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  #1  
Old 05-05-2009, 03:28 PM
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Knack: Laurent wanted to convert to Islam

According to Jan van den Berghe, an author about royalty (not the most reliable one), prince Laurent wanted to become a muslim and wanted to marry a woman from Mauretania. Van den Berghe claims that Noel Vaessen shared this information. Van den Berghe wrote a book about the prince. That the prince is still a catholic is because of pere Guy Gilbert, who became a sort of a second father, according to van den Berghe.

HLN Prins Laurent - "Prins Laurent wilde moslim worden" (843895)
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:35 PM
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And the poor Princess Claire? He is still marry to her, and I don't think that the belgian law permits bigamy...
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:40 PM
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That man never ceases to amaze me, if the story is true, what a scandal that would have been!

The article doesn't say anything about when this was, must have been before he met Claire. Another book to look forward to, apparently
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:47 PM
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Oh my God ... Mr. Jan van den Berghe needs to substantiate his claims with something more than "Noel Vaessen said so". Prince Laurent is an odd figure in the Belgian Royal family, but it does not mean that some royal authour can spout nonsensical things about him. Additionally the authour in question has no regard for Princess Claire's feelings.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:56 PM
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Perhaps he does, I have read too little to establish how reliable the claims are. We have to keep in mind that Noel Vaessen was the personal aid of the prince, but that recently their relationship went sour, to say the least.

Still, I do not think it would be an enormous problem in Belgium if the number xx in line would convert to Islam. Perhaps for his parents, who became devout catholics after changing their lifestyles when they became older.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:09 PM
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Well, that would depend on when exactly this was happening. 10 years ago, for example, people were hardly as open-minded as they are now, and he was much closer to the throne. And even now Islam still is a sensitive topic in Belgium. I still think this would have been quite the scandal.

Also, if this is true, this was probably just a new gig to try and be the rebel in the family, I would doubt it had anything to do with the religion itself. Then again, what people don't do for love... He wouldn't be the first man to change religion for that reason.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:49 PM
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And what about the woman he wanted to marry? Was this someone that he had a relationship with? When, and where is she now? Poor Princess Claire. I hope that she found out about this from Laurent himself (if it is true), and not from the author or news reports.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:52 PM
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I don't think Princess Claire would accept such a situation!

How about the children? What happens in case of divorce? Their children must be brought up as roman catholic or will the King allow them to be raised as muslims by his father?

I hope this is only a false rumour.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:00 PM
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Well, that would depend on when exactly this was happening. 10 years ago, for example, people were hardly as open-minded as they are now, and he was much closer to the throne. And even now Islam still is a sensitive topic in Belgium. I still think this would have been quite the scandal.
Wasn´t it 10 years ago less of an issue (pre 911 with all its consequences)?
If he would have married some wealthy muslim 10 years ago and would have decided to make something out of his life, he would probably meet much adorement than he does today...
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:01 PM
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Me too...
Was Claire created Princess of Belgium on her own right before the wedding, like Mathilde?
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:04 PM
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You are right.
According to Wikipedia, "[Ms. Claire Coombs] was created a Princess of Belgium in her own right shortly before the ceremony, on 1 April 2003 and upon her marriage, she became Her Royal Highness Princess Claire".
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Perhaps he does, I have read to little to establish how reliable the claims are. We have to keep in mind that Noel Vaessen was the personal aid of the prince, but that recently their relationship went sour, to say the least. ... [snipped]
Well ... you do have a point here. Mr. Vaessen might have inside knowledge about Prince Laurent. Still it is unpleasant for an spouse to read such things.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:12 PM
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I don´t believe it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:18 PM
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Didn't Laurent want to invite a muslim King (or prince, I don't recall the story well, sorry) to be the godfather of her first daughter?
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:39 PM
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He wanted to invite the Persian crown prince, Reza Pahlavi, to become a godparent.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:03 PM
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Me too...
Was Claire created Princess of Belgium on her own right before the wedding, like Mathilde?
Yes, she was just days before her wedding on April 1.

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Godparent? What do you mean?

There isn't a godparent in Islam.
Yes, there were rumours about Reza Pahlavi as a godfather of Louise.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:18 PM
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He probably wanted Reza Pahlavi as a godparent because they were close. He may not have realized that there are no godparents in Islam.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:18 PM
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But, since he is not Catholic, he is not...
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:29 PM
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hmmm, would you like to explain me, what's shocking in this deal, that Prince Laurent wanted to convert to Islam or that he wanted to marry a mauritanian woman?
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:33 PM
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He probably wanted Reza Pahlavi as a godparent because they were close. He may not have realized that there are no godparents in Islam.
But as far as I know, Reza Pahlavi is the godfather of his daughter Louise, and he was present at the christening, but not maybe in the catholic way, but with all responsabilities of a godfather.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:48 PM
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I don't see why Princess Claire would be shocked by this situation. I would expect that those of us who are married know that our spouses had lives before us, and obviously Laurent chose not to become a Muslim or marry this woman but he did choose Claire.
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