Secret world government or just a gathering of a selected group influencial people from North America and Europe? The annual Bilderberg Conference has its detractors and its fans. One of the latter is Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who will be attending the meeting in Chantilly, Virginia, this week, together with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte the Government Information Service confirmed Tuesday.
Queen Beatrix has a long standing relation with the conferences. The first one was held in 1954 at the Bilderberg hotel in Oosterbeek near Arnhem in the Netherlands. Beatrix' late father Prince Bernhard was one of the organisers, much to the chagrin of his wife the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
She asked government to disassociate the Prince from the by invitation only gathering of people from government and politics, finance, industry, labour, education and communications. The meeting is closed to the public, the only way attendants can speak freely about any topic. Prime ministers, ministers, CEO's, and others could not do so if press of public were following the discussions.
Beatrix as heir to the Dutch throne in 1962 was the first woman to attend the conference (except for secretaries, preferably 'nice girls' ), but did so only as an 'observer'. Only in 1963, now exactly 50 years ago, she was officially invited, and she has hardly missed a meeting. In 2008 for instance she came to Chantilly with her eldest son Prince Willem-Alexander.
Spain's queen Sofia is also a regular, as is Belgium's Prince Philip. The year's meeting, which is drawing protestors to Chantilly, will be held 31 May to June 3. © GPD; Photo by © RPE