Soon-to-be King Willem-Alexander: "I am not a protocol fetishist"
|Photo: this article in the press (Algemeen Dagblad, by Leo van der Velde)|
"Protocol is never an end in itself. It is a vehicle to arrange meetings and create space for meaningful encounters", says Jean Paul Wyers, director of the Institute of Protocol The Hague. "For many protocol stands for unnecessary formalities, however modern protocol should be invisible and guarantee that people feel comfortable."
Protocol is often confused with etiquette. The official definition of protocol reads 'how meetings with officials are being organized'. In that sense the protocol has been around for a long time. At the Congress of Vienna important agreements were made about protocol. We still use these agreements, for example to determine the order in which the sports teams enter at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Or in what order flags hang at international conferences. It prevents dissension.
|Photo: personal welcome upon arrival|
by one of the ushers of the Protocolbureau
|Photo: preparing the seating arrangements at a fashion show|
The Institute of Protocol The Hague has used protocol for years as methodology at meetings with members of the Royal Family, but also at business meetings, at fashion shows and even at dance events. Formal or informal, the principles and the methodology of the protocol are the same everywhere.