After a period of fifty years (actually after a reign of 57 years and 286 days), Queen Wilhelmina abdicated the throne on 4 September 1948 in favour of her only daughter, Princess Juliana. She was the first of three Queens to sign the Instrument of Abdication in the Council Chamber of the Royal Palace. After the signing, mother and daughter appeared on the balcony at exactly twelve o’clock and Princess Wilhelmina introduced the new Queen to the crowd that had gathered with the words ‘Long live our Queen’.

After her abdication, she was styled Her Royal Highness Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and retired to her home Het Loo Palace.