Royal Eijkelkamp can count itself among a select group of royal Dutch companies, including KLM, Philips, Shell and Ahold. What exactly does this designation as 'royal' mean?
The designation 'Royal' is a distinction that is granted to societies, foundations, establishments and large companies. It symbolises the respect, appreciation and trust of the King or Queen of the Netherlands towards the recipient. Only the Queen or King can award the designation. The designation is strictly by name, so the organisation may add 'Royal' to its name and may incorporate the Royal Crown in its logo.
The designation is applied for via the local mayor. The registers of the Judicial Records Service are consulted and the application, along with the recommendation of the mayor, is then sent to the monarch's commissioner who, after consulting the services and ministries relevant to the judgement, makes his own recommendation. The commissioner finally notifies the applicant of the decision. This whole procedure takes about a year.
This is an extremely prestigious award as not every organisation that is put forward for the Royal designation is awarded the title. The company must have prestige in terms of type, size and reliability. It must take on a very prominent position within its field in the Netherlands and preferably have an international image. Account is also taken of the size of the company, the number of employees and the turnover. The management should be beyond reproach. The company, and its directors and commissioners, must be of good repute and unblemished conduct. Furthermore, a company must have been in existence for at least 100 years.
If the monarch is ultimately prepared to award the designation, the company is asked to adhere to the 'Conditions regarding the Royal designation'. The most important obligation is that the holder shall refrain from anything that would damage its reputation. Violation of the conditions can lead to the loss of the right to use the designation. In the event of bankruptcy, or if the organisation is transferred into other hands, if its independence is lost or if the nature of the organisation changes the Royal status can be removed. Separately from this, the right can be withdrawn at any time. The right is awarded for a maximum period of 25 years, after which the holder can ask the King or Queen for an extension via the mayor. Another check is then made by running through the same steps as those for the application process.