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  #641  
Old 09-24-2014, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by *Mara* View Post
So they are responsable for their father's actions? Have you read what kind of childhood they had? They were dumped by Albert who ran off to live with Delphine and Sybille. He didn't even care enough to celebrate christmas with them. This was their sad reality and they are as much victims as Delphine is. It surely also doesn't help that Sybille had nothing better to do than to go on tv and tell the nation that Albert loved Delphine more than them and how they were messed up by Paola. And it's a safe guess that Albert and Paola will stop to have contact with them if they dare to provide a DNA sample. It's Albert who has the keys to solve this situation and not his children who have suffered enough already and who didn't ask to be dragged into this again.
Wow! Albert's even worse than I thought. He's treated all his children shamefully.

But, yes, I do still side with Delphine, since I consider her the underdog. The Royal children still have their name and their fortune and their privileges. I hope they've had a good psychologist, too.
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  #642  
Old 09-24-2014, 01:10 AM
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True, but their father should have thought about that before having the affair. I still see her as the victim, not them, because she is the one most disadvantaged.
I don't know if I agree here...

First of all, Albert is to blame, not Philippe, Astrid, or Laurent. Albert did wrong, not his elder children. The way I'm reading what you're saying is that you think they should in some way be held accountable for their father's sins. I disagree, they didn't create this mess - Albert did.

I also disagree that Delphine is the one most disadvantaged here. Delphine is not the child of, for example, a former flight attendant who had a fling with a prince. She did not grow up destitute. She grew up the legal daughter of a member of one of Belgium's richest families. Sure, she didn't grow up royal, but everything I've read about Delphine's childhood and Albert's other children's childhoods makes me feel that she was no more disadvantaged by having him absent as they were by having him present - in as much as he was absent in her life (which wasn't entirely) or present in theirs (which also wasn't entirely). All four of Albert's children have been disadvantaged by having him as a father.

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I suppose it depends on what she wants. I am making assumptions about that since I do not know what's going on inside her head, and I could be very wrong. I am assuming she realises that, by taking the public action she has taken, she has put the royal family off side and that she does not expect a relationship with them.
I really hope that she realizes that. I really don't know what else she could have been hoping to gain from this - although, the DM did quote her lawyer as saying that if she gained legal recognition as Albert's child then she would be included in the line of succession.

This kind of makes me think that she is going for more than simply recognition. I don't feel like she's being realistic at all, and I do think she's trying to get more than she is entitled to by simply being Albert's child.

As sad as it may seem, a parent is under no obligation to love their child or have anything more than a financial relationship with them - but my personal opinion is that Delphine is trying to get love and more than a financial relationship from Albert. Likewise, simply being Albert's child isn't enough to put her in the line of succession to any thrones... but she seems to think otherwise.

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Yes, and they are especially good at sweeping dirt under the mat and having it miraculously disappear.
Oh, I don't know. I think royals are no better or worse than any other public figure at getting dirt swept under the mat - sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

I don't think Albert's behaved well here, but I don't think it would have been a case of simply sweeping the dirt under the mat had he tried to deal with this issue privately - it would have been dealing with it privately. We the public are in no way entitled to know everything about Albert or any other royal, and he could have chosen to have a private relationship with Delphine had he wanted to - similar to how Albert II of Monaco has a private relationship with his elder children. To me that's an almost honourable way to act - it lets the children who are not themselves royals be able to live their own private lives in a manner that the children who are royal will never be able to do.

Where Albert screwed up is in trying to sweep the dirt under the mat. Because he tried to do that instead of actually dealing with the situation he's got a lumpy mat that Delphine is jumping on, spreading the dirt around.
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  #643  
Old 09-24-2014, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
Wow! Albert's even worse than I thought. He's treated all his children shamefully.

But, yes, I do still side with Delphine, since I consider her the underdog. The Royal children still have their name and their fortune and their privileges. I hope they've had a good psychologist, too.
This is how botched the situation is. Philippe, Astrid and Laurent aren't keyplayers in all of this and I don't see why siding with Delphine includes putting all royal Family members in the other and thus bad camp.
  #644  
Old 09-24-2014, 01:30 AM
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Perhaps I'm not expressing myself very well. I do not believe that there are only two camps here, or that Philippe and Astrid & Laurent are in any way to blame or are in some way accountable for their father's sins, merely that I feel more sympathy for Delphine than for her royal half siblings. I do, however, wish that one of the royal siblings would do what I consider to be the right thing and volunteer DNA if their father won't. It is a terrible mess, but Albert is the cause of it.
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  #645  
Old 09-24-2014, 01:37 AM
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Delphine grew up the legal daughter of a billionaire and had a posh, comfortable upbringing. Frankly, her legal father only disowned her after she made it clear that she didn't accept or appreciate him as a father. Before all of this, she stood to inherit a huge fortune, had both parents who loved her, and likely never really grew up having the obligations of high status, only the perks. So what prompted this?

So I can't sympathize entirely without seeing the good things she's had in life.
  #646  
Old 09-24-2014, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
Perhaps I'm not expressing myself very well. I do not believe that there are only two camps here, or that Philippe and Astrid & Laurent are in any way to blame or are in some way accountable for their father's sins, merely that I feel more sympathy for Delphine than for her royal half siblings. I do, however, wish that one of the royal siblings would do what I consider to be the right thing and volunteer DNA if their father won't. It is a terrible mess, but Albert is the cause of it.

That's fair.

I kind of feel more sympathy for the royal children than Delphine, but I can understand why one would feel the opposite. To me, Delphine is in no way at fault for the current situation - her parents are - but I think she's made things more difficult for herself than they need to be. The other children are more innocent bystanders who have been hurt by both their parent's and Delphine's actions. They have no part in this, but have been hurt by it too.

I do agree with the idea that it would be better all around if someone would submit to a DNA test - preferably Albert or Philippe. I don't think it would be beneficial for Astrid or Laurent to do so; they might win the moral high ground, but they'd be going against what the family wants. It would only further the divisions and tensions within this family. On the other hand, if Philippe were to submit for a test then it could be seen as the family coming forward and righting a wrong - he is the head of the family, after all. It could benefit the image of the monarchy. It could also create further tensions with his father though, who, if I recall, has behaved in a way so as to suggest that he questions' Philippe's ability to reign. Really, the three siblings are on a bit of a tight rope when it comes to this situation. I can understand why none of them is providing DNA, even if it would be the morally superior move.
  #647  
Old 09-24-2014, 02:02 AM
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Thing is, that when it comes to royal families, morality is often second to the Throne.
  #648  
Old 09-24-2014, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
Perhaps I'm not expressing myself very well. I do not believe that there are only two camps here, or that Philippe and Astrid & Laurent are in any way to blame or are in some way accountable for their father's sins, merely that I feel more sympathy for Delphine than for her royal half siblings. I do, however, wish that one of the royal siblings would do what I consider to be the right thing and volunteer DNA if their father won't. It is a terrible mess, but Albert is the cause of it.
We agree to disagree then. I don't consider it a right thing if Philippe, Astrid or Laurent would give up their "neutral" Position to provide DNA. they would ruin what is left of their relationship with their parents. And that is too much to ask of them. And I don't think it would be good for the monarchy either, the harsh Belgian press would have a field day highlighting again how utterly messed up this family is and how they now have taken it to new extremes. Albert is the one who needs to fix this, not his three eldest children.
  #649  
Old 09-24-2014, 02:30 AM
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I also wonder if Albert realizes how damaging this situation is. During his reign he was shielded by his chief of cabinet and the spokesperson of the RF admitted that Albert didn't read the majority of negative press reports. He also spent much of his time abroad and was living in a bubble somehow. Nowadays he seems to be surrounded by a wrong advisor, Vincent Pardoen, and is abroad all the time. And after years and years of ignoring the situation he doesn't seems to be able to change his strategy.
  #650  
Old 09-24-2014, 04:19 AM
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How she was conceived and her parent's behavior in general may be disgraceful. She was born as an innocent baby. She is entitled to be recognized by her paternal family. Why exactly do you think the royals are refusing to give a DNA sample? Money and PR.
Why is she entitled to be recognize by her paternal family?
  #651  
Old 09-24-2014, 04:25 AM
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Let is not portray King Albert as the villain and Delphine as a poor litte orphan selling matchsticks around the corner of the Royal Palace. The lady has had an upbringing and surroundings 99% of the Belgians can only dream about. Yes, too bad that her natural father, whoever he may be, and her natural mother have no relationship. Yes, too bad that Jonkheer Jacques BoŽl is now estranged with her (her ruthless public actions did not help her relationship with her adoptive father) but there are MILLIONS of children in Europe who grew up in divorced families, single mom families or who discover that the man they regarded as their father appears not to be their biological father. Get over it girl, count your blessings. You have one of the wealthiest gentlemen of Belgium as your legal father, you yourself have destroyed your relationship with him in your zelotic hunt for a 80-years old man to recognize that some 48 years ago your mom possibly had an affair with him. Get over it girl and go on with your life, you have burned all bridges, smashed all your windows and now I hope for you that your artworks will sell a bit for your living.
  #652  
Old 09-24-2014, 04:33 AM
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I also wonder if Albert realizes how damaging this situation is. During his reign he was shielded by his chief of cabinet and the spokesperson of the RF admitted that Albert didn't read the majority of negative press reports. He also spent much of his time abroad and was living in a bubble somehow. Nowadays he seems to be surrounded by a wrong advisor, Vincent Pardoen, and is abroad all the time. And after years and years of ignoring the situation he doesn't seems to be able to change his strategy.
The King has abdicated and is constitutionally "dead". He has no any function and can choose to spend 3/4 or the year in Italy or France, if he likes so. The old King has experienced too much, also in his own family (his own maverick father Leopold, his own eccentric uncle Charles, his crazy grandmother Elizabeth) to be too worried about this. It is not 'damaging' because there is nothing to be damaged (except his reputation).
  #653  
Old 09-24-2014, 04:44 AM
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Perhaps I'm not expressing myself very well. I do not believe that there are only two camps here, or that Philippe and Astrid & Laurent are in any way to blame or are in some way accountable for their father's sins, merely that I feel more sympathy for Delphine than for her royal half siblings. I do, however, wish that one of the royal siblings would do what I consider to be the right thing and volunteer DNA if their father won't. It is a terrible mess, but Albert is the cause of it.
King Philippe can do nothing because he is the King and he is inviolable, he can not be part of a juridical case. Princess Astrid is most likely so very upset and most "not amused" by the ruthless and public-seeking way of her alleged "half-sister" that she is determined to give no any assistance at all to "that woman". Prince Laurent seems to have seen Delphine as an interesting object to blackmail his father or as an option to threat the family but seems not at all interested in the real case, as he has now suddenly withdrawn from "helping".

Then there are other considerations: the "Elvis Effect". Imagine that the members of the royal family have to cooperate in every claim laid down by every phantast or madman claiming that he/she is a son or daughter from this-or-that royal and that every time the royal family has to cooperate in DNA investigations. There will be a reason why not only the alleged father but also the alleged siblings categorically refuse their cooperation.

  #654  
Old 09-24-2014, 04:51 AM
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[....]
The Royal children still have their name and their fortune and their privileges.
[....]
Delphine had her name, her fortune and her privileges too, maybe even a better name, a bigger fortune and more privileges than her alleged half-siblings. She is a BoŽl, a most respected aristocrat Belgian family, one of the most wealthy in Belgium and therefore enjoying privileges. Her mother comes from the family De Selys Longchamps, with proven nobility going back to 1575 and very well connected in Belgian upper class. The one whom needs a good psychologist is Delphine.

  #655  
Old 09-24-2014, 05:25 AM
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According to Sybille Selys de Longchamps, mr. BoŽl knew quite quickly that Delphine was not his daughter (I believe it was said that he was unable to have children), and the two seldom met. A few years after Delphine's birth her legal parents lived separate lives and eventually divorced. He was not involved with her life at all. But the Selys family also had enough connections and seemed comfortable financially. However, since the news broke a decade ago or so & Delphine started to look for publicity, she and her mother have been treated as social outcasts by their own set, understandably perhaps.

Note that it was not Delphine who destroyed the relationship with her father. It was the father who did that. He met her a few times in the 80-ties, after he returned to his wife. But since he became king she found all doors closed. Only after more than a decade of such a treatment did she go public. Not the best way to mend relations perhaps. But again, in the end it is the parent who is most to blame. Yes it must have been difficult for Albert to keep in touch, especially after he became king, but ignoring a child is never a good thing.

The Elvis effect as you name it may be the case with some examples, but as said before, in this case it is very likely that King Albert is her father. To continue to pretend that this claim is a mere fantasy of a nutter is absurd, really absurd.

I don't think this is particularly hurtful for Albert's other children at this point in their lives. They sadly lived through the very long marital crisis of their parents and went through a difficult time then, more difficult than we will ever know. Delphine's existence and Albert's & Paola's infidelities must be old news to them, though perhaps a painful reminder of their difficult childhood.

However, it is a tricky thing to deal with for the palace and the new king. We saw only recently that it is difficult for Philippe to get his family on one line. As long as Paola is alive it is unlikely that Albert will be more cooperative.

I don't know what Delphine's motives are at this point. She seems hurt and looking for recognition of some kind. Perhaps money and attention are also a factor. None of us know but it is irrelevant to the issue. It is quite sad for all involved that this matter was not solved privately & years ago.

Albert comes across as a kind man. In the recent interview with him, it was clear that he and Paola think back to this difficult time in their lives with sadness, Paola almost became emotional when it was discussed, esp. about the effect it may have had on her children. It is nice that the couple has overcome their difficulties, became rather devout and they clearly are besotted with each other these days. However, that does not take away that the way the king dealt with this issue has been rather unedifying. His policy seems to have been to ignore this inconvenience and pretend that Delphine was never born. Again, I think that the late president Mitterand and Prince Bernhard showed more sense, decency, respect and maturity in the way they dealt with their extramarital daughters.
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  #656  
Old 09-24-2014, 06:11 AM
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But what will Delphine ever win? Let us assume that in the bitter end it seems that her alleged father is indeed the former King. What next? There will be no any normal relationship with her father and her half-siblings. There she is, Delphine de Belgique, she will remain an outcast, it is unclear what she will inherit as Albert is not at all that wealthy, since the massive fortune once owned by Leopold II is completely fragmented and she will have to share it with three other half-siblings.

Delphine's best option was to try to establish a sort of contact with the alleged father, in all discretion, but remaining a BoŽl and avoid any scandal as this seems to be THE trigger to find all doors and windows locked and everyone forming one front, her own legal father included (Jonkheer BoŽl).

On a certain moment the thought must sink into Delphine: "What do I want to achieve? Do I still want recognition by an alleged father who by word and deed does everything to keep me out?" Some zelotic zest has come over her and, no matter the cost, she must and will reach her goal. But... what then...? If proven, welcome Delphine de Belgique, will then be all hallelujah, will the sun break through the clouds, will then the birds sing and the rainbows unfold in the sky?

The extramarital daughters of Prince Bernhard have received a fair share of their father's inheritance but never sought public, never aimed for his name or title and also seem not to want contact with their four royal half-sisters. That is the main difference with Delphine BoŽl, I think.
  #657  
Old 09-24-2014, 06:30 AM
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I agree with you on that, this path seems rather self-destructive. I don't think she will win back Alberts acceptance, I doubt she will ever win this court case. But of course by keeping quiet she also didn't establish a relationship with him either. Perhaps she wants recognition of some sort. I don't know. However since this issue has turned so ugly, it is not likely that she will be able to form a normal relationship with her father or half-siblings indeed. I do agree that it may be more constructive for herself to accept the fact that Albert doesn't want to know her and move on with her life. But clearly she is unable to do that, for whatever reasons.

Why would she want to form any connection to Mr BoŽl? He was not involved in her life and her mother divorced the man. Neither of them seem to have good memories about him. Just to get her hands on the BoŽl fortune? Quite frankly that would be a rather nasty thing to do. And why would mr. BoŽl be open to forming such a relationship with Delphine? It must have been hurtful for him too that his wife abandoned him for Albert & to discover that Delphine was not his own daughter -although the marriage was strained already.

I don't know what her goals are, but I do know that for many extramarital/denounced children it is important to be recognized. It is often said that they find that important for their own identity. Since I did not go through the same experience I do not know why it is so important to many of them, but it often seems to be the case.

The daughters of Bernhard didn't need to seek publicity as he didn't ignore them in life or in death. He even formed a bond with them. After his death Alicia de Bielefeld was interviewed a few times and said that he visited her and took an interest in her life, though not as much and as frequently as she may have wanted. Note that she too mentioned that she found it difficult that her existence was ignored by her sisters, although princess Christina sent her a tape of Bernhards funeral. Queen Beatrix never wanted to meet her. For all Bernhards faults, I think he did the right thing in this case.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:39 AM
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I agree with you on that, this path seems rather self-destructive. I don't think she will win back Alberts acceptance, I doubt she will ever win this court case. But of course by keepig quiet she also didn't get a relationship with him. Perhaps she wants recognition of some sort. I don't know. However since this issue has turned so ugly, it is not likely that she will be able to form a normal relationship with her father or half-siblings indeed.

Why would she want to form any connection to Mr BoŽl? He was not involved in her lie and her mother divorced the man. Just to get her hands on the BoŽl fortune? Quite frankly that would be a rather nasty thing to do. And why would mr. BoŽl be open to forming such a relationship with Delphine? It must have been hurtful for him too that his wife abandoned him for Albert -although the marriage was strained already.

I don't know what her goals are, but I do know that for many extramarital/denounced children it is important to be recognized. It is often said that they find that important for their own identity. Since I did not go through the same experience I do not know why it is so important to many of them, but it often seems to be the case.

The daughters of Bernhard didn't need to seek publicity as he didn't ignore them in life or in death. He even formed a bond with them. After his death Alicia de Bielefeld was interviewed a few times and said that he visited her and took an interest in her life, though not as much and as frequently as she may have wanted. Note that she too mentioned that she found it difficult that her existence was ignored by her sisters, although princess Christina sent her a tape of Bernhards funeral. Queen Beatrix never wanted to meet her. For all Bernhards faults, I think he did the right thing in this case.
Thanks for your thoughtful post. I especially agree with the bolded part. Delphine has the right to know who her father is.
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:17 AM
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Does anyone know how Belgian domestic laws deal with children born out of wedlock and whose mothers must rely on state benefits to support them? Or rather, how are the purported fathers of those children dealt with? Are DNA tests required if the (alleged) father refuses to support his offspring? Or can he be compelled by court order to provide for them financially?
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  #660  
Old 09-24-2014, 07:21 AM
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Delphine has the right to know who her father is.
Legally that is not all that clear. In 2009, in the Netherlands, there was a call for a Vaderschapswet "Fatherhood Act" because every year around 11.000 (!) children are born in the Netherlands without knowing who their father is. (extrapolate this to Delphine's age, that makes it around 500.000 children in the last 46 years...). These children mainly come from eh... families from the present or former Dutch colonies in the West (Antilles, Suriname) where single mom families without a known father seems the norm, causing an enormous claim-culture for social benefits.

The unknown fatherhood also includes the many, many IVF-treatments. In many European countries (no longer in the Netherlands, but still in Belgium (!) and for an example Spain) absolute anonimity is guaranteed to donors. Establishing that children have the right to know who their father is immediately causes a major clash with the -legal (!)- right on absolute anonimity given to donors. This is also the reason why, five years later, there is still no Vaderschapswet in the Netherlands. This is also the reason why so many Dutch couples "hop" to other countries for IVF-treatments.

I just want to give this example to state that the right of children for knowing who their father is seems morally logic but legally not that easy to achieve. Knowing that Belgium is one of the slowest countries in the EU concerning modernizing laws (due to the complex structure of the State) I can not imagine it is easier in Belgium than in the northern neighbour. I think Delphine will have to face a hard legal battle.

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