Some 6.6 million of the Dutch population of almost 17 million watched queen Beatrix sign the abdication act on Tuesday morning, while 6.3 million tuned in to watch the royal family appear on the balcony of their palace in central Amsterdam.
The 14-hour marathon broadcast by public broadcaster Nos attracted an average of 4.1 million viewers over the day.
A similar number also watched Beatrix become queen in 1980, Nos television said.
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