I stumbled over the Year Report 2013 from the High Council of Nobility (a so-called "High College of State" which is autonomous and decides on matters of noibility, arms, emblems, flags, etc.).
The year 2013 was partly dominated by the abdication of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, followed by the Investiture of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, both on Tuesday April 30th.
Around a succession of the throne traditionally the High Council of Nobility is consulted on issues such as the kingdom's coat of arms, the Royal Standard and the Great Seal of the new King, as well as the arms, flags and titles of the other members of the royal family. Because the composition of the Royal House changes on that occasion, the consequences for the ceremonial interpretation should subsequently be reviewed. Relatively soon after the announcement of the abdication, the High Council provided a note to the attention of the Director of the Queen's Cabinet, in which the specific task of the High Council in this sort of events is described. This task has largely determined the agenda of the High Council in the year 2013.
When Her Majesty The Queen announced her abdication on Monday, January 28th, the period of preparation for the Abdication and the Investiture was approximately equal to that of thirty-three years earlier, when the mother of the Queen announced her abdication. Like back then in 1980, from the beginning of February, the High Council of Nobility had intensive and frequent contacts with the Queen's Cabinet, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (responsible for the coordination), the Department of Security and Justice as well the Royal House Service, on questions which sometimes went beyond the actual task of the High Council. Although the Sovereign Prince whom established a 'Heraldry College' in 1814, which would later change into the present "High Council of Nobility", already charged this body with "the regulation and devise order" of all public ceremonies, in the course of the nineteenth century, when the King's Cabinet and the Royal House became more and more important institutionally, the role of the High Council proportionally became less important. The task of the High Council around a change of the throne is since then traditionally limited to the kingdom's coat of arms, the Royal Standard, the King's Great Seal, the arms, flags and titles of the members of the royal family. Already on the 11th of February, the High Council issued an advice to the Director of the Queen's Cabinet about the role of the body in this process. A note from 2006 turned out to be a good guide to the High Council's consultations during the Investiture year.
The Chairman of the High Council of Nobility, C.O.A. Baron van Schimmelpenninck van der Oye LL.M. and the Secretary, Dr E.J. Wolleswinkel LL.M. witnessed the Investiture of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander on Tuesday April 30th in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. The Chairman did attend in his role as Chamberlain to The King and escorted His Excellency Mr H.A. van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Mrs G. van Rompuy née Windels. The Chairman was replaced by the Secretary on behalf of the Council, representing a High College of State. Later in the year, by Royal Decree and on the recommendation of the Grandmaster of the House of His Majesty The King and the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, it has pleased His Majesty to grant the Investiture Medal 2013 to the Chairman and the Secretary.
On May 6th the Chairman and Secretary attended the ceremony of the attachment of the Great Seal of Her Majesty The Queen to the Act of Abdication. On May 7th the Chairman and Secretary attended the ceremony of the transfer of the Act of Abdication to the National Archives. For purposes of public access to government documents, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix consented to a quick transfer by the Director of the King's Cabinet of the Act of Abdication to the National Archive instead of keeping it in the archives of the King's Cabinet.
For the purpose of the Investiture ceremony of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander on April 30, 2013 in Amsterdam the High Council of Nobility loaned to His Excellency Mr W.N. Cosijn LL.M., Master of Ceremonies of Her Majesty The Queen, Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, the following Medals-of-Office from its collection:
1. The silver gilt medal of the FIRST KING OF ARMS on a red ribbon, manufactured by Joseph Germain Dutalis, Brussels 1815;
2. The silver gilt medal of the KING OF ARMS on a red / black ribbon manufactured by John Schouberg, The Hague 1815;
3. The silver gilt medal of the HERALD OF ARMS 'ORANGE' on an orange ribbon manufactured by Joseph Germain, Brussels 1815;
4. the silver gilt medal of the HERALD OF ARMS 'NASSAU' on a nassaublue ribbon, manufactured by Joseph Germain Dutalis, Brussels 1815;
5. the silver medal of the HERALD OF ARMS 'LUXEMBOURG' on a light blue ribbon, manufactured by Joseph Germain Dutalis, Brussels, 1815.
His Majesty King Willem Alexander choose the following persons to wear these Medals-of-Office:
FIRST KING OF ARMS
His Excellency Ret. General P.J.M. van Uhm, Guards' Regiment Grenadiers and Rifles, former Commander of the Armed Forces (picture: http://tswi.biz/wp-content/uploads/2...f-the-King.jpg
KING OF ARMS
Dr A. Kuipers, physician and astronaut (European Space Agency) (picture: http://weekendwiththemasters.nl/wp-c...an-wapenen.jpg
HERALD OF ARMS "ORANGE"
Professor Dr R.H. Dijkgraaf, former President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, currently Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (New Jersey, USA) (picture, http://new.anky.nl/img/images/Anky%2...0Alexander.jpg
HERALD OF ARMS "NASSAU"
Her Excellency Mrs R.V.M. Jones-Bos LL.M., MA, former Ambassador of Her Majesty The Queen in Washington, currently Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (picture: http://www.nrc.nl/inbeeld/files/2013...67-980x652.jpg
HERALD OF ARMS "LUXEMBOURG"
Mrs T.E.G. van Grunsven, a dressage champion who holds the record for the most individual Olympic medals won by any equestrian athlete and the only rider to record three successive Olympic gold medals in the same event. (picture, at the left: http://new.anky.nl/img/images/Anky%2...0Alexander.jpg
: the Minister of Security and Justice, the Chairman of the High Council of Nobility, The King and the Minister of of the Interior and Kingdom Relations look to the new Grand Seal of the King.