Behind the scenes at a photo shoot

Behind the scenes at a photo shoot

Several people have asked me if I would like to know more about the photoshoot. Here is what is promised behind the scenes.

The stand-in was scheduled for twelve-thirty, so just before eleven I arrived at the palace gate. There, the military police checked my identity card and credentials. When the club was completed around 11am, the gate opened and we were able to enter the park. Immediately after the gate on bezuidenhoutseweg we turned left. So you walk along the water towards the back of the palace. On the right, the path was lined with tall bamboo, where the sculptures were hidden. After being offered a bottle of water, we were taken to our place behind the palace.

As you may have noticed, the curtains in the conservatory were drawn. Last time, photographers were able to see the king reading a newspaper in his living room with a sharp lens, and it seems they wanted to prevent that this time. Because the photo session begins with a moment of posing, and as a reporter I only have to watch, I position myself to the side. With a laptop of course. So I can update this site as soon as possible. To ensure that the photographers were able to set their cameras correctly, women from the Government Information Service stood in the place where the orange would stand.

At about 10:30, the family came walking from the basement (which I’ve written about here before). I do not know if the king did not read the instructions, but he ignored the agreed upon location. He did not stand in front of the borders, but rather between them. Immediately the paparazzi started moving, because guess what? There were a few tall columns in the middle of the platform, which were visible in every shot. “Left, right,” the family shouted, but nothing produced a perfect picture.

One of the photographers kindly asked if he could remove the pole. The king did not want this, so they moved again to the left, and once to the right, and finally decided to stop in front of the border.

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Dog Mambo – as expected and I also believe – brought a lot of life to the brewery. He ran from left to right, sniffed several bags, and at one point raised his paw to pee on Amalia’s pants. You understand: fun is everywhere.


When the three princesses stood separately, I noticed the reflection of their personalities. Alexia started and responded appropriately to all directions. Looking left, looking right, looking over the shoulder, etc. Then it was Ariane’s turn. There was almost silence in the press box, as if they did not want to question the rather shy princess. Then it was Amalia’s turn, who proactively approached the paparazzi. “Would you like another situation?”


There was a tactical reason why Amalia didn’t start with individual images. After Amalia’s moment, the king was able to approach her and take the famous photo of them together. The king with his successor. After the moment the photo was taken, the family returned downstairs. While photographers were sent back to the fence, radio and television journalists and writers had to wait for some time. Through the palace windows you can see the princesses watching the media and then walking into the living room.

Press Conference
Before the press interview began, we were taken to the other side of the palace. The back of the Hague Pavilion. The writing staff, myself included, were seated at a table and technical matters such as sound were arranged for the TV crews.

After waiting for half an hour, Willem-Alexander, Maxima, Amalia and Alexia returned. They sat at the table where I was sitting to answer questions provided in advance. Or let me put it this way: previously introduced topics. Initially, the conversation revolved around Prime Minister Rutte and his successor. Then came the turn of my topic, Prinsjesdag 2.0. The King indicated that the Senate visited him to discuss today’s activities. Various topics were discussed, but the plans he read were laced with the “sauce of imagination.” When I asked him further, he indicated that meeting with the public was not on the agenda.

Twenty minutes later, the press interview with the print media ended and it was time to turn on the cameras. You may have seen the result in various media outlets, but I would like to highlight one answer from Alexia. When asked about the photoshoot experience, Alexia said she found it “terrifying.” “You want to do it perfectly, but no one is perfect.” I suggest we keep this comment in mind when we post about young princesses.

After “goodbye” and “have a nice summer”, the royal family left and the photo shoot ended.

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