Dutch crown prince hints at informal monarchy

The Associated Press, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 12:55pm (PDT)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander has set the tone for what could be a relatively laid-back monarchy, saying in his last major interview before he becomes king that his subjects don't have to address him as your majesty.

The prince's comments in a pre-recorded interview aired Wednesday night are an indication that he could be an informal monarch more in the style of his grandmother, Queen Juliana — known for her folksy style and riding her bicycle in public — than his more formal mother, Queen Beatrix.

The 45-year-old prince and his Argentine-born wife, Princess Maxima, will become king and queen when Beatrix, abdicates April 30 after 33 years on the throne.

Willem-Alexander says he is "not a protocol fetishist. People can address me however they want."

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