A special edition of investigative TV programme Undercover in Nederland on Sunday showed how reporters drove into one of Queen Beatrix’s royal palaces in a van carrying a fake bomb.
The two reporters arrived in a white van at Paleis Noordeinde, a palace in The Hague where the Queen has offices and a personal study. They calmly announced to security guards that they were from a maintenance company. A simple ID or licence plate check would have revealed the reporters’ true identity. Had the guards looked in the back of the van they would have found a bundle of fake explosives wired to a ticking clock. Instead they simply waved the reporters through.
Since the attempted Queen’s Day attack on the royal family this year, the issue of royal security is especially sensitive in the Netherlands. During a procession in Apeldoorn, a lone attacker, Karst Tates, tried to drive his car into an open bus carrying the royal family. Seven bystanders were killed as the car careered through the crowd.
The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Erik Akeboom, agrees that mistakes were made in palace security. He said security at the palace would now be tightened. Opposition party leaders interviewed in the programme expressed their outrage that it should have been so easy for the reporters to breach security. They are calling the ministers responsible to account for the security failure.
Royal palace Paleis Noordeinde, The Hague - Flickr / Pieter Musterd