30 April 2013 Last updated at 07:12 ET
The 75-year-old monarch signed the instrument of abdication in Amsterdam after 33 years on the throne.
Willem-Alexander has now become the country’s first king since 1890.
Huge crowds of orange-clad partygoers are in Amsterdam to pay tribute to the popular queen, who has maintained a recent Dutch tradition in handing over to a new generation.
People can address me as they wish because then they can feel comfortable”
‘Happy and grateful’
Queen Beatrix had announced her intention to stand down in January, saying her son was ready to reign and that it was time for the throne to be held by “a new generation”.
She formally relinquished the throne at a short ceremony in the Royal Palace on Tuesday, signing a statement which read: “I declare that I hereby step down from the monarchy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, that the monarchy from this moment on is transferred to my eldest son and heir Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, in accordance with the statutes and the constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”