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  #121  
Old 02-07-2015, 07:27 PM
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Didn't the King, Queen or one of their staff notice before they were sent out? Wasn't it always said Paola doesn't know much Dutch, clearly not enough to spot TWO massive mistakes!
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  #122  
Old 02-07-2015, 07:32 PM
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The cards were not signed by Albert and Paola, which makes some wonder if they actually saw them or if they are in their house in France, as is often the case these days.

Paola's Dutch isn't great in speaking, in writing it must be much worse. Albert II is fluent enough though. Most of their staff is probably French speaking too, esp. the more senior ones. The present king was very wise to recruit more Flemish people for the court and to send his children to Dutch language schools.
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  #123  
Old 02-07-2015, 09:16 PM
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Makes one wonder if its just human failure or an act of sabotage.

IMO this is just another proof that their personal advisor and head-of-everything Vincent Pardoen is incompetent. Pardoen was sacked by Philippe after he published Paola's letter on Laurent's health. Albert and Paola however bluntly ignored this and still keep Pardoen as their most important employee. He accompanies them during official activities and for sure he is responsible for their correspondence. I wonder when Albert and Paola finally realize that relying on Pardoen does more harm than good. They are in dire need of competent advisors.
FYI: Pardoen was involved in almost all major blunders these last years: Fabiola's much critisiced foundation, the whole saga on Albert's finances, Paola's letter, Albert's tv interview behind Philippes back, the non-existent cooperation with the new king...
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  #124  
Old 02-08-2015, 04:15 AM
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Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum.
Really it is embarassing, and I fully understand the Palace officials for making clear that they don't have anything to do with it.
Embarrassing set,Albert & Paola.Excellent that the present Monarch takes a distance from his predecessor.They add to the "Belgian jokes"..Pitty,Albert was in many cases quite competent as a Monarch,yet,privately,as a father,he failed...they both failed,espcially by setting their youngest son aside as a twit,which he isn't,at all!No their movements and office should be under close scrutiny by the King and his staff.
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  #125  
Old 02-08-2015, 06:06 AM
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Albert always seemed the typical jovial Belgian, good humoured etc. But he must be a much more complicated man than he seems to be if we put all the stories together. He has a difficult relationship with 3 of his 4 children, it can't be all the children's fault.

As for Mr. Pardoen, although I am not sure about it I would not be surprised if he may be very loyal to his employers, loyal up to a point that he doesn't understand that saying 'no' would serve them better than agreeing with their every wish.

It was a wise decision of Albert to resign.
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  #126  
Old 02-08-2015, 10:43 AM
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A former Grand Marechal de la Cour said from Philippe 'Hij kan het niet " (I cannot).

When we see the perfect King we have now , I think he must have been so unhappy when he was the unpopular Duc de Brabant.
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  #127  
Old 02-09-2015, 05:59 AM
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This is what happens when there are two households and A&P keep trying to do their thing without Palace consent.

I really really doubt the competent staff from the current King would have allowed this, Pardoen & Co keep making mistakes.

And the fact that A&P only have a good relationship with Astrid but their sons stay as far away from them as possible says a LOT about how they were as parents, specially with Laurent.
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  #128  
Old 02-09-2015, 07:09 AM
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Princess Astrid suffers a lot about this situation and the way Her parents are treated now.

Queen Paola was ill and had to ask the Royal Palace if Princess Astrid could go to the Event she had to attend !

The relationship between Astrid and King Philippe is not that warm. That is very sad
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  #129  
Old 02-09-2015, 12:03 PM
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King Albert visited the Campus Erasme (faculty of medicine) in Anderlecht today, February 9, and was informed about the research in human and molecular biology.



** belga gallery ** facetoface gallery **
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  #130  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by maria-olivia View Post
Princess Astrid suffers a lot about this situation and the way Her parents are treated now.

Queen Paola was ill and had to ask the Royal Palace if Princess Astrid could go to the Event she had to attend !

The relationship between Astrid and King Philippe is not that warm. That is very sad
Many people find it hard to adjust to new situations like retirement and Albert and Paola obviously hadn’t thought of all the consequences that come with leaving the top position. They made their own bed and now they have to lie in it imo. And likely it would be much easier for everyone if they had treated Philippe and his staff like their successor and not just as quantité négligeable. One telling example for their behaviour: Philippe was told in April 2013 that Albert intends to abdicate. Even in this situation Albert and his camp continued to ignore Philippe and his staff and didn’t involve them one bit. At the end of May they approached Albert’s office to finally get more information and they were told it’s none of their business at all. Funny thing to say to your successor 1,5 month before he takes over. And since it was all their business Albert’s "pension" was negotiated by his advisors, something Albert and Paola should remember when they blame Philippe for their financial "misery".
There are many other examples like this and everyone knew that things weren’t working well between them. At one point King Juan Carlos even offered to the Belgian prime minister to take Philippe under his wings to teach him the royal business. It was to be expected that there would be tensions but still it’s surprising that Albert seems to follow his father’s example that much. Its like history repeating over and over again.

Regarding Astrid. I guess for her its hard to adjust to the new situation too. She is her parent’s darling and was in a very comfortable position during Albert’s reign. Good for her and she is not the one to blame for the treatment of her siblings or her aunt. But even if she is much closer to her parents than to her brothers she should be able to realize that Albert and Paola are doing themselves no favour with their behaviour.
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  #131  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:48 PM
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Sorry I know its not the place but I always thought Astrid and Philippe got on okay, don't they get on very well? She does seem to have been doing a bit less since Albert abdicated but Philippe did ask her to go on trade missions which he used to do before he was king so I took that that as a sign he trusted her.
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  #132  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:52 PM
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At one point King Juan Carlos even offered to the Belgian prime minister to take Philippe under his wings to teach him the royal business.
First time i read about that, but...WOW! Imagine having a monarch who is alive and well and needing another monarch to provide to education for the heir...

I hope, but also am pretty sure, that K.Philip will do a better job educating his daughter as an heir
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  #133  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:55 PM
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I am puzzled to learn that King Juan Carlos was privy to private family affairs of the Belgian royal family.
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...[snipped
Regarding Astrid. I guess for her its hard to adjust to the new situation too. She is her parent’s darling and was in a very comfortable position during Albert’s reign. Good for her and she is not the one to blame for the treatment of her siblings or her aunt. But even if she is much closer to her parents than to her brothers she should be able to realize that Albert and Paola are doing themselves no favour with their behaviour.
If Princess Astrid has good relationships with parent, she should take responsibility for them or manage their affairs. King Albert has amply demonstrated that he cares very little about King Philippe and Prince Laurent.
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  #134  
Old 02-09-2015, 05:22 PM
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I am puzzled to learn that King Juan Carlos was privy to private family affairs of the Belgian royal family.
Not so surprising imo. They are friends, they spent holidays together, visited each other privately and Albert and Paola also knew about JC and Sophia's marital troubles and hoped for a reconciliation like theirs.

IMO it's more surprising that Juan Carlos talked to the Belgian prime minister about this matter and that this information was picked up by the press. Juan Carlos was suggesting some sort of informal internship I guess. No idea if these plans were carried out but I seem to remember that Beatrix also offered help.
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  #135  
Old 02-09-2015, 05:39 PM
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The fact that King Albert and his eldest son have considerable friction between them is well-known. I am shocked that King Albert easily shows it in public .
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  #136  
Old 02-09-2015, 06:06 PM
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Not so surprising imo. They are friends, they spent holidays together, visited each other privately and Albert and Paola also knew about JC and Sophia's marital troubles and hoped for a reconciliation like theirs.

IMO it's more surprising that Juan Carlos talked to the Belgian prime minister about this matter and that this information was picked up by the press. Juan Carlos was suggesting some sort of informal internship I guess. No idea if these plans were carried out but I seem to remember that Beatrix also offered help.
I have read that Philippe had a sort of internship at the court in The Hague indeed. I am not sure if it was all that extraordinary though. Beatrix did the same at the Danish court of QMII to get ideas about how to reorganise the messy court of her mother. Like Beatrix, Philippe also inherited a messy court and it seems that he was quick and succesfull in reorganising most of it. Even Laurent seems to be finding his place.
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  #137  
Old 02-10-2015, 08:09 AM
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King Albert Ii took the same "Chef de Cabinet" of King Baudouin. That was a problem.
But King Baudouin's death was so inexpected that King Albert II wanted to continue his Brother's will. Remember the sorrow of the Belgians in 1993?

Albert I and Albert II were unexpected and great Kings.
Albert Ii had to do with 552 days of Belgium without a Government ! He was elected 'the Belgian of the Year".

It is really sad what happens now that remember me the situation of King Leopold III and the relationship between Argenteuil and Laeken.

I never expected that !
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  #138  
Old 02-13-2015, 05:35 PM
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The relationship between Astrid and King Philippe is not that warm. That is very sad
Where does this come from?! See, I'm not into justifying everything you say, but this is completely made of nonsense...


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Sorry I know its not the place but I always thought Astrid and Philippe got on okay, don't they get on very well? She does seem to have been doing a bit less since Albert abdicated but Philippe did ask her to go on trade missions which he used to do before he was king so I took that that as a sign he trusted her.
Fact is, the role of princess Astrid changed, now she is being paid per mission, and hasn't the same big allowence as before. This was not decided by the king, but by the government and is totally normal.
And by this, be reasured, Philippes and Astrids relation is really good. She chose Philippe as godfather for her eldest, he chose Astrid's son as godfather for his eldest (and queen). They go away together, they spend time together. The kids are not the same age, except Laetitia-Maria who is very close to her cousins, so it's difficult to have a bff-relation between them. If you want any proof, just watch the funeral of Q. Fabiola to see the relation between them.
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  #139  
Old 02-13-2015, 07:00 PM
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Where does this come from?! See, I'm not into justifying everything you say, but this is completely made of nonsense...
It comes from VTM's royalty reporter Kathy Pauwels. Perhaps Pauwels made it up, but maria-olivia didn't make her statement out of the blue.

"Prinses Astrid praat amper met Filip en Laurent" | vandaag.be
"Prinses Astrid praat nog amper met haar broers" - HLN.be
"Prinses Astrid praat amper met Filip en Laurent" - Het Belang van Limburg

Judging from the articles it seems that Pauwels used some amateur psychology as she didn't come up with much else.
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  #140  
Old 02-15-2015, 05:31 AM
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It comes from VTM's royalty reporter Kathy Pauwels. Perhaps Pauwels made it up, but maria-olivia didn't make her statement out of the blue.

"Prinses Astrid praat amper met Filip en Laurent" | vandaag.be
"Prinses Astrid praat nog amper met haar broers" - HLN.be
"Prinses Astrid praat amper met Filip en Laurent" - Het Belang van Limburg

Judging from the articles it seems that Pauwels used some amateur psychology as she didn't come up with much else.
My apologies then, Maria-Olivia! But the way you said it looked like as it was fact. I think we must be very cautious with that kind of "rumours", otherwise we might start a gossip forum.
Not only is this very amateur-ish, like you pointed out Marengo, but these articles are also almost 2 years old. And since then we have had the occasion to see that it is not true at all
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