Dutch Queen Beatrix announces she is to abdicate

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    She must be happy for the the life she has had - despite the tragedies - for she was not incarcerated in her palace, as her Japanese counterparts are.

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    My family helped the Dutch royal family in the UK during the war. This announcement is bound to have an effect on Queen Elizabeth over the water, even though the two royal families have slightly different philosophies.

    Here's hoping she can have a quiet and contented retirement.

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