As you all know, in a few days I hope to celebrate my 75th birthday. I am thankful that I have been granted the opportunity to do so in good health. At the end of this year we shall mark the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, an occasion that ushered in a new era in our history. The fact that these two special events coincide led me to decide to relinquish the throne this year. It seems to me to be an appropriate moment to take this step, which I have been considering for some time.