Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Willem Alexander. (AP image)
HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - An historic announcement from the Netherlands could have an impact on a local Dutch community. After three decades on the throne, Queen Beatrix announced she will abdicate to her son Willem, making him the first Dutch king in over a century.
John Karsten, a native of the Netherlands is known as the Town Crier in Holland, Michigan.
"That is quite exciting for the Netherlands to say we have a king," says Karsten.
Karsten was even Skyping with his sister and nephew in the Netherlands.
"In the past years, the royalty has always been a girl, so it's been this queen and that queen," says Karsten.
Karsten also remembers when the queen visited Holland in 1982.
"I biked all the way to the channel so I could see her, and I saw her then, but when I made it back my wife said 'you should have stayed with us because I shook her hand!" says Karsten.
"She was smiling the whole time and shook hands with everybody"says Wieda Karsten, John's wife.
Karsten's family in the Netherlands says the transition still will have an impact, even though the royals have no real political power.
"They all have their own influence, even though the official influence is getting less and less in politics," says Karsten's nephew.
However, marketing influence is a different story. The Tulip Time Festival is hoping to capitalize the big change.
"Next year is are 85th anniversary and it would be delightful to extend an invitation to Willem to come be part of that," says Jessica Weistra, Parade Coordinator with the Tulip Time Festival.
Willem won't officially become king until April 30. There have been other royal visits from the Netherlands, including Princess Margriet in 1997.