Emma remained a Queen (Dowager) while her daughter was The Queen (Regnant) and nobody confused them.
Albert II of Belgium abdicated and retained his title while his son became the new king.
Same thing in Spain.
Grand-Duke Jean abdicated and Luxembourg had for some years two Grand-Dukes, the emmerit and the regnant.
For some time, Belgium had 3 queens: Fabiola, Paola and Mathilde and nobody confused them, so INHO there was no need for the dutch queens to downgrade when they abdicated.
I feel the same way myself: if a dowager (and even divorced) queen can continue styling herself as a queen, then why not a queen who has stepped down?
It has been explained that Wilhelmina considered herself entitled to style herself as a princess, with the qualification of Royal Highness, by virtue of being her father's daughter -- not an abdicated queen.
HOWEVER, I can think of ONE justification for each of these women adopting a lower title after abdication. It's that the Netherlands is a KINGDOM, meaning that the sovereign is always a king. Of course, the said king can be female -- and indeed, males and females have equal inheritance rights.
The point is that QUEEN, then, is largely a courtesy title denoting either the consort of an enthroned king or a female king. The latter is exactly what Wilhelmina, Juliana, and Beatrix were during their reigns. But as a concession to tradition, none cared to actually call herself a king: hence, the queen title (as women who occupied the kingly throne).
Indeed, if I understand correctly, Wilhelmina was technically enthroned as a KING, on the occasion of her legal majority (in 1898): that was the actually wording of the ceremony. It has, in fact, been stated that queens do not constitutionally exist in the Netherlands.
It remains to be seen, then, whether Maxima (should she survive her husband) continues styling herself with the title of Queen. But I agree with you, in that I wish to God that Wilhelmina had not set the precedent for what she did, when in 1948 she abdicated the throne.
Unfortunately both Beatrix and Juliana followed the example of Queen Wilhelmina to style herself as princess between her abdication/constitutional death and her physical demise.
I would very much have preferred it if they had gone from HM the Queen to HM Queen Wilhelmina/Jluliana/Beatrix.
consort of King George II, is another good example coming to mind of a divorce queen. However, my understanding is that she voluntarily took back her maiden title (Princess of Romania), after her divorce in 1935.
During an interview later in life, she put it thus: "I never wanted to be a queen. Even as a child, I hated the idea. One of the reasons I accepted my husband's marriage proposal was that I didn't think he stood a good chance of ever sitting on the throne of Greece (the Greek monarchy was in a state of fluctuation, as of their wedding in 1921) ..."
Some queens have been stripped of their titles, legally or otherwise; but there have been some who have voluntarily renounced them. In an above post, I mentioned the three Dutch queens regnant after abdication.