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  #341  
Old 08-30-2016, 10:38 AM
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When it comes down to it, we may very well be seeing the same thing happen with Harry. Well into his 30s before he marries (if he ever does).

Getting married later in life isn't that unusual. As far as the artificial insemination, that is purely speculation and even if they had trouble conceiving and went the route that a lot of couples do, its their business and not something that would be out there in the public domain.
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  #342  
Old 08-30-2016, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
There is more to Baudouin's story than just grooming Phillipe to be a King. Baudouin, himself, had quite a firm belief in what he wanted as a spouse and it didn't factor in any of the reasons such as reasonably stable and affectionate or fertile. He was a very devout Catholic and to him, a marriage was a sacred thing and wanted a spouse that not only believed the same as he did, but also practiced in life, the strong devotion that he had. He found that in Fabiola. Their story which is told in various threads here is touching and inspiring.

Fertility was the last thing ever on his mind as a prerequisite to be a Queen as Fabiola, throughout her lifetime, had many miscarriages and never was able to have a child. She, I believe, at one time offered to dissolve the marriage so that Baudouin could remarry and have heirs but he was having nothing of that. He loved her deeply and she was his wife and that was that.

Marriage was a very sacred and personal thing to Baudouin and this is what Phillipe saw in his aunt and uncle.
A few weeks before the Baudouin/Fabiola wedding, Baudouin received an anonymous letter whose source has never been discovered. The letter warned him that Fabiola "rarely menstruated" (*see "A Throne For Brussels* author Paul Belien)

Baudouin was shocked but refused to believe it. By now he was deeply in love with his fiancee and determined to marry her. Some people have accused Baudouin's stepmother Liliane Princesse de Rethy of sending him the letter. Incredibly, Liliane is said to have gotten the information from Fabiola's own mother who was certainly in a position to know such an intimate detail about her daughter.

Whatever the truth, Fabiola become estranged from both women after the wedding. She was never close to her mother again.

Fabiola is said to have confided her anxieties about her female problems to her spiritual advisers who urged her to put her faith in God and to marry the king anyway.

So maybe that is why after the fourth or fifth miscarriage she urged Baudouin to apply to the pope for an annulment. Fabiola planned to retire to Spain and a convent. Baudouin refused to consider it.

The entire history of the Belgian Royal Family would be different now if he had taken his beloved wife up on her offer. He might have had heirs, but likely would have gone back to being Le Roi Triste- The Sad King, that he was known as before Fabiola Mora y Aragon came into his life.

It's a beautiful but very sad story.
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  #343  
Old 08-30-2016, 11:03 AM
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^^^ Indeed a beautiful and sad story-and an example of true love imo.


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  #344  
Old 08-30-2016, 12:28 PM
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Queen Soraya of Iran didn't have such luck...
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  #345  
Old 08-30-2016, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
When it comes down to it, we may very well be seeing the same thing happen with Harry. Well into his 30s before he marries (if he ever does).
I think you're right and I think it'll be a good thing if he waits. His uncle Edward was 34 when he married and he and his wife seem happier than ever after 20 odd years together.

I think many people show their affection in very different ways and may not always appear to be in love but it doesn't mean they aren't.
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  #346  
Old 08-30-2016, 01:52 PM
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Queen Soraya of Iran didn't have such luck...
I agree. And yet, Soraya is believed to have been the love of the Shah's life.

The Shah gave up a woman he truly loved to have children with another woman in order to ensure the dynasty....which was overthrown anyway.

So all that suffering was ultimately for nothing.
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  #347  
Old 08-30-2016, 05:31 PM
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I dnt think that there's anything wrong, but he's lucky. He has married quite late to a younger woman.. he's lucky if it all worked out well. I'd have thought that Baudoine would have suggested wives for him, at an earlier age. Stability is important to a monarchy, and the next heir Laurent sounds a very poor type. If Baudoin felt he wanted a Catholic wife, who shared Philippes' and his ideals I'm sure there were plenty...
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  #348  
Old 08-30-2016, 05:48 PM
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I honestly think that Baudouin would have left Phillipe to decide for himself who his future wife would be and if and when he felt he was ready to be married. I seriously doubt that a future Queen was any part of the guidance to prepare Phillipe to be a King.
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  #349  
Old 08-30-2016, 06:00 PM
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There were plenty of prospective Royal brides floated before the young Baudouin in the 1950's.

One of them was reportedly a Spanish princess who was a daughter of the Infanta Pilar, the other a daughter of the Comte de Paris(Anne of France if I remember correctly). A beautiful Italian princess whose name I cannot remember was also in the running.

There are photos of a lavish ball at the Palace of Laeken in the late 50's that was given by the Princesse de Rethy for the sole purpose of introducing her shy young stepson to suitable aristocratic and Royal women.

Baudouin just wasn't interested, rejecting all of them as too worldly. Very ironic considering that he was known to be deeply admiring and close to his stepmother Princesse Liliane- considered one of the worldliest, most sophisticated women in Europe at that time.

Baudouin as a young man was quite handsome IMO , tall and slim with beautiful grayish blue eyes behind those horn rimmed glasses. He is said to have been deeply scarred by the sudden, violent death of his beautiful young mother Queen Astrid whom he adored, followed by the imprisonment and mistreatment of the Belgian RF by the Nazis and the forced abdication of his father King Leopold that followed.

He was very religious even as a child, but after that succession of traumatic events he became what some considered a fanatic and even briefly considered becoming a Trappist monk.

But that's before he became acquainted with his fellow Catholic mystic Fabiola de Mora y Aragon, a meeting that was arranged by the Cardinal Primate of Belgium and a nun named Veronica O'Brien.

He proposed to her during a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France in July 1960 and married her five months later.
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  #350  
Old 08-30-2016, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
I honestly think that Baudouin would have left Phillipe to decide for himself who his future wife would be and if and when he felt he was ready to be married. I seriously doubt that a future Queen was any part of the guidance to prepare Phillipe to be a King.
Good heavens it should have been.... A wife for a king is very important.
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  #351  
Old 08-30-2016, 06:17 PM
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I dnt think that there's anything wrong, but he's lucky. He has married quite late to a younger woman.. he's lucky if it all worked out well. I'd have thought that Baudoine would have suggested wives for him, at an earlier age. Stability is important to a monarchy, and the next heir Laurent sounds a very poor type. If Baudoin felt he wanted a Catholic wife, who shared Philippes' and his ideals I'm sure there were plenty...
Just to clarify, Laurent was moved down by his uncle when the Belgian line of succession was changed to full primogeniture. Baudoin's heirs would have been Albert, Phillipe, Astrid and then Laurent.

Phillipe was said to be a great source of comfort to Mathilde when her grandmother and younger sister were killed in a car accident in the late 1990's so it appears they'd already begun a relationship.
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  #352  
Old 08-30-2016, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
Good heavens it should have been.... A wife for a king is very important.
Oh I agree with you most definitely in most cases. Its just knowing a bit of Baudouin's story and the kind of a man he was, I just don't see him meddling around trying to "fix" anyone up with someone just because a King needs a Queen. To Baudouin, his religious convictions and faith were very strong and as stated in Moonmaiden's post, he'd had his share of women paraded in front of him and it wasn't much to his liking at all.
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  #353  
Old 08-30-2016, 06:37 PM
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I'd have said if Baudon was grooming Philippe to be his heir, he shoud have gotten him married sooner. It seems quite late in the day htat he married..hte main thing for a royal marriage is to be reasonably stable and affectionate, and fertile...
Philipe was only 33 when his Uncle died, so not as much hurry. His Uncle was 30 when he wed.

Yes, Philippe was older, but men have kids into their 70's, Mathilde is 13 years younger. She was 26 when they wed, 28 with Elizabeth, 30 with Gabe, 32 with Emmanuel and 35 with Eleanor.

Of the current CP's and new consorts, she was youngest marry/kid in Europe

-Mary 32 to marry, 33 with Christian (35 with Isabelle, 39 with twins)
-Letizia 32 to marry, 33 Leonor, 35 Sofia
-Kate- 29 to marry, 31 George, 33 Charlotte
-MM-28 to marry, 31 Ingrid, 32 SM
-Vic- 33 to marry, 35 Estelle, 39 Oscar
-Maxima- 30 to marry, 32 CA, 34 Alexia, 36 Arianne
-Steph-28 to marry, 32 and still no kids
-Charlene- 32 to marry, 36 twins

By the time Mary, Letizia, Vic and Charlene even married, she had 3 kids (age wise). MM, Kate, and Steph may have wed in their 20's but had 1st in 30's.

Sophie of Lichtenstein I didn't include as decade older but she was 26. 28 with her 1st son (29, 32, 33 with others). So similar to Mathilde.

Age is going up, nothing wrong. Smaller families, no rush to settle down, love etc.
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  #354  
Old 08-30-2016, 07:01 PM
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[QUOTE=TLLK;1920537]Just to clarify, Laurent was moved down by his uncle when the Belgian line of succession was changed to full primogeniture. Baudoin's heirs would have been Albert, Phillipe, Astrid and then Laurent.

Phillipe was said to be a great source of comfort to Mathilde when her grandmother and younger sister were killed in a car accident in the late 1990's so it appears they'd already begun a relationship.[/QUOTE]

Marie-Alix died in 1997, only 2 years before they wed in 1999. One would hope they knew each other 2 years.

Baudouin died in 1993, so there is no sign they were involved then.

In 1991, when the law changed we went from
1Albert
2Philippe
3Laurentt

to
1Albert
2Philippe
3Astrid
4Ameddo
5. Maria Laura
6. Laurent

That same year, Laurent dropped to 7th with birth of Joachim in December 1991.

If never changed, succession now
1 Gabe
2. Emmanuel
3. Laurent
4 Nicolas
5. Aymeric

And Laurent would have been spare till 2003, which Baudouin wished to avoid.
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  #355  
Old 08-31-2016, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
I dnt think that there's anything wrong, but he's lucky. He has married quite late to a younger woman.. he's lucky if it all worked out well. I'd have thought that Baudoine would have suggested wives for him, at an earlier age. Stability is important to a monarchy, and the next heir Laurent sounds a very poor type. If Baudoin felt he wanted a Catholic wife, who shared Philippes' and his ideals I'm sure there were plenty...
The king/ court vetoed Barbara Maselis, who was a commoner (and from Flanders) so not good enough for that reason -at least so did the court/RF think at the time. Although this happened in the 80-ties it was Albert who supposedly had the difficult conversation with Philippe.

Philippe himself stated during the engagement press conference that Mathilde was his own free choice and that he himself had found her without any interference by others. He emphasized it several times, which made the press (and parts of the public) wonder about the opposite as it was such an odd thing to say at such a moment.
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  #356  
Old 09-02-2016, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
The kin
Philippe himself stated during the engagement press conference that Mathilde was his own free choice and that he himself had found her without any interference by others. He emphasized it several times, which made the press (and parts of the public) wonder about the opposite as it was such an odd thing to say at such a moment.
thanks that DOES sound a bit like protesting too much, to me. I do think that Baudoin could have at least found a few ladies that Philippe coudl have dated and seen how they got on. If he wanted a good catholic girl for a wife, there must have beene some in Belgium or in upper class/ royal circles who would be interested in marraige.. I think it is a very good idea for people to share ideals or religious beliefs... but It sounds to me like Philippe was pushed a little towards Mathilde...
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  #357  
Old 09-02-2016, 07:11 AM
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Mathilde WAS Belgian-born. Her father was of the untitled nobility and she was brought up in a castle, the family home in Belgium. She was interested in marriage to him, quite obviously!
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  #358  
Old 09-02-2016, 07:28 AM
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I think the main point of the whole Baudouin/Fabiola, Phillipe/Mathilde angle is that Baudouin himself probably would never have thought to in any way, shape or form infringe his beliefs, women or anything else upon Phillipe solely because he, himself, had all kinds of women paraded around him, pointed out to him and nudged him towards them and frankly, wasn't interested one bit.

If Phillipe took anything away from watching his uncle's and aunt's marriage is was done by example and nothing else.
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  #359  
Old 09-02-2016, 07:28 AM
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Perhaps true. But at the same time, Baudouin married somebody that was pointed out and nudged to him. He did not spontaniously 'find' Fabiola either but sister Veronica O'Brian did after consulting members of the Spanish clergy.

**

Filip and Mathilde supposedly met in 1996 -several years after the death of King Baudouin - at a game of tennis IIRC. According to an notoriously unreliable book by Philippe Deborsu it was countess Stephanie de Lalaing who pointed out Mathilde to the prince. So perhaps some friends acted as match maker, which happens quite a lot I would say.

The days of arranged marriages are certainly over in (royal) Western Europe and have been for quite a few decades. Though I am sure royal parents encourage suitable relationships while unsuitable ones are actively discouraged in some cases. Again not very different from the lives of the rest of us.

The support of the prince after the death of Mathilde's sister Marie-Alix and her grandmother princess Sapieha in 1997 supposedly deepened their relationship indeed. Prince Filip was a great support to both Mathilde as the family, as was stated years later by Count Patrick. With or without match making; the Belgian king and queen have always seemed well suited for one another and their affection for each other is clearly visible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curryong
Mathilde WAS Belgian-born. Her father was of the untitled nobility and she was brought up in a castle, the family home in Belgium. She was interested in marriage to him, quite obviously!
What made it even more convenient was that the Udekem family is a Flemish one, while Mathilde was raised in Wallonia. A perfect balance it was thought.
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  #360  
Old 09-02-2016, 07:41 AM
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Mathilde WAS Belgian-born. Her father was of the untitled nobility and she was brought up in a castle, the family home in Belgium. She was interested in marriage to him, quite obviously!
well yes I am sure she was. he's the future King. But was it a love marriage? From what I've seen here, (and I dont know much), it does seem more like an arranged marriage. Why woudl he be stressing so much that he chose Mathlide himself? And just because Baudoin didn't want to give him a list of suitable women, doesn't mean that his own parents might not have pushed him, when he was getting older and saw he was still unmarried.
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