The image of modern monarchy - King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
King Willem-Alexander has enjoyed a hugely successful year as a monarch, exuding confidence in his new role and scoring massive popularity ratings. But his first year has also been tinged with sadness - just months into his reign he lost his younger brother, Johan Friso, who died in August 2013. Among the happy memories of his first twelve months as king are the heartbreaking days when, as head of his royal house, he had to lead his family and monarchy in mourning for a man with whom he grew up.
A king who faced sadness as well as joy in his first months on the throne
But overall, the year has seen Willem-Alexander become a confident king who seems to enjoy his new role and who has made it his own very quickly. He has been helped in huge part by his queen consort, Maxima, whose own popularity continues to soar and who has taken on a heavy and wide ranging diary of duties in her new role. Her devotion to the causes she loves and to the monarchy her husband now rules are evident. The couple have done things their way since the moment that Beatrix left them with their people on the morning of April 30th 2013 and disappeared from the royal balcony after her abdication. And one year on, the Netherlands' historic king and his queen consort are on their way to becoming the very pattern of a modern monarchy.