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  #81  
Old 04-02-2014, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Lindy View Post
Queen Paola of Belgium issued a press release on Wednesday discussing her feelings about Prince Laurent's illness. She said that she and her husband were very moved to visit Laurent upon their return to Belgium. Since Laurent became ill, they have been in close contact with Claire who they hold in high esteem. "Day after day, we followed the state of his health with the concern of a father and mother." Paola said that Laurent is her most vulnerable child right now and needs all of her attention and affection. They are particularly concerned for and wish to help Laurent develop a fulfilling and rewarding future with his family once he is out of the clinic.
There are at least two separate issues here.

One is concern for Laurent's healthy recovery from pneumonia, for which an induced coma was recently used as one of the tools of treatment.

The other is the broader issue of minor royals having a role.

If politicians deliberately reduce a minor royal's civil allowance, and yet continue to expect him or her to refrain from party politics and from business ventures which might conceivably be controversial, then it becomes increasingly difficult for that person.

I don't think some Belgian politicians have got the message. One of Laurent's foundations had to close down some years ago.
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  #82  
Old 04-02-2014, 11:31 PM
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Astrid and Laurent have had their differences but as soon as he fell ill, she ran to his side and got his mentor to be there with him, that's what family does.

Same for Philippe, who's in the middle of a very intense agenda but still found time to be by his brother's side.
Sometimes it is a little difficult for outsiders to understand the family dynamics of siblings. If, for whatever reason, they become estranged or distant, it is often a crisis that shows that regardless of whatever else is happening they still love each other.

In this case we have seen a brother and sister respond to the needs of their brother and his family because they love them regardless. That this may also signal a better relationship is terrific but in the final analysis, we don't know exactly what is was or will be. They may have just grown a little apart over time.

It is wonderful to know Laurent is awake, on the mend and surrounded by those he loves.
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  #83  
Old 04-03-2014, 01:45 AM
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Prince Laurent in Hospital; March 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindy View Post
Queen Paola of Belgium issued a press release on Wednesday discussing her feelings about Prince Laurent's illness. She said that she and her husband were very moved to visit Laurent upon their return to Belgium. Since Laurent became ill, they have been in close contact with Claire who they hold in high esteem. "Day after day, we followed the state of his health with the concern of a father and mother." Paola said that Laurent is her most vulnerable child right now and she will give him all of her love and attention. They are particularly concerned for and wish to help Laurent develop a fulfilling and rewarding future with his family once he is out of the clinic.

This doesn't make any sense-Laurent is her most vulnerable child but she waited a week to see him in the hospital?
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  #84  
Old 04-03-2014, 02:23 AM
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Koningin Paola: 'Laurent is kwetsbaar' | Prive | Telegraaf.nl
Link (in dutch) to Q.Paola's press release as published in a dutch gossip magazine, for me especially the phrase "We are especially concerned about his future.." leads me to believe that indeed there's a lot more going and there might not be a "quick fix"
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  #85  
Old 04-03-2014, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by casualfan View Post
This doesn't make any sense-Laurent is her most vulnerable child but she waited a week to see him in the hospital?
isn't it also amazing how this only comes out when she and Albert are back at home. personally i think they have now seen how the media have questioned them not returning earlier from their holiday and have now had the use of the palace pr machine to help them put out a statement to smooth the waters.
I completely agree about your point above , if she has been that worried and concerned why have they stayed away?
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  #86  
Old 04-03-2014, 05:32 AM
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And the saga continues...

According to the newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad', king Filip is angry with his mother. The king knew nothing of the action of his mother and felt insulted as it implied that also he doesn't have enough appreciation of his brother. The king is said to have been doing quite the opposite and tries to involve his brother more. At his fathers court he had become a persona non grata. Newspapers speak about a 'bizarre letter' of Paola.

Koning Filip kwaad na brief Paola | Prive | Telegraaf.nl

http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20140403_01053310

http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/957/Binnenl...ip-kwaad.dhtml

A crisis expert calls the letter of Paola a clumsy attempt to justify her own absence in the last days, which led to quite some criticism. The letter raises more questions than awnsers.
http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/947/Royalty...aliseren.dhtml
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  #87  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:06 AM
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For what I've been able to see, Belgian media (and the people commenting on it) are pretty unforgiving towards Albert and Paola in this issue, call them cold and unfeeling and say that the letter is just something to save face.

BTW: why wasn't it done in both her and Albert's name? That's another PR blunder tbh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARG View Post
Sometimes it is a little difficult for outsiders to understand the family dynamics of siblings. If, for whatever reason, they become estranged or distant, it is often a crisis that shows that regardless of whatever else is happening they still love each other.

In this case we have seen a brother and sister respond to the needs of their brother and his family because they love them regardless. That this may also signal a better relationship is terrific but in the final analysis, we don't know exactly what is was or will be. They may have just grown a little apart over time.

It is wonderful to know Laurent is awake, on the mend and surrounded by those he loves.
I agree with you here and this shows that if siblings could put aside their differences to come for their brother in his hour of need, why couldn't their parents do the same?

Frankly, Philippe has been trying to involve Laurent in activities since he became King and was one of the few who publicly supported him (or at least didn't shun him outright) during his Navy trial days, I think everyone knows that and this whole issue kind of show that he's a better man than his father ever was, at least more family oriented and forgiving.
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  #88  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
And the saga continues...

According to the newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad', king Filip is angry with his mother. The king knew nothing of the action of his mother and felt insulted as it implied that also he doesn't have enough appreciation of his brother. The king is said to have been doing quite the opposite and tries to involve his brother more. At his fathers court he had become a persona non grata. Newspapers speak about a 'bizarre letter' of Paola.

Koning Filip kwaad na brief Paola | Prive | Telegraaf.nl

Bizarre brief Paola maakt Filip kwaad - De Standaard

Bizarre brief van Paola maakt Filip kwaad - HLN.be

A crisis expert calls the letter of Paola a clumsy attempt to justify her own absence in the last days, which led to quite some criticism. The letter raises more questions than awnsers.
"Met dit persbericht probeert Paola haar afwezigheid te banaliseren" - HLN.be
To be honest I found the attitude of Albert & Paola has been very cold towards their younger son's hospitalisation and not what you'd expect from his parents.
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  #89  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:58 AM
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Who knows what really happened in family.
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  #90  
Old 04-03-2014, 08:21 AM
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Usually when a member of a family is seriously ill, everybody rush to him and forget the past....
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  #91  
Old 04-03-2014, 09:46 AM
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Good news: Laurent has left intensive care. He is out of his medical coma and breathes on his own. He has to stay in hospital for some time though.
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  #92  
Old 04-03-2014, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
And the saga continues...
Newspapers speak about a 'bizarre letter' of Paola.
Bizarre is the right word to describe Paola’s stupid action. Now the backlash and the negative comments are getting even louder and stronger. PPL are not stupid, there is a huge discrepancy between her actions and her words. And the wording of her open letter was most unfortunate indeed. Seems she is bathing in self-pity after she realized what the public thinks of her skills as mother and now she tries to portray herself as loving and attentive mother of her “most vulnerable child”. Go figure. And btw what does Albert think of his wife’s action?



There has been little or no support for Laurent from his parents for a long time now. Last November for ex they ignored him in front of all cameras. And now Paola’s support seems to consist of an open letter, which wasn’t even appreciated by Laurent or Claire because it paints Laurent as poor little lamb with mental problems who isn’t able to find his place. It’s too little, too late and instead of expressing her concerns in public she had better offered her excuses in private.
And then there is Philippe, head-of-state and new head of the family who tried to find a useful position for his brother and now gets a public slap in the face by his own mother, who didn’t even bother to inform the press department of the RF it seems. Since Philippe took over the throne he was given a hard time by his parents (as usual): the whole Delphine situation with Sybille Selys doing an tell-all interview, Albert and Paola asking for more money behind his back, Albert and Paola boycotting official events and so on. Albert had witnessed how Leopold III treated Baudouin after he took over the throne, is he determined to make the same mistakes? Are they not able to realize how damaging their behaviour is?



For those who understand Dutch, here´s a link to an interview with Mark Van den Wijngaert, historian and author, which gives a good summary of the situation.

Koningin Paola schrijft een open brief. Moedig of merkwaardig? | Radio1
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  #93  
Old 04-03-2014, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leidi View Post
For what I've been able to see, Belgian media (and the people commenting on it) are pretty unforgiving towards Albert and Paola in this issue, call them cold and unfeeling and say that the letter is just something to save face.

BTW: why wasn't it done in both her and Albert's name? That's another PR blunder tbh.

I agree with you here and this shows that if siblings could put aside their differences to come for their brother in his hour of need, why couldn't their parents do the same?

Frankly, Philippe has been trying to involve Laurent in activities since he became King and was one of the few who publicly supported him (or at least didn't shun him outright) during his Navy trial days, I think everyone knows that and this whole issue kind of show that he's a better man than his father ever was, at least more family oriented and forgiving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by An Ard Ri View Post
To be honest I found the attitude of Albert & Paola has been very cold towards their younger son's hospitalisation and not what you'd expect from his parents.
With clear 20/20 hindsight over this family crisis I think the dynamics of the (I'm sorry, I don't know what the correct title of the Dowager Queen and Ex King are) glaring abyss that lies between the parents and if not all their children, definitely their youngest.
Frankly, it's not what you would expect from any ordinary disfunctional family. As to why the letter did not include Albert, perhaps she threw him uner a bus.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenora View Post
Who knows what really happened in family.
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Originally Posted by rominet09 View Post
Usually when a member of a family is seriously ill, everybody rush to him and forget the past....
Well here's the thing, for most ordinary people the only things that cause that sort of fracture is crime related. Even then most often parents love their children whilst being broken-hearted at their shortcomings.

This long silence and absence from a family member in a health crisis of this length has shown the ex King and Queen to be cold, distant and self-serving when it comes to their family. Poala's letter to the the paper without the courtesy of consulting her son the King pretty well nails it to the door. Well actually it just made sure the family's dirty washing was well and truely hung out to dry!
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  #94  
Old 04-03-2014, 10:48 AM
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It is quite interesting that when Albert was king regnant, there was very little criticism on him, and a lot focussed on Filip. Now Filip is king, the newspapers seem to have swapped father and son in their search for an easy target within the RF (Laurent often obliged for this role too). Since 21 July Filip can do no wrong in the press while all of a sudden his father is critisized a lot. It is an interesting mechanism.

I do not know for what reasons Albert and Paola stayed abroad. But like almost any parent in the world I am quite sure that they hope for the best for all their children, dispite what mistakes they may have. They won't be the first people who have difficulties in seeing their child(ren) taking over their job. In many family businesses the same thing happens. In my own country prince Bernhard always found it very difficult to listen to his daughters commands from The Hague and at times he went his own way, making telephone calls to journalists etc. to give his side of a certain story.

And although I sympathize with Laurent's situation, not all can be blamed on his parents. He is 50 y/o man by now and is responsible for his own life. There are many people who had a difficult upbringing but who were able to find a way to deal with it and move on.
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  #95  
Old 04-03-2014, 11:02 AM
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Again critics in newspapers about the bad communications between the Members of our Royal Family. Queen Paola should never have done this through Belga Agency !
Albert Ii and Paola lost their great popularity .Sad !
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  #96  
Old 04-03-2014, 11:19 AM
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Marengo,
Thanks for the links and updates!
Queen Paola should have avoided publishing any explanations. The situation with King Albert and Queen Paola is perplexing. Given the circumstances, it was not shrewd to do so. The public reaction and TRF members' reactions are understandable.
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  #97  
Old 04-03-2014, 11:55 AM
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There's clearly more going on here than we know about. Quite apart from his obviously fractured relationship with his parents, it was pretty clear, to me at least, that he and Claire were going through something difficult. I know she's appeared with him a few times lately and has been visiting him faithfully, but I just get the feeling that all is not well in their marriage. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm not sure where King Philippe would even start in trying to heal the rifts that are so obvious within his family. I don't envy him that task.
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  #98  
Old 04-03-2014, 12:41 PM
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It is quite interesting that when Albert was king regnant, there was very little criticism on him, and a lot focussed on Filip. Now Filip is king, the newspapers seem to have swapped father and son in their search for an easy target within the RF (Laurent often obliged for this role too). Since 21 July Filip can do no wrong in the press while all of a sudden his father is critisized a lot. It is an interesting mechanism.

I do not know for what reasons Albert and Paola stayed abroad. But like almost any parent in the world I am quite sure that they hope for the best for all their children, dispite what mistakes they may have. They won't be the first people who have difficulties in seeing their child(ren) taking over their job. In many family businesses the same thing happens. In my own country prince Bernhard always found it very difficult to listen to his daughters commands from The Hague and at times he went his own way, making telephone calls to journalists etc. to give his side of a certain story.

And although I sympathize with Laurent's situation, not all can be blamed on his parents. He is 50 y/o man by now and is responsible for his own life. There are many people who had a difficult upbringing but who were able to find a way to deal with it and move on.
To some extent, it is inevitable that the younger brother of a monarch (Prince Charles, when Leopold III was King, Prince Albert when Baudouin was King, and now Laurent, when Philippe is King) is always going to have an introverted question: What exactly is my rôle going to be?

Sometimes the extent of the questioning can be deepened by traumatic events, such as the exile of Leopold III, when Charles became Regent, and then Leopold III's return from exile, when Charles suddenly found his Regency rôle removed. In the case of Laurent, in combination with his health problems, the removal of a part of his government funding and the disappointment associated with the closure of one of his foundations which had given a role for his talents, would for anyone in his position be the occasion of further self-searching. Basically the politicians are telling him: "There are many things that you cannot do, because you are Royal. But we will not even give you the funding that we previously gave you, so that your charitable and educational activities are even more restricted." What 50 year old would not be unimpressed by such logic, when s/he reflects on the career (e.g., in North America) s/he could have had, but has had to give up for the sake of serving - or not serving - his country?

On the other hand, it can be said that part of being Royal involves not giving vent to stream-of-consciousness group therapy discourse about one's inner thoughts. It's almost as if Prince Laurent and his fellow Royals owe it to Belgians not to tell them what they really think on a huge number - especially personal - matters.
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  #99  
Old 04-03-2014, 12:50 PM
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RTL.be info

this is a quite interesting article about the "news" Prince Laurent has found when he woke up.
Apperently King Philippe is "not pleased" by the way his own mother delivered her own statement about Laurent. Since the enthronement he had wished for his family to have a coordinated communication under the supervision of his own press office. And personally I find it a good idea since the family has always had problems with the press due to a mismanagement of the communication.
But they say the councellor of Albert and Paola thought to skip the royal guidelines and give the Belga Agency this bulletin himself. I recall a couple of years ago someone in Belgium complaining about these courtiers who used to be around Albert and Paola (old noblemen and officers) who had no idea how to manage a modern royal family and always put a spoke into Philippe's wheel

another interesting thing is that apparently the Palace (Philippe) is negotiating with the FAO to obtain an ambassador position for Laurent. This shows how great Philippe is and how supportive for his brother he is.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:34 PM
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this is a quite interesting article about the "news" Prince Laurent has found when he woke up.
Apperently King Philippe is "not pleased" by the way his own mother delivered her own statement about Laurent. Since the enthronement he had wished for his family to have a coordinated communication under the supervision of his own press office. And personally I find it a good idea since the family has always had problems with the press due to a mismanagement of the communication.
But they say the councellor of Albert and Paola thought to skip the royal guidelines and give the Belga Agency this bulletin himself. I recall a couple of years ago someone in Belgium complaining about these courtiers who used to be around Albert and Paola (old noblemen and officers) who had no idea how to manage a modern royal family and always put a spoke into Philippe's wheel

another interesting thing is that apparently the Palace (Philippe) is negotiating with the FAO to obtain an ambassador position for Laurent. This shows how great Philippe is and how supportive for his brother he is.
To put it tactfully, and if I recall 'Le Soir de Bruxelles' correctly from about 10 years ago, the presence of 'conseillers en communication peu adeptes' is an issue which has dogged the Royal Family of neighbouring Luxembourg also. I'm thinking of the footwork and general music around press statements by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess on the subject of the late, former Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte.

The minimalist maxim: 'more with less' - does work. A Royal press officer can say a great deal - and avoid saying what is unnecessary - with a few, well chosen words, appropriately timed.

It does, however, imply great trust behind closed doors, among the personalities involved.
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