There is a special bond between the Dutch royal house and Philips. Philips was awarded the designation ‘Royal’ by Queen Wilhelmina back in 1916. At that point in time Philips had been in existence for 25 years and had become the largest private sector employer in the Netherlands. The company also accounted for a significant proportion of total Dutch exports. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1998 that ‘Royal’ started to feature in the company name. This was not because Philips hadn’t considered including it sooner. Records from the board under Philips president Frans Otten show that a proposal had already been made back in 1940 to include the designation ‘Royal’ in the company name by changing it from Philips’ Gloeilampenfabrieken N.V. to Koninklijke Philips Industrieën N.V. Unfortunately, this plan had to be put back in the drawer when the Second World War broke out.