In a message shared on the website of the Royal House of the Netherlands at the end of last week, it was announced that Dutch King Willem-Alexander has no personal shares in companies which have a ‘Royal’ predicate.
The short message did not state whether other members of the Royal Family currently have or previously have had shares in royal companies, saying only: “The predicated does not mean that the company involved is a supplier or has a different relationship with the Royal Family”.
For a company to be eligible to apply for the royal predicate in the Netherlands it must have been in existence for at least 100 years. Current holders of the predicate include Shell, Philips, Gazelle, DSM, KLM, KPN and Schiphol.
The message was placed on the website “to avoid ambiguity in connection with questions that have arisen about it,” but the fact that King Willem-Alexander does not own shares in royal companies is not a new development. Some publications have speculated that the clarification was released now to make clear that the King does not own shares in Shell, one of the companies which hold a Royal predicate in the Netherlands.
Shell has seen a significant amount of negative publicity in the Netherlands in recent years surrounding climate damage and their involvement in illegal activities in Nigeria. During her recent United Nations visit to the country Queen Maxima of the Netherlands was heralded as the “largest shareholder of Shell” by local media. This is, of course, impossible as Shell has legally stipulated that shareholders holding more than 5 per cent of company’s shares would have to give them up.
These latest accusations against the Dutch royal family about their involvement with Shell follow numerous reports which have come out over the years claiming that King Willem-Alexander – and the Queens who preceded him including his mother, Queen Beatrix and Queens Wilhelmina and Juliana – were and are large shareholders of Shell. With this bold assertion from the Dutch court it’s hoped that these unfounded assertions will finally cease.