Abdication means throne distance
Abdication is the filing of the Royal function during life (not in the case of death). In the past this was quite rare and was king or queen until death, nowadays it is more common. On 28 January, Queen Beatrix held a speech where the abdication was published. The moment of throne distance is determined by the King/Queen himself, who the successor is recorded in the line of succession.
The Queen announces her resignation (January 28, 2013) [YouTube] 3Hr_Bi1cyVI [/youtube]
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Abdication Queen Juliana [YouTube] Q0cCWvwXQvE [/youtube]