In my previous blogpost we talked about the protocol, the official guideline for ceremonial events. If you want to invite a member of the royal family to your event for instance, you have to work with the operational terms described in protocol. Let’s have a quick look at the rough procedure.
Perfect event planning
As heads of the state, the members of the royal family are expected to join official celebrations, which are important to the royal house itself or to the public. Consider the wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima or the funeral of Princess and former Queen Juliana. On April 30th we will have two ceremonial events. First, we will celebrate Queen’s Day and second, there will be the installation of Willem-Alexander as the new King of The Netherlands. Such celebrations are always perfectly planned and organized to guarantee a smooth event.
Be quick or be cancelled
First rule for requesting royalties: if you want to invite the Queen or the Prince of Orange, you have to be a very early bird. Our royalties are highly sought-after among the event planners and they have to cancel about 250 appointments per year. The agenda of the royal family is organized by the Queen’s main secretary in Paleis Noordeinde, so he will be your first contact for all requests. If this is the first time you write an official letter to the court, you can ask the Protocolbureau for assistance.
Six weeks before the event the Queen’s staff starts to prepare the visit. The court ladies or adjutants instruct the event planner about the best procedure of the event, concerning reception, introduction and seating for instance. Since our royalties have a busy schedule it is important the their visit proceeds without any problems. The Protocolbureau can also be present for your assistance.
If you are planning a large public event, the royal security service will join the preliminary discussions. The number of required security agents depends on the type and size of your event. If your event is accessible to journalists, you have to contact the Government Information Service, which is responsible for the media contacts of the royal family.
Learn good manners
While etiquette is not officially part of the protocol, it is extremely important that you know the proper manners for dealing with royalties. However, this can be quite difficult if you are not familiar with the general culture and habits of your guests. Etiquette can differ from country to country and from town to town. The Queen’s court ladies can advise you about this.
And what about you?
Do you have any experience with such ceremonial events as a planner or as a visitor? Do you have any ideas or tips you would like to share with me? Just leave them in a comment below.
Special thanks to the Protocolbureau in The Hague for their assistance with this post.