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  #141  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:27 AM
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It is certainly not a fantasy.

The early 20th century reality of Flanders was very different from what you depict. The upper classes all spoke French, also the rich bourgeoisie who aspired to get higher on in life. Flemish was still very much the language of farmers and uneducated families. I specificly say Flemish and not Dutch because the linguistic reality was one of multiple dialects. A unified standard Dutch only became more common after the first world war, and only bit by bit.

It would last untill the 1960s for university city Leuven to be unilingual Dutch... The linguistic situation in Flanders has long time been a difficult one and had nothing to do with Holland.

So it is indeed hard to imagine a governor's daughter growing up speaking Flemish. Her environment would have been French (or in this case) English speaking. As a child Lilian attended public school in Britain. It's clear what her parents wanted for her.
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  #142  
Old 01-06-2016, 11:16 AM
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Nice answer Hanelore to Duc et Pair who is a young dutchman.
I was born in Bruges , we spoke french at home and dutch at School and in the kitchen. My mother went to a School and asked the Nun for a well educated Catholic young girl of 14 to be our servant. My Mother is still living she is 94...

This was the past.. Since more than 45 years the money is in Flanders.

Hanelore could you tell me at what time the University of Ghent became Dutch ?
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  #143  
Old 01-06-2016, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Hannelore View Post
It is certainly not a fantasy.

The early 20th century reality of Flanders was very different from what you depict. The upper classes all spoke French, also the rich bourgeoisie who aspired to get higher on in life. Flemish was still very much the language of farmers and uneducated families. I specificly say Flemish and not Dutch because the linguistic reality was one of multiple dialects. A unified standard Dutch only became more common after the first world war, and only bit by bit.

It would last untill the 1960s for university city Leuven to be unilingual Dutch... The linguistic situation in Flanders has long time been a difficult one and had nothing to do with Holland.

So it is indeed hard to imagine a governor's daughter growing up speaking Flemish. Her environment would have been French (or in this case) English speaking. As a child Lilian attended public school in Britain. It's clear what her parents wanted for her.
So the article in Het Nieuwsblad which stated that Schepen (Alderman) Hendrik Baels himself made sure that the schools in Oostende should become bilingual, that his daughter Lilian Baels got the first courses flamand from the Soeurs de St-Joseph and continued in the Dutch-speaking department and even managed to speak Oostends Dialect is nonsense then?

Lilian's bomma Devisscher sold fish on the market in Oostende, Lilian's father was Flemish, Lilian's mother was Flemish, Lilian had Flemish classmates, started with courses flamand and continued in Dutch-speaking classes and still she could no speak Dutch...?

Sure... Pfff... When it is about Lilian Baels everything seems allowed to paint her as the devil in own person. By the way, in the book by Evrard Raskin (former member of Parliament) about Princess Lilian is also stated that she could speak Dutch. There were letters (in Dutch) with Flemish politicians as Achiel Van Acker and Gaston Eyskens. So the claim that Lilian never spoke Dutch is most unreliable.

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  #144  
Old 01-06-2016, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by maria-olivia View Post
Mr. Baels , Governor of Occidental Flanders's family prefer English to Dutch.
So it was Lilian who never spoke Dutch during her whole life.
According to this article about an earlier book she did learn some basics of dutch/flemish at school
'Mooi als een Griekse nacht' - Het Nieuwsblad
In the circles that she mingled in i could imagine that french and english were used much more though
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  #145  
Old 01-06-2016, 04:48 PM
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So the article in Het Nieuwsblad which stated that Schepen (Alderman) Hendrik Baels himself made sure that the schools in Oostende should become bilingual, that his daughter Lilian Baels got the first courses flamand from the Soeurs de St-Joseph and continued in the Dutch-speaking department and even managed to speak Oostends Dialect is nonsense then?

Lilian's bomma Devisscher sold fish on the market in Oostende, Lilian's father was Flemish, Lilian's mother was Flemish, Lilian had Flemish classmates, started with courses flamand and continued in Dutch-speaking classes and still she could no speak Dutch...?

Sure... Pfff... When it is about Lilian Baels everything seems allowed to paint her as the devil in own person. By the way, in the book by Evrard Raskin (former member of Parliament) about Princess Lilian is also stated that she could speak Dutch. There were letters (in Dutch) with Flemish politicians as Achiel Van Acker and Gaston Eyskens. So the claim that Lilian never spoke Dutch is most unreliable.

You've completely misunderstood what I tried to explain. I've given you historic facts on a historical linguistic situation, and not passed any judgement on Lilian at all! I don't care which language her family spoke at home, I've tried to explain what the customs of the day were.

You can not understand Belgian linguistic context unless you know it's history, and you clearly don't so don't make assumptions about what is true or false please.
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  #146  
Old 01-06-2016, 06:34 PM
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Well said !
I forgot to say that the writer Olivier Defrance met Princess Lilian .
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  #147  
Old 01-06-2016, 07:27 PM
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And on that note, let's move on...
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  #148  
Old 02-09-2016, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee-Z View Post
According to this article about an earlier book she did learn some basics of dutch/flemish at school
'Mooi als een Griekse nacht' - Het Nieuwsblad
In the circles that she mingled in i could imagine that french and english were used much more though
The second and third parts of Het Nieuwsblad's series of articles about Evrard Raskin's book are here.
'De mannen vloekten, de vrouwen weenden' - Het Nieuwsblad
Een Ferrari speciaal voor haar gebouwd - Het Nieuwsblad
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  #149  
Old 02-09-2016, 02:20 PM
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This are old stories.
I will try to buy Olvier DeFrance new book in second hand and will come back !
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  #150  
Old 02-09-2016, 02:32 PM
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Black and White footage of King Leopold with Princess de Rethy in Havana,Cuba



King Leopold, & the Princess de Rethy in Paris

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  #151  
Old 05-12-2016, 02:16 PM
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Just read the biography of the Princess by Olivier DeFrance and i must say i'm not disapointed.
The point of view is unbiased, so if the Princess of Rethy was not a saint, she was not the evil stepmother either. Clearly She was a woman with a strong character and didn't hesitate to show it, for the better or worse. She was not politically correct for sure, and the politicians hated her (and she hated them in return) ! The result was these incredibly violent smear campaigns from the press in the 50's and 60's, stories (often untrue or exagerated) still believed by many nowadays (no she was not a Nazi sympathiser , no she didn't steal the furniture from Laeken..).
As her relations with her children ans stepchildren, she was loved and respected by them, sometimes too much as the young Baudoin was clearly mesmerised by her. In this family she wanted to play center stage, and it didn't go well with Paola and Fabiola. At the end she was ejected from this family after 20 years, for whatever reason (the only guess is that she, along Leopold III, clearly knew that Fabiola was sterile).
It's a great book about a fascinating figure, far from the usual cliché about a woman "too beautiful to be totally innocent".
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  #152  
Old 05-12-2016, 03:08 PM
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I did not buy the book , but thanks Nico for your point of vue.
In this book it was said that in 1960 King Leopold III had a Mistress since 5 years and wanted to divorce.
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  #153  
Old 05-12-2016, 03:20 PM
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I did not buy the book , but thanks Nico for your point of vue.
In this book it was said that in 1960 King Leopold III had a Mistress since 5 years and wanted to divorce.
Indeed ! In fact it was in 1962 and it was Lilian who wanted the divorce. This French mistress was even a guest of Queen Elisabeth in Stuyvenberg and spent some times in Paris with Marie-José ! Lilian felt understandably betrayed. The divorce was seen as a sin by Baudouin and Fabiola, and the author thinks it's maybe one othe cause of the breakup with Argenteuil.
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  #154  
Old 05-12-2016, 03:55 PM
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I so wish I could read Dutch or the book was published in English.

Lillian is such an interesting character, and this book might answer a lot of questions.

For example, was she and the King involved prior to Astrid's death? I do recall reading that the King was unfaithful to Astrid as well.

I can't blame her for being hurt by an affair, and to find out that family members knew about it? Oh though to be fair, what could do they do to stop it? You certainly don't entertain the mistress though.
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  #155  
Old 05-12-2016, 04:06 PM
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I so wish I could read Dutch or the book was published in English.

Lillian is such an interesting character, and this book might answer a lot of questions.

For example, was she and the King involved prior to Astrid's death? I do recall reading that the King was unfaithful to Astrid as well.

I can't blame her for being hurt by an affair, and to find out that family members knew about it? Oh though to be fair, what could do they do to stop it? You certainly don't entertain the mistress though.
Nope they were not lovers before Astrid's death. It's an other sad myth about Lilian.
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  #156  
Old 05-12-2016, 04:18 PM
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What I know about Lilian, I know from this forum and Wikipedia...which isn't saying much.

So I am curious on why you say that she was ejected from the BRF? Didn't she isolate herself towards the end but didn't that have more to do with the death of her husband, and the rise of her stepson?
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  #157  
Old 05-12-2016, 04:30 PM
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Thank you for your review Nico, it is much appreciated. I just checked the book on Lannoo publishing house and I may buy it. I feared that the book was only available in French (due to the authors name perhaps) but fortunate it is also in Dutch.

The explanation for the bad relationship between Fabiola and Lilian may be a credible one indeed. Though I understood the relationship between Leopold and Baudouin soured largely because Leopold wanted to influence his sons relationship with his ministers and continued treating Baudouin as a child. When he wasn't able to do this he became more bitter and difficult.

*
Something different: earlier on this thread was called 'Princess Liliane'. I changed it since somebody pointed out that the name was Lilian. However, I just did a quick search through our Dutch newspaper archives and they catagorically use Liliane. Is that something that happened in Flemish newspapers too? Or did our Dutch press want to make the name more French than it was?

Edit: I found some Flemish sources that refer to Liliane too, even in a biography of Gaston Eyskens. It seems that only around the year 2000 they all went for the correct form, without the e. Odd.
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  #158  
Old 05-12-2016, 04:44 PM
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What I know about Lilian, I know from this forum and Wikipedia...which isn't saying much.

So I am curious on why you say that she was ejected from the BRF? Didn't she isolate herself towards the end but didn't that have more to do with the death of her husband, and the rise of her stepson?
The relations inside the royal family were excellent until 1960 and the marriage of Baudoin and Fabiola ( Paola had already some words with Lillian though ...). After the wedding Leopold, Lilian, and the three younger children moved from Laeken to Argenteuil . The next year Baudoin told to his father that he didn't want to see Lilian anymore. Albert told the same thing and Joséphine Charlotte followed her brothers the next year. Again the reason remains à mistery. The family remained more or less torn apart until Lilian's own death in 2002.
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  #159  
Old 05-12-2016, 05:03 PM
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Something different: earlier on this thread was called 'Princess Liliane'. I changed it since somebody pointed out that the name was Lilian. However, I just did a quick search through our Dutch newspaper archives and they catagorically use Liliane. Is that something that happened in Flemish newspapers too? Or did our Dutch press want to make the name more French than it was?
She was born in London and her name was definitely Mary Lilian. I guess the very French Lilianne is à common mistake, seen in the Belgian press as Well.
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  #160  
Old 05-12-2016, 06:47 PM
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alas, Zonk is right. Leopold III was unfaithful to Astrid too.
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