for those of you interested in hearing the crown prince's voice, here's a short video of the news item on Veteran's day. click on the video, it's only a minute or so long, and at the end of it there's footage of WA doing his speech.
I'm not WA's biggest fan, but he does have one of the best, most wonderful male voices out there (no doubt aided by cigarette (ab)use, but anyway), you all should really check it out.
These are very nice pics, dutch royal! Thank you for sharing them! It seems as if you got quite close to W-A! :)
Thats right, maxie. I had the luck ,together with patrick van katwijk ,that we were standing between the press. A man who was standing next to me was picket out of the crowd en was removed from the press-aria. So you see that we had a lot of luck of making those beautiful pictures of oure crownprince!!
On Thursday, September 7, 2006, Prince Willem-Alexander pays a work visit to London.
(photos by Lex Van Lieshout)
Here is the Prince under the Thames Barrier, which protects the city of London against high tide, a 520 metres long tunnel connects the two banks of the Thames. Andy Batchelor (Thames Tidal Flood Risk Manager, Environment Agency) explains how the Flood Barrier works during the walk through the tunnel.
At the Thames Barrier, where the city is protected against high tide, the Prince is informed by Andy Batchelor (Thames Tidal Flood Risk Manager, Environment Agency).
At the roof of an appartment building, the Holden Point Viewing Platform, the Prince is explained where in 2012 the Olympic Games will be held. Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman LOCOG (the organisation who organises the Olympic Games in London 2012) welcomes the Prince. Lord Sebastian Coe is a former Olympic Athletics champion.
Prince Willem-Alexander pays a visit to the IOC in London. At the IOC in the Barclay Tower, the Prince meets Sir Craig Reedie (L)(IOC member). Minister Dekker (R) travelled with the Prince. The IOC is located in the Barcley Tower in London.
Prince Willem-Alexander was on a work visit at the Erasmus MC,Rotterdam yesterday.The visit was by initiative of ECP.NL,platform for eNederland of which the Prince is a member of the advisory council.Theme of the visit was how patients can/could benefit from integration of ICT appliances in healthcare.
28-09-2006 Heinekenprijzen Prince Willem Alexander has presented, in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, the 6th international awards for Science and Art.
The Heinekenawards were made available by the Foundation Alfred Heineken Funds.
Award winner were: Sir Alec J. Jeffreys, Job Koelewijn, Mary-Claire King, Joel Mokyr, Stuart L. Pimm and John R. Anderson
I wonder if anybody knows if Mrs. Lucille Heineken or her daughter Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken attended the ceremony? As the prize is named after their late husband/father. Both are rather discrete, so no pictures of them for sure.
The Crownprince must be happy to hand out the prizes as he was rather fond of the late Freddie Heineken.
at the opening of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Conference on Sustainability and Transparency entitled ‘Reporting: a Measure of Sustainability’, Amsterdam
Check against delivery
‘Facing the truth, acting responsibly, working together’
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
First let me welcome you all to the Netherlands. I salute you, Mr Mayor, for hosting this conference in our beautiful capital. Or rather our beautiful and sustainable capital, as you have just pointed out. Yours is an example that should be followed.
And I salute everyone here today. You are the frontrunners on the road to sustainability. While I was preparing my speech for today, I became increasingly impressed by the work many companies are doing to achieve sustainability.
I read, for instance, that a large international brewer has managed to cut its water consumption by seventeen percent in Indonesia, and as much as forty percent in Suriname. These are fantastic achievements. And all that was needed was local awareness training in good water management.
I also read about one of the world’s leading aluminium manufacturers that manages to save up to 14,000 billion litres of fresh water every year in a drought-prone region simply by using the treated effluent from a nearby city for the final rinsing process.
And I read about a major producer of beverages that serves one billion drinks worldwide every day. This company has committed itself to becoming at least forty percent more energy efficient between 2000 and 2010.
Now that’s what I call sustainability in action!
And yet, I am not mentioning any names; for two reasons. First of all, these companies are not the only ones to be taking action like this. More and more organisations and companies are using the Global Reporting Initiative’s guidelines. If my sources are right, their number is fast approaching a thousand. So I could have cited many other good examples of corporate social responsibility. But my second reason is more important. I believe that we have no reason to blow our own trumpet. Though you and many others like you are on the right track, the global challenges we face give us no cause for celebration. Unfortunately, for example, too many companies still take sufficient supplies of high-quality process water for granted. So they take no account of water in calculating their production costs. This will have to change in the near future.
Ladies and gentlemen, many people feel that we have arrived at a critical point in the Earth’s history. Only a few weeks ago, the world received the shocking news that, for the first time, the North Pole’s ice cap had continued to melt during the winter. And last week we heard that the hole in the ozone layer was back at the record level it reached a few years ago. We must take these facts as a warning. Or rather, as two more warnings, because the evidence that we are indeed experiencing global warming is accumulating. And, as the Economist recently made painfully clear, we never imagined that the consequences for ecosystems would be on such a scale or so serious.
But how could we possibly imagine the North Pole without ice, the Gulf Stream actually slowing down or switching itself off, or the millions of tons of methane now safely stored under the Siberian permafrost being released and devastating our climate. And yet, we’d better be prepared to confront this ‘inconvenient truth’ before it catches up with humanity and confronts us.
In fact, I am afraid that the truth might be even more inconvenient and complicated than this. There is no question that the dominant patterns of production and consumption are leading to environmental and ecological devastation and a growing number of natural disasters. But alongside the problem of global warming and its effects there is another issue too. And that is the issue of poverty. The benefits of development are still not shared equitably and in many parts of the world the gap between rich and poor is widening. That problem is at the heart of all sustainability issues.
Ladies and gentlemen, of course I did not come here as a prophet of doom. But I am convinced of the need to face up to reality, because that is where every solution starts. Fortunately, I am not the only one to think this way. You share my views. And so does the larger part of the international community. Nowadays, most people acknowledge the fact that we have to meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. That is a giant leap forwards.
The past ten years have seen an impressive number of international agreements on the subject of sustainable development and the need for international cooperation. Key are the Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. With the MDGs, the international community set down what goals it wanted to achieve. With the 2002 Johannesburg Plan, it mapped out how it would achieve them sustainably.
In adopting the MDGs and the Johannesburg Plan, the international community took on a very great responsibility. Literally. Because how else could you describe a commitment that entails feeding 1 billion extra mouths, providing 1.3 billion more people with access to adequate sanitation and ensuring drinking water supplies for 600 million people – all by 2015? And these are today’s actual numbers, not even taking into account the growth of the different challenges we will face by 2015! That is not just a ‘very great’ responsibility, it is a gigantic one. And because very great commitments are more difficult to meet than small ones, the question that immediately confronts us is: ‘What methods and instruments do we use?’
One of the most important tools for advancing sustainability, which was also highlighted in Johannesburg, is the use of public-private partnerships – concrete partnerships between governments, businesses and other civil society parties to carry out concrete projects. The word ‘partnership’ implies that the business community is not only there to act as a banker, but also contributes knowledge and its own local networks. With so many corporate executives and government officials here today, you will understand that I cannot resist the temptation to dwell briefly on this subject now. I shall do so by looking at a few developments in my own field of expertise – water management.
In the last ten years, thinking on water management has undergone a sea change. The international water community is now fully convinced that there is no point attempting to achieve targets for water without taking other sectors into account. Agriculture, energy, health, the economy, ecosystems – they are all directly connected to water and often depend on it. And so the international water community developed the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management. Basically this means always taking account of the various functions water performs in a given area, and of the people who depend on it.
We as water managers are now almost in complete agreement with each other on the need for integrated water resources management. In practice, however, it is proving difficult to reach and involve other sectors. The agriculture and energy sectors are crucial. Agriculture in particular consumes water on a large scale. Eighty percent of all water supplies are used for irrigation. So every percentage point saved in agriculture gives an enormous increase in water supplies for households, industries and other users. In fact, one percent less water for agriculture means up to five percent more water for other sectors. Given existing shortages and growing demand for water, we have to make a serious effort, as I like to put it, to produce ‘more crop per drop’. We simply have no other choice.
In the energy sector, hydropower is becoming increasingly important, now that reserves of fossil fuels are dwindling. Hydropower still has enormous growth potential. In developing countries in particular, a share of thirty percent of the total energy supply is feasible. Given the rising price of a barrel of oil, that is, of course, good news, provided that the negative social, ecological and economical impacts of the large-scale construction of dams and energy plants can be controlled. And of course, it is vital for a country not to become too dependent on hydropower, to avoid that a structural change in the water system will put energy supplies at permanent risk.
In practice, no sector or government can manage developments like these alone. That is why governments, companies and sectors need to work together. And that’s where you and the Global Reporting Initiative come in. The great Italian filmmaker, Federico Fellini, once said that the visionary is the only true realist. I agree with him. Without a vision we cannot solve the immense problems we face. But vision must lead to action. So what we need are visionary leaders in business and government – leaders who are also willing to act. People who understand that – at the end of the day – big problems are solved on the ground, in a joint effort involving both public and private stakeholders. In short, people like you.
The shape such a public-private partnership takes, is of secondary importance. One down-to-earth example is the partnership between the water company of the municipality of Pekan Baru on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the Dutch government and a joint venture of Dutch and Indonesian companies. Together, they have committed themselves to a project that will give 280,000 people access to clean drinking water between 2005 and 2010. Half the costs will be paid from Dutch development funds; the companies taking part will foot the rest of the bill. This makes it a model public-private partnership. But, as I said, the classic model is not sacred. There is nothing to stop businesses with branches abroad from seeking partnerships with local governments and grassroots organisations, and of course vice versa.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are probably wondering what all of this has to do with the GRI. My answer is: everything, I hope. I believe that the GRI is more – has to be more – than individual businesses and organisations submitting a report each year. These reports are important and laudable, but it would be a great pity if that was the end of the story. In my view, the GRI provides us with an instrument that teaches governments, businesses and civil society organisations to talk the same plain language about sustainability. That makes it easier to hold each other responsible, and promotes mutual understanding. And that in turn lays a more solid basis for the public-private partnerships we so badly need.
So, my message boils down to three main points: facing the truth, acting responsibly and working together. To be quite honest, businesses are usually much quicker and find it easier than government authorities to account for their own performance in promoting sustainability – the municipality of Amsterdam, of course, is a notable exception. So I hope that the corporate executives here today will not hesitate to call their partners from the public sector to account. And I hope that those partners will listen and respond. And finally, I also hope that the message you broadcast from Amsterdam is heard around the globe; the message that sustainability is not a choice, but a dire necessity. Or as a famous Native American proverb puts it: ‘We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our great-grandchildren.’
Today the crownprince appeared in the headline of the biggest Dutch newspaper. He and the comitee that he is chairman of say that The Netherlands is not prepared sufficiently for a water-disaster. The present safety regulations are outdated, and the investments in the dykes and other related things stay behind, people in charge don't communicate well and the local goverments & citizens are not informed sufficiently. According to the Prince and the water-safety comitee an investment over 1 billiion euros is needed to solve the most urgent points of concern. The report also declares that it is alarming that the ministery of traffic and water-state is unaware of the state of 1/3 of our dykes.
The minister of traffic and water-sate, Karla Peijs (CDA), declared on television and radio that she did not agree with the report, and that an extra investment of 400 million euros will do.
The Queen's injured knee:
During a walk with Chip (the Queen's terrier) on one of the domains, the dog ran away for a wild boar. Her Majesty ran after the apple of her eye but because suddenly a whole heard of wild boars was approaching, she runs so hard that she made a misstep and injured her right knee.
The Queen's famous coiffure:
The Queen never uses a wig or hair-extensions. The secret of her coiffure is surprisingly simple: a Carmen-set plus an American brand of hairspray. The Carmen-rollers are used until some 7 centimeters above her skull and then the hairspray, of course. The Queen has her own coiffeur who is specialized in the 'Beatrix-coiffure'.
What is you alltime low as a royalty-watcher?
That was when I discovered Máxima in New York. I was there to make some background information about her whe suddenly she came walking down the street. Because of all the nerves I missed the right button of my videocamera and she went into the building. I decided to take place behind garbage-bins and waited for her. Suddenly she came outside and she saw me. She really had such an expression like 'Oh my God, there he is again, such an oaf.' I started my videocamera and was able to film for some 20 seconds but then all the courage sunk in my shoes and I ran away. I could not use the material: too shaky. I still am deeply ashamed for that.
Do you need an elephant's skin for this job?
Well, I developed an elephant's skin in the course of years. I started as an innocent royalty-watcher but on a certain moment there was a sort of battle between the Prince of Orange and me, for which I was thrown out of the Club of Royalty Journalists. I really was upset about all that. I have had sleepless nights about that. Eef Brouwers, then the director of the Government Information Agency told me: "It is not our fault. You can come where you want and ask your questions. But the Prince has a problem with you."
Why did the Prince have a problem with you?
A co-worker in the Royal Household told me: "Do not give up. He tries to break you and hush you up completely, in the hope that you give up. That is what the Oranges always do with people they do not like."
The Prince began to dislike me due to successive misunderstandings. He got the impression that I could not be trusted. It started with an informative question by me to people from the princely staff, if it was right indeed that the Prince has bought a house on Curaçao? That was a rumour which kept going around for a while. The simple fact that I asked about that was already dreadful, so found the Prince. Later the Prince and Princess began with a diving-session in the ocean, starting from the hotel in which accidentally Marc van der Linden (editor-in-chief of the gossip magazine 'Weekend') and I were staying. We even waved to the security, like 'Hello, we do sleep here!'. But my attendance with Marc van der Linden was totally taken wrongly by the Prince and his staff.
The poor contact between you and the Prince of Orange became a running gag in your program 'Boulevard'. From sources at the palace could be heard that they were worried about possible effects of this 'feud' on the image of the Prince. Did you feel very important, when you heard that?
Well, important... If I really was important, the problem would immediately have been cleared and Prince Willem-Alexander would have reacted on my letters. I was more an irritatant mosquito for them. Princess Máxima had difficulties with this. She always gave a little wink when she saw me but also in her attitude I recognized that I have been discussed.
Don't you think it is a weird idea that Prince Willem-Alexander grumbles about you against Princess Máxima, in their bed?
Absolutely. I don't know if I have been discussed in their bed, but I know it was a topic on meetings. Various people from the princely surroundings have tried to intermediate but then he became emotional again. "The Prince has exploded again", they told me then. The obstinateness of the Oranges is legendaric. Everybody who gets involved with the royal family says this. If they do not like someone, that person is out of favour. For ever.
In 1992 Queen Beatrix lost her most true and loyal friend: her terrier Miss Pepper. On a morning, when a staff of the Household came across the dead body of the Queen's dog, suffocated with her head stuck into a rabbit-hole, no one had the courage to inform the Queen. They acted like Miss Pepper was still missing and laid her dead body in a refrigerator. Only after a couple of hours, they found the courage to inform the Queen. After that everybody conscientuously cared to remain out of Her Majesty's immediate surroundings. For hours. What is it that people are so afraid for?
Everybody had such an attitude alike: oh, the poor lady, her favourite dog suffocated in a rabbit-hole. Who dares it to tell Her Majesty? How will she react? The Queen is extremely perfectionistic and a very demanding controlfreak. She is so demanding from her staff that sometimes it simply is no longer to do. In that sense people do fear her indeed. Yes.
Do you sense the same fear with journalists?
You see that no journalist dares it to bite. Also because they are so very instructed about what is allowed and what not. When you still tries to ignore the restrictions, you see the fireballs appearing into her eyes. Then you suddenly witness that side of her, people so often speak about. She can so unexpectedly and so shockingly fly off the handle. Litterally stamping her feet. I have always tried to imagine myself how the Queen would do that. Apparently she does something with her leg which is described by everyone as 'stamping with her feet'.
But -according your book- she seems to be unsecure?
Yes. But that is an unsecurity you can see with many perfectionistic people. She is so afraid to make mistakes. After an address she immediately informs with her surroundings how it was done. And she is very unsecure about the length of her arms. That is why she wears shorter sleeves, to make her arms looking longer. She also has the idea that she is crooked. So she always asks her garderobe to be designed so, that she looks perfectly straight. She always needed Prince Claus' confirmation that she did look good.
After six year of neglect, you suddenly were allowed again to ask a question to the Prince of Orange. You asked him if he liked the press contact. "Not good", so answered the Prince with a broad smile; "it means I get you over the floor". Everybody started to laugh and with that the chill seems to have disappeared. Did you not have the thought: 'Hey... it ain't thát easy!'?
Well, I must say I was tensed when I was allowed to enter their estate in Italy. After all you have to take the plane all the way to Italy for such a press-moment, while you have no idea if your will be totally ignored again. That you again were the only one not allowed to ask a question. And that all the other media are writing about that again. So I was there with a bouncing heart, but I already was happy that I gót answer! Yes, I know this is in fact very sad. But that is the reality. The Oranges decide with whom they talk. Very strange indeed, aren't they 'in our service'?
You never cease to surprise me, Henri: being subscribed to a socialist television magazine... tsk
But seriously, thank you very much for translating the article, it must have been a lot of work! And it is rather insightfull, though my opinion on Peter van der Vorst as royalty 'reporter' is still unchanged (and not to positive).
He makes the PoO seem like a very petty man, and seems to play the murdered innocence, I wonder what the other side of the story is, but we will never know helas.