IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Dutch royals’ secret documents found in trash

Dutch journalists found classified information about Queen Beatrix and her family in a trash container behind royal offices in The Hague, prompting embarrassed authorities on Wednesday to improve security.
/ Source: Reuters

Dutch journalists found classified information about Queen Beatrix and her family in a trash container behind royal offices in The Hague, prompting embarrassed authorities on Wednesday to improve security.

Current affairs television program NOVA said its reporters found bags full of official documents, business cards with home addresses and information about the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, and his wife Maxima.

The unsecured container behind Royal Cabinet offices also contained a list of planned state visits by Queen Beatrix abroad -- as well as visits to the Netherlands by foreign heads of state -- until 2010.

NOVA said it would not publish all the details for security reasons.

A member of parliament told NOVA it was "perplexing and embarrassing" how carelessly the documents were handled. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said measures had been taken immediately to avoid it happening again.

The TV report on Tuesday night of state visits being planned until 2010 seemed to imply Queen Beatrix, 69, would stay on the throne at least that long, despite media speculation she might abdicate. Her mother Juliana did so aged 71.

The government press office told Dutch news agency ANP on Wednesday the visits were being organized for the head of state, who could be a successor if the Queen decided to abdicate.