Members of the Royal House make around 250 public appearances a year. The media are generally welcome at these events. The RVD and the event organiser do their best to ensure that the media can do their work without interference. To ensure that an event runs smoothly, there are a number of issues the media need to be familiar with.
Prior to a public appearance by a member of the Royal House, the RVD will issue a brief press release. An accompanying ‘note for the editorial team’ will explain how members of the press can sign up to cover the event, usually by emailing the organiser. Prior to the event, the organiser will send a press programme to all members of the media who have registered. In certain cases, including receptions at the palaces, the RVD will handle the accreditation process and send out the press programme.
Limited access arrangements and the press pool
In principle, journalists who have registered are welcome to cover public appearances of members of the Royal House. On occasion, the projected number of journalists can exceed the available space or detract from the character of the event. In these cases access will be limited, and a pool procedure may be used instead. The decision to limit media access is taken jointly by the RVD and the organiser of the event, based on three criteria:
- the available space
- the character of the event
When limited access arrangements or a press pool is in effect, the composition of the media group will be determined by the RVD in consultation with the organiser, depending on the situation. ‘Media’ is defined by the RVD as employees of national, regional and local broadcasters; reporters employed by newspapers, magazines or websites, and freelance journalists (including photo journalists). Freelance journalists must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce and may be asked for a letter from a client. If access is limited, a selection is made from the members of the media who have registered for the event. Serious news media are given priority. In the case of a public appearance with a strongly regional or local flavour, more regional and local media will be selected. If there is enough space, freelance journalists will also be admitted.
For events where only a single photographer and/or TV camera operator can be admitted, a pool procedure will have to be used, meaning that the resultant photos, film footage and text are provided to third parties, either for free or at cost. The third parties are then obliged to indicate the source of the material, and they are prohibited from giving or selling it to others or storing it in image banks.
In-house photographer or video team
In principle a photographer or video team working for the organiser of an event can cover the event independently of the official media opportunities, on the condition that the resultant photographs and footage are only used internally (e.g. on the organiser’s intranet or newsletter). Commercial use is not permitted.
Journalists are expected to dress appropriately when covering a public appearance by a member of the Royal House. Occasionally, a dress code will be stipulated in advance, for example in the case of a commemoration or an official reception. Journalists who do not comply may be refused entry.