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Dutch shop shelves flooded with royal inauguration memorabilia

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Excitement is building as The Netherlands prepares for 30 April, the day Crown Prince Willem-Alexander officially takes over his mother's title as head of the Dutch monarchy. Willem-Alexander will become king and his wife Princess Maxima will step up as queen consort when the current monarch Queen Beatrix, who has reigned for 33 years, officially abdicates.

Ahead of the event, commemorative memorabilia honouring the momentous occasion has been released to the public. From fun masks of the royal couple, to figurines and decorative plates, there is a wide range of souvenirs and keepsakes to honour the special day. Images of Willem-Alexander, his wife and their three daughters, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane also feature on money pouches, posters and mugs. The inauguration will see royal fans lining the streets of Amsterdam, celebrating the beginning of a new era for the Dutch royal family.

Tuesday's proceedings will begin at 10am in Amsterdam's Royal Palace. The royal couple's eldest daughter, Amalia, aged 9, will then watch alongside her sisters as her parents address the crowds from the palace balcony in their first official act as King and Queen of the Netherlands. Amalia will then be styled as the new Princess of Orange and the heir to the Dutch throne. The ceremony will be attended by Britain's own monarch-in-waiting, Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. Other royal representatives from around the world include Spain's Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia and the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg Prince Guillaume with his wife Princess Stephanie. As with all royal celebrations, there has been fevered speculation as to what guests, and in particular Princess Maxima, will wear to the occasion. Maxima has described herself in the past as a "Latin who loves to sing and dance" and fans are looking forward to seeing the ensemble she puts together. Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima recently gave an exclusive TV interview to discuss their feelings about the historic occasion. Speaking to journalists, the future king made it clear he will be a modern, down-to-earth monarch. "People can address me any way they see fit," he said. "I'm not obsessed with protocol. I will be king, but also a human being."

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