Queen Beatrix has reached a historic milestone today: she has turned 73 years and 277 days. This makes her the oldest reigning monarch in Dutch history.
Until today, King William III was the oldest head of state to rule the Netherlands. He passed away on 23 November 1890 at the respectable age of 73 years and 277 days, the same age Queen Beatrix has reached now.
But when compared to other European reigning monarchs, Beatrix doesn’t rank among the elderly. Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain (85), King Albert of the Belgians (77), King Harald of Norway (74) and King Juan Carlos of Spain (73) are all of a more mature age.
So are the Japanese Emperor Akihito (78), the Saudi-Arabian King Abdoellah (87) and the Thai monarch, King Bhumibol (83).
On 30 April 2012, Queen Beatrix will have been the Dutch head of state for 32 years.
Watch slideshow with pictures of Queen Beatrix' life: