In January 2009, I went on expedition to Antarctica, a trip a few people worldwide can make per year. When I told people about my plans to go (it was December 2008 when I told my friends), the same time two royal trips to Antarctica were planned. First, prince Albert of Monaco decided to alter his visit to the area to a different week, which turned out to be the same week as my expedition (and he would be accompanied by Dutch agents). Also, Willem-Alexander and Maxima decided to visit Antarctica later in 2009 together with minister Plasterk. [NB: ze volgen me zelfs persoonlijk naar de zuidpool!]
The two pictures on the left show prince Albert arriving on our plane (in Chili) as he joined us on the same flight. You see him being informed about who is on the plane.
As both men were clearly studying my team specifically, I asked my team mate to take a picture of them. The man left is prince Albert.
After arrival on Antarctica, I recognized how there were more Dutch people gathering around prince Albert, though everyone had told me I would be the only Dutch person on expedition in base camp that week.
Below picture is taken a few minutes later. You see prince Albert, Bertholee and two other agents wrapping up a short meeting in the back, while his bodyguards wait (on the right, two men wearing the same outfit).
Why they went through this trouble, I do not know. I know prince Albert wanted to visit the Antarctic anyway in 2009. They apparently just planned it around my trip, so they could study how I would react to walking in on royalty during holidays. That’s in fact another (funny) story, but not as interesting as what I saw in Bangkok. __ A few years later I was able to take a picture of Bertholee again, as he was posting in front of my Amsterdam house. How about that?