Beatrix announced abdication January 28 2013Queen Beatrix announces her abdication live on Dutch television, leaving the way clear for her son, Willem-Alexander, to become the country's first king for more than a century

The announcement that Beatrix is to abdicate was made in a nationally televised speech and signaled an end to the reign of one of Europe's longest-serving monarchs.

The decision comes just days before Beatrix's 75th birthday birthday, and she is already the oldest ever Dutch monarch.

The nation is due to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its monarchy, the House of Orange, at the end of this year.

Willem-Alexander will be the Netherlands' first King since William III, who died in 1890.

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