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Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicates

I last wrote to you on 1st March 1999. I did so in the knowledge that your esteemed family is one of the largest single shareholders in Shell. I warned you about what I described as “a culture of deception and cover-up deeply ingrained at the highest levels of Shell”.

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FINANCIAL TIMES

By Matt Steinglass in Amsterdam: 30 April 2013

EXTRACT

Joanna and the other demonstrator, Hans Maessen of the Dutch Republican Association, were arrested by agents several minutes later after she tried to hoist an expletive-laden sign attacking the royal family for their holdings in Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil company.

FULL FT ARTICLE

EXTRACTS FROM A LETTER WE SENT TO QUEEN BEATRIX ON 21 APRIL 2004 ABOUT THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL RESERVES FRAUD

21 April 2004

HM QUEEN BEATRIX OF THE NETHERLANDS                                 
Huis ten Bosch Palace
The Hague

Your Gracious Majesty

THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL GROUP

I last wrote to you on 1st March 1999. I did so in the knowledge that your esteemed family is one of the largest single shareholders in Shell. I warned you about what I described as “a culture of deception and cover-up deeply ingrained at the highest levels of Shell”.

In this connection, I noticed an article in The Sunday Times on 21 March 2004, which stated: “Shell’s management will be further embarrassed by the revelation that the Dutch royal family has lost nearly £250m through the collapse in the company’s share price”. Unfortunately it seems fair to say in view of current events that my warning has turned out to be devastatingly accurate.

I have for a number of years been a lone voice expressing grave doubts about the integrity of Shell senior management figures, who happen to be the same individuals named in the recent US class action law suits alleging fraud and deceit  – charges which, based on current news reports, seem well-founded.

I therefore feel vindicated by the headlines in today’s newspapers about a once much respected brand which many people rightly held in affection e.g.: –

The Independent: “Lies, cover-ups, fat cats and an oil giant in crisis”

The Guardian: “Trail of emails reveals depths of deceit at the heart of Shell”

The Scotsman: “Shell admits reserve ‘lies’”

Daily Telegraph: “Memos expose Shell’s years of lying”

London Evening Standard: “Shell bosses lied to the City”

Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Dutch/Shell Group exec was ‘sick and tired’ of lying”

Under the circumstances the cover-up, deception and intrigue at Shell regarding the shortfall in oil and gas reserves holds no great surprises to me.

I have felt like my family was up against the mafia, not the great company I once admired.

Yours sincerely
Alfred Donovan 

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