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  #141  
Old 07-22-2005, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelka
Well Danielane, I respect your opinion, but I don't think she tries to achieve a perfect image, I simply can not believe that it is Mathilde's intention to create the image of herself being a perfect princess, because I agree with you that such a thing does not exist, nobody is perfect, not even a prince/princess. I think she looks more humble to me than the other princesses, more casual. She just doesn't search the spotlights, and doesn't often make mistakes in her wardrobe (although I've seen her make some mistakes), that's all. But of course you have the right for your own opinion, although I don't think many people share it.
Oh, you know, I don't care of how mant people are sharing an opinion, because it's not a basis to determinate if this opinion is valuable.
I was simply reacting to what I'm reading on many forums, where Mathilde is celebrated like the "perfect, as always, duchess of Brabant".
More humble and more royal, maybe, after all, she was born in an aristocratic middle. But I can't help thinking she has a "perfect-little-girl" side.
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  #142  
Old 07-22-2005, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelka
Well Danielane, I respect your opinion, but I don't think she tries to achieve a perfect image, I simply can not believe that it is Mathilde's intention to create the image of herself being a perfect princess, because I agree with you that such a thing does not exist, nobody is perfect, not even a prince/princess. I think she looks more humble to me than the other princesses, more casual. She just doesn't search the spotlights, and doesn't often make mistakes in her wardrobe (although I've seen her make some mistakes), that's all. But of course you have the right for your own opinion, although I don't think many people share it.
I have to agree with Jelka on this one. Mathilda is not perfect, but she definately has her act together and that shows. I also feel that she is comfortable in her position and in her own skin which makes a big difference in the way that she presents herself to the public. I'm sure that their "home life" is like anyone elses, they just choose to keep it out of the public eye, which I think is admirable. :)
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  #143  
Old 07-22-2005, 09:52 AM
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I've never gotten the impression that Mathilde thinks of herself as the perfect princess and as such tries to further promote her self image as that. I think, as others have mentioned, that Mathilde is simply someone who is quite humble, perhaps even shy, in her approach to her role as the Crown Princess of Belgium. She is someone who likes to be behind the scenes, and reminds me (and not in a bad way either) of someone who lives with the phrase of "the woman behind the man."

One of the (many) things I like about Mathilde is that she reminds me of a throwback to the heyday of royalty, albeit with a modern twist -- she's traditional, classic, graceful and goes about her royal duties without much fuss or demands. I've read many arguments/commentary of late that it's 2005 and royalty has to evolve and that royals can't behave as they would have in Queen Victoria's day and age in today's time. And that the modern face of monarchy are those who wear glamorous gowns and attend the big parties and galas, pose in magazines, who give lengthy interviews dispersing their every thought on love, life, the environment, society's issues, etc.

I've never been attracted to monarchies and royalty for that reason and modern or not. I like monarchies because of their neutrality they can represent their respective countries without impartiality and be the faces of a nation over time.

I think it's enough when Mathilde (or Maxima or Mette-Marit, etc.) grace the cover of Point du Vue or Royalty magazine based on some picture taken of them at an engagement, or when the royal families set up semi-formal photoshoots periodically (as the Belgian royals do annually and most recently we saw with Willem, Maxima and their daughters) or through formal portraits. I don't need to see a fashion spread a la VOGUE magazine of Mathilde in six stunning gowns from Natan's latest collection. I'll see them and admire them even more when she wears those gowns to greet foregin dignitaries at a state dinner hosted by the King and Queen.

I see Mathilde as someone who is not interested in stealing the spotlight from anyone or needing to be in the spotlight at all times. She is someone who is content with her husband, her children, and to carry out her role in representing Belgium to the best of her abilities. She's all substance and no flash -- which is a good thing in my books.
  #144  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:08 AM
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Danielane, I do respect your opinion. I completely understand it if it gets on your nerves when people see Mathilde as the "one and only perfect princess". For me she is perfect as the wife of the current crownprince of Belgium in the country I'm living in, but I'm sure that Mary is the exact same thing for Denmark nowadays, and Sophie for Liechtenstein etc.

It's not a good thing to put Mathilde up as some sort of example. Each monarchy in Europe is different because it are all very different countries, with different habits and opinions, different societies altogether.

But I also think the problem is that you only get to see Mathilde and the children on photos, with the comments on boards like these (which are usually positive to very positive comments). If you see her on tv (royalty programs et all) she comes across as a very normal woman, and her family life is very normal too (apart from the rather strange job she has). And that's what makes her so popular. She's never given me the impression that she's trying to act as a princess , or a perfect princess. She's just being who she is - and not at all trying to get on the foreground.

She is no saint and she isn't perfect, and there are people who won't like her. OK, there's nothing wrong with that and we shoudn't try to portray it in any other way. But she do is very popular in Belgium and so is her family. This doesn't mean that Belgians like her because they think she's "perfect", it's thoughts like these that start coming up when you compare people - mainly on these boards (who's your favorite princess ? Who has the prettiest shoes ? blablabla). She's a unique person just like every other person is unique.
  #145  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princess gertrude
I have to agree with Jelka on this one. Mathilda is not perfect, but she definately has her act together and that shows. I also feel that she is comfortable in her position and in her own skin which makes a big difference in the way that she presents herself to the public. I'm sure that their "home life" is like anyone elses, they just choose to keep it out of the public eye, which I think is admirable. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathérine Bergeyck
Danielane, I do respect your opinion. I completely understand it if it gets on your nerves when people see Mathilde as the "one and only perfect princess". For me she is perfect as the wife of the current crownprince of Belgium in the country I'm living in, but I'm sure that Mary is the exact same thing for Denmark nowadays, and Sophie for Liechtenstein etc.

It's not a good thing to put Mathilde up as some sort of example. Each monarchy in Europe is different because it are all very different countries, with different habits and opinions, different societies altogether.

But I also think the problem is that you only get to see Mathilde and the children on photos, with the comments on boards like these (which are usually positive to very positive comments). If you see her on tv (royalty programs et all) she comes across as a very normal woman, and her family life is very normal too (apart from the rather strange job she has). And that's what makes her so popular. She's never given me the impression that she's trying to act as a princess , or a perfect princess. She's just being who she is - and not at all trying to get on the foreground.

She is no saint and she isn't perfect, and there are people who won't like her. OK, there's nothing wrong with that and we shoudn't try to portray it in any other way. But she do is very popular in Belgium and so is her family. This doesn't mean that Belgians like her because they think she's "perfect", it's thoughts like these that start coming up when you compare people - mainly on these boards (who's your favorite princess ? Who has the prettiest shoes ? blablabla). She's a unique person just like every other person is unique.

Just wanted to say; hear, hear!! I fully agree with you! We can only get an impression of how royals are through the media, so our opinion of the royals will always be partial (and not varied) since we don't know how they are privately. I like Mathilde because she seems so down to earth in her public presense, and that she seems to feel comfortable in her role, and thus, in my opinion, doing a good job.
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  #146  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:21 AM
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Wow! So many comments! Thank you.

I think Cathérine got a very important point. It gets me on the nerves when a prince or princess is discribed like the absolute perfect one (which happens on several boards about several princess, inculded Mathilde) or, on the contrary, like the model of "what-shouldn't-absoultely-be-a-prince-or-a-princess". I don't like these comments and that's giving me a, maybe, stronger image of the prince or princess in question.
I would say that I'd like very much see or hear Mathilde act, to discover more about her. Maybe my opinion will change, but I read such comments that sometimes, I just want saying "stop".
But, even if I don't like her very much, I must say she's really classy (sometimes a little bit too old-fashioned for my taste) and has really cute children.
  #147  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielane
By the way, look at the way she dresses her children: nice, yes, but as perfect little children. Is it good for children to be shown by their parents like little perfect one? I don't think so. When they will be teenager, when they will have difficulties in the life, one will say "ah, but they were so perfect kids"...
What complete rubbish.

Those children are dressed as any other children who come from a decent family. 21st of July is our national day, in which not only the country but also the RF is celebrated. So you put on something pretty yes. When I take my daughter (4 years) to a special celebration she gets to wear a pretty dress as well.

We've seen pics of Elisa being picked up at school when she wore more casual clothes, a pair of jeans and a brown jacket with flowers. Just like every other kid.

They aren't perfect children, they're normal children who are being brought up properly and will have a special future ahead of them but can find a nice warm nest in a family that tries to raise them as normal as is possible in their situation.

And I don't think they'll have problems as teenagers. Look at Astrid's kids (Amedeo, Laura and Joachim). They're perfectly normal, fine kids who have an even more royal and aristocratic background than Elisabeth and Gabriel.

If you can't stand a family being popular in Belgium for who they are and what they mean to the country then perhaps it's best to focuss on something else. This will only lead to arguments.
  #148  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannelore

If you can't stand a family being popular in Belgium for who they are and what they mean to the country then perhaps it's best to focuss on something else. This will only lead to arguments.
I don't believe we're heading towards an argument here at all. I think some very differing views are being exchanged. And Danielane, whose comments "sparked" such a discussion may still not agree with the many comments in "defence" of Mathilde, but has certainly been open to them even if she's not fully convinced yet by the arguments put forth -- and isn't that the sign of a good discussion?

I think everybody who has made comments, from Cathérine Bergeyck to princess gertrude and Jelka, have been very polite and civil in their replies, which is all that we ask for. If we end all discussions because of the potential for arguments then we'd just be left staring at pictures.

As a moderator of this forum, I don't think this discussion is "rubbish" and find it quite enlightening and hope that others will continue to discuss their various opinons.
  #149  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:36 AM
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OK, as long as no-one gets overheated (wich would be a pitty) there's no problem for me either.

And I didn't call the discussion 'rubbish' but the things Danielane foresaw for the future of a 3-year and 1,5-year old.
  #150  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:41 AM
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Thanks Alexandria!
Hannelore, I'd like just to react to "decent family": I have the pretention to say I come from a decent family, but I've never been dressed like this. I think there are many ways to dress a children. In France, in my background, when parents dress a girl like Elisabeth yesterday, it has a certain meaning.

I was just saying that I don't like the image I'v got from Mathilde. Maybe my point of view will evolue. I would have like to see the documentary about her family's life, with a reporter filming them during a whole year.
  #151  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannelore
OK, as long as no-one gets overheated (wich would be a pitty) there's no problem for me either.

And I didn't call the discussion 'rubbish' but the things Danielane foresaw for the future of a 3-year and 1,5-year old.
I never said Elisabeth and Gabriel would have problems further. It just happens that I know a family whose children gave the impression of "little perfect kid" when they were young. Noone understood why the girl had problems when she was a teenager.
  #152  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:49 AM
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And because you know a family you compare them to a family you don't know?
  #153  
Old 07-22-2005, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielane
Thanks Alexandria!
Hannelore, I'd like just to react to "decent family": I have the pretention to say I come from a decent family, but I've never been dressed like this. I think there are many ways to dress a children. In France, in my background, when parents dress a girl like Elisabeth yesterday, it has a certain meaning.
France isn't Belgium. At all.
  #154  
Old 07-22-2005, 11:00 AM
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I would like to add to this interesting discussion. I do agree with Catherine and would like to add the following. In my humble opinion, I find that Princess Mathilde has what many women would like to have but only very little women really have and this is what I would call 'natural class'. I think she has this mostly thanks to her personality and partly because of her noble upbringing. And I think that this is something that 'shines' through whether she wears an evening dress or a casual outfit, whether she has an official engagement or whether she is in more informal setting.
  #155  
Old 07-22-2005, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannelore
And because you know a family you compare them to a family you don't know?
No. I was just saying it can't be dangerous to "close" someone in an 'image' (I don't know how to explain it very precisely). I don't say Elisabeth and Gabriel will later be prisoners of the image they give now, I just say it can happen. For everyone. And that one must be careful. And having experienced it myself, I can say how it's for the people concerned.
  #156  
Old 07-22-2005, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannelore
France isn't Belgium. At all.
Both countries have lot of things in common. Last time I went in Brussels, I thought by moments I was still in France. I agree that Belgium has its own particularities, although.

By the way, would you please stop being rude on me? I do respect your opinion, please do the same towards me. We can still discuss, but in respect.
  #157  
Old 07-22-2005, 11:13 AM
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But they aren't given an image, you're giving them one by painting a picture that isn't true.

They are raised in a normal way (Elisabeth doesn't even go to one of the posh schools in Belgium) and dressed in a normal way (I reassure you this :)), their parents love them but when they're bad they get punished - like all children.

I think I get what you mean: parents with children acting as though they're living a dream and their whole life is wonderful, they never argue and nothing will ever go wrong and their children are the perfect children. unfortunately such people exist , but it aren't Filip & Mathilde.
  #158  
Old 07-22-2005, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielane
Both countries have lot of things in common. Last time I went in Brussels, I thought by moments I was still in France. I agree that Belgium has its own particularities, although.

By the way, would you please stop being rude on me? I do respect your opinion, please do the same towards me. We can still discuss, but in respect.
I'm not being rude. I find it rude to have to hear that Belgium is a derivation of France with its own particularities. Belgium is more than Brussels. And very different from France.
  #159  
Old 07-22-2005, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannelore
I'm not being rude. I find it rude to have to hear that Belgium is a derivation of France with its own particularities. Belgium is more than Brussels. And very different from France.
I never said Belgium was a derivation of France, just that sometimes in Brussels I had the impression to be in Paris. I loved this country when I went in last year, and I probably will go back.
  #160  
Old 07-22-2005, 12:33 PM
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Danielane I think you raise some good issues to think about and you have made me reflect on my postings. What comes through for me about Mathilde was written by Marie-Caroline, there is a natural class -- an ability to behave genuinely and appropriately in a variety of situations -- that I find appealing. Of course my judgment is incomplete because I only see her from photos and news videos, but that natural class has come through enough, that my guess is she really does have it. As far as her children and their upbringing, who knows? I recall Phillipe's statement at the time of Elisabeth's birth: "I hope she is a great queen but first of all I hope she is a great woman". To me that signaled something important about his/?their understanding of where the focus of her upbringing needed to be...on the person, not the title she would inherit. I also appreciate the fact that while Elisabeth was dressed in a lovely, summery way for the photo shoot, she was allowed to skip around and then lie down on that bench and no one made a move to stop her -- that I think is a good sign. Dressing appropriately for photo shoots is one thing but allowing children to be children (within certain limits, of course) is, in my mind, the more important thing. So in summary, I appreciate the issues you raised and if my posts have seemed to elevate Mathilde to "saint" status they were misleading. I do appreciate the "natural class" she brings to many situations and the support she obviously offers to Phillipe, her family, and to many good causes. I suppose time will tell us even more about her.
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