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  #81  
Old 05-30-2006, 07:56 AM
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Good news. On June 6 VRT and RBTF will show a portrait of HM Queen Paola. It was recorded in Italy where she was with 3 friends.

Today I read a nice article about it in a dutch newspaper (with a lovely picture of a relaxed Paola). Some nice anecdotes: on their first dinner-dates Albert didn't eat anything else then Spagetti, even as entrer! She also said that in her marriage she had to reach for her handkerchief several times, but in the end she and the king know that they were made for one another :)
She also states that she didn't know anything about belgium bedfore her marriage, except Tintin and she shows some private pictures, for example of her as a child in traditional (dutch) Volendam-costume.

I must say I am rather excited about this as I do not think she has done anything like it before.
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  #82  
Old 05-30-2006, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alejandro_sk
And another question, please. Are the king's hearing aids connected to his glasses? If so, what happens when he takes his glasses off? Can he hear anything?
Thanks in advance!
Alejandro
I don't think his hearing aids(HA) are connected to his glasses. Because then he would have to get the HA out of his ears everytime he wants to take off his glasses and it is not so easy to put the HA back in. So probably the thing from his HA behind his ear is just on top of his glasses.
I think the king still hears without his HA but only not very good, and for him it is very important to understand the people very good.
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  #83  
Old 05-30-2006, 09:23 AM
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That's great news, Marengo! I definitely want to see that one. Let's hope I don't forget to watch it, since I normally tend to forget about these things...:)
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  #84  
Old 05-30-2006, 10:57 AM
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Me to Maxie! But this time I wrote it down in my agenda :)
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  #85  
Old 05-30-2006, 02:23 PM
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From the RBTF website:

20:20 Paola: paroles de Reine

Et pourquoi pas un film consacré à la Reine Paola ? Paradoxalement, en effet, nous possédons de notre Souveraine de nombreuses photos, maints extraits de film. Pourtant, elle n'y apparaît pas comme une figure centrale. Elle s'y exprime peu surtout. La Reine, d'ailleurs, en convient elle-même : les Belges ne connaissent pas le son de sa voix. Le regrettant, elle souhaitait briser le mur du silence. Dans ce contexte, l'initiative de Jan Becaus et Jean-Pierre Coppens venait tout simplement au bon moment, puisqu'ils ont donné à notre Souveraine l'occasion de s'exprimer là où elle le désirait, avec qui elle le voulait. Jan Becaus et Jean-Pierre Coppens ont ainsi accompagné la Reine à la Biennale de Venise et, plutôt que de réaliser un film axé sur sa vision de l'art, ils ont laissé libre cours aux conversations qu'une femme avec d'autres femmes. Au départ de Venise, la Reine Paola va ainsi à Padoue à la rencontre d'une amie d'enfance, la comtesse Marina Emo. Puis, elle croise la fille de l'ancien ambassadeur belge Poswick auprès du Saint-Siège, Marianna Freddi. Celle-ci, grande amie de la Reine, a notamment été témoin de sa première rencontre avec le Prince Albert. Enfin, notre Souveraine retrouve Mirjam Van Beusekom, un Néerlandaise vivant et travaillant en Belgique?

On l'aura compris. Ce document n'est pas fait de questionnements. Il tient en une succession de conversations, en italien, en français, en néerlandais, au cours desquelles la Reine Paola évoque ses souvenirs, anciens et récents, douloureux ou heureux, comme la naissances de ses petits-enfants. Et les images d'archives, notamment celles des Joyeuses Entrées à Liège ou Bruxelles, viennent fort à propos compléter ou illustrer les propos de notre Souveraine. Ni biographie, même si le cours du temps y a son importance, ni portrait officiel, même si la Reine y est omniprésente, ce film constitue avant tout un témoignage profondément humain et salutaire d'une femme timide, anxieuse et fragile qui parle avec franchise et émotion de sa vie et de son destin royal.

http://www.la1.be/rtbf_2000/bin/view...&api_year=2006

VRT:

21:10 de stem van de koningin

De stem van de koningin is een boeiend portret waarin Koningin Paola tijdens gesprekken met drie vriendinnen ongedwongen praat over thema's die haar nauw aan het hart liggen. De opnames werden gemaakt in Italië, onder meer tijdens de Biënnale van Venetië. De programmamakers mochten ook foto's uit het familiealbum van de koningin gebruiken. Passende archiefbeelden, soms nooit eerder vertoond, illustreren de gespreksonderwerpen.


http://www.een.be/televisie1_master/...ipt/dag6.shtml
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  #86  
Old 05-30-2006, 02:58 PM
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In this week's new issue of Humo (most important magazine in Flanders) there's an interview with Jan Becaus, who made the documentary on queen Paola. I'll translate the parts on Paola. I'll just add that Jan Becaus works for the Flemish national tv, he's a newpresenter and very serious journalist, a very trustworthy man IMO, very professional.

Something else. On June 6th the docu will be aired on een and la une, and around June 21st a DVD will come out with this documentary on it.
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:10 PM
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Thanks for the info, Marengo and Hannelore! I'll be in front of 'een' the 6th of june! :)
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  #88  
Old 05-30-2006, 03:47 PM
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Interview in Humo ed. May 30,2006

If she could, she'd love to be princess Paola again

HUMO why did the palace ask you to make a movie on queen Paola? Did her negative image in Flanders need to get a positive twist?
JAN BECAUS (58) The program has not been made on the palace's request. We've got good archive footage on queen Fabiola for a worst case scenario - if she should come to pass. On queen Paola we've got a lot of images, but not one bit of usefull sound material. So director in chief Leo Hellemans ordered me to shoot a film in which we can hear her talk.
In an audience last year I asked her for an interview. She was willing to do it, but her advisors (haar entourage) didn't and so we had to start searching for an alternative. In the end we asked Paola to travel to Venice with 3 friends for the Biennale. The queen was enthusiastic about it "But", she said, "when I go to Venice I want to be able to talk about all kind of things and not just art." Those friends are Marina Emo, a friend from her youth with whom she only speaks Italian; Marianna Freddi, a flamboyant liberal lady that she talks French with - it was through her that she met Albert in Rome at the end of the 50s; and Mirjam Van Beusekom, a Dutch woman she met in Spa when she took a language course there. She talks Dutch to her.

HUMO Will we get to know more from this interview than from the legendary interview Lutgard Simoens had with queen Fabiola, and where the most interesting bit was that king Boudewijn was fond of sorbet?
BECAUS Luckily we will, although of course the ladies prepared what they would talk about and what not. You can sense they most of all rehearsed the parts in Dutch: it's the language Paola feels least comfortable in. It's the language in which she's most stressed out.
Paola realizes that, because of her weak knowledge of Dutch, she has an image problem in Flanders. Once she spoke a bit of Dutch in a new years speech that was aired on TV, and she still has horrors thinking back on it: the Dutch was just awful. This film was a chance to step out like she's never done before. And most of all: to show people how she thinks and feels.

HUMO You know Paola personally. She's, as you say,not a cold woman with a disdain for everything that goes on outside the circles of the high aristocracy.
BECAUS Paola is timid, nearly freightful. In public she doesn't know very well how to hold herself. When she came to view the first version of the film she literally said "I'm scared". in the film she also tells that she cramped when she suddenly became queen in 1993.
Albert was incertain as well at the time, but by now he's accepted for a 100 % by the political scene. He'll blindly sign what his ministers agree. If they give him his own abdication tomorrow, he'll dutyfully sign it (laughs).
Crownprince Filip is more like his mother. He's also got something cramped about him.

HUMO Does Paola talk about the succession?
BECAUS She talks about her children and grandchildren, but she doesn't discuss the functions of the crownprince or prince Laurent. We know they both had an unhappy childhood at boarding school, when Albert and Paola went through a turbulant phase in the 70s.

HUMO Is the name Delphine mentioned?
BECAUS No. Once, in a restaurant, there was a short chat about "private problems". That painful chapter has been closed completely for Paola.
She now talks about Albert with a lot of warmth and sympathy. You feel very well that the troubles have been sorted out. The lion has been tamed. Albert had a few serious operations and has to take things easier now. Paola stands a bit higher in the private hierarchy now. Like in a lot of homes where the husband lost his wild hairs and returned peacefully to the wife and mother.

HUMO But the wife and mother also took a lot of liberties in her younger years.
BECAUS Oh well, there are so many stories about that, but what is true? As a prince, Albert travelled the world for 33 years on economic missions. He got to know the wild life there, far away from the strict protocol. I heard stories that someone had to be put outside his bedroom door at night to be sure he would arrive at the meeting the next morning. I would be surprised if Paola behaved differently in those years.

HUMO What's true about the rumor that Albert stays king because Paola so dearly wants to be the queen?
BECAUS I highly doubt it. For the constitution Paola doesn't even exist. I think that if she'd have the choice, she'd love to go back to her hidden life as a princess. She became queen overnight, she was forced into the job. She felt hopeless, who could she turn to for advice?

HUMO Her sister in law, queen Fabiola?
BECAUS Are those two on speaking terms then? We gave Paola the DVD on queen Fabiola. After she'd seen her own film, she said "Well this is of a totally different order". I concluded from that that she was very satisfied with the result (laughs).

HUMO Is it true you have been teaching her Dutch?
BECAUS After the shooting in Venice, the queen asked me to, yes. In the meantime I've been to the palace about 5 times. I do it for free, because I can't garantee a result. The queen is nearly 69 and she doesn't really have a skill for languages, but she's very stubborn about wanting to learn Dutch, and that deserves some admiration. I mean that.

HUMO What kind of method do you use "Aap, noot, mies"?
BECAUS I tought Dutch and English for 11 years: I know how to do it. I started of a little as a traditional teacher: with newspaper clippings, but she quickly made it clear that she didn't like that way of working. She really wanted to practice her conversation skills in Dutch, with someone who dares to correct her mistakes.

HUMO What do you talk about with her?
BECAUS She hasn't told me a single palace secret yet (laughs). We watch newsitems together and then we talk about it. That works a lot better for her than a classical teaching lesson.

HUMO Are you a monarchist?
BECAUS The monarchy is a relict from the Middle Ages. As an intelligent person you can't agree with this form of government. I agree with Willy Claes who says that he's a monarchist for as long as our country exists. The day Belgium doesn't exist anymore, I'll become a republican.

HUMO So it's not your biggest ambition to have your own royalty show?
BECAUS Not at all. 'Royalty' from VTM isn't bad in it's genre, although the palace doesn't always agree. Laurent is even mad with them: "VTM is sh*t" I heard him say once. The queen doesn't watch that kind of programs either she says, she rather wtaches the news, on RTL.

Jan Lippens & Jan Anthonissen
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:58 PM
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the photos accompanying the article + cover of Humo:

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Old 05-30-2006, 04:42 PM
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Hannelore, thank you so much for all your work translating this article. It is very interesting and makes me wish I understood French so that I could see the interview. Would you please pass along interesting tidbits from it? I would be so grateful.
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:03 PM
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Thank you so much Hannelore. I really like Paola's stubornness to tackle the dutch language. Even if she doesn't succeed I respect her for trying and persisting. And Jan Becous should be a great teacher, no doubt. He usually presents the news, right? And he was a commentator during the religious part of the wedding of Phillipe and Mathilde.
And the 3rd picture is just great!!! Paola looks so relaxed on it!
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:57 AM
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Happy Birthday to King Albert!
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:41 AM
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Happy birthday!!
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:16 PM
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Happy birthday !!
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:53 PM
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Happy Birthday 72 right? :)
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:55 PM
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I just saw the documentary on queen Paola on la une (RTBF) and it was really a very nice one, it showed her really as she is and she talked a lot :) : Italian, French and Dutch. Her Dutch is hesitant but not bad, and actually her French and Italian are hestitant too. I don't mean that she doesn't master those languages, but she sort of thinks while she's talking, hesitates about the things she says.

Many, many topics were evoqued. Her youth in war time, how she still remembers her 18 year old brother leaving to join the allied forces, he went to war with a real ideal but died soon afterwards. She said how sad it was, he was so young and handsome.

About her arrival in Belgium: she was invited by the Belgian embassy for the inauguration of pope John XXIII, and prince Albert was there too. She knew nothing about Belgium, only Tintin, she had the whole collection :) She had vaguely heard about king Baudouin, but never about her future husband. They liked each other from te start but were both very shy. When she was engaged and arrived in Belgium she was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the Belgians and talking about the joyeuses entrées she was still moved.

Her first years in Belgium were lonely. She immediately sensed the two different cultures: germanic and latin, and had to start learning two new languages which was very difficult for her. She said that those first years she really missed queen Astrid (Albert's mother who died in 1935), to comfort her and help her on her way. It's Albert who made her get used to the cold and wet Belgian climate by walks in the Ardennes, in a warm coat :), and it also triggered her love for nature and gardening.
At the start of her marriage Paola & Albert were constantly chased by paparazzi which didn't really help things.

She said her marriage had known problems but now Albert and she are very happy and often say to each other that they're really made for each other.

There was also some talk about the joys of being a grandparent. As a young parent you're responsable, you're like an actor in a play. But as a grandparent there's more tenderness and you're the spectator in the play. I didn't really hear that part very well (I was on the phone :)), but I believe she said that her grandchildren call her "noni" (?)

She talked about art with Flemish art guru Jan Hoet and a Flemish video artist at the biennale in Venice. She said she grew up surrounded by art and the Italian Renaissance in Rome, without really realizing it. When she got to Belgium and discovered the Flemish masters a new world opened for her: emotions, the tenderness of Maria for her child etc.

She said she felt very Belgian. Her heart lies in Belgium and it her children's country. She feels that Belgians are discreet, they don't vant their qualities even though they have many, and they're a people that likes to celebrate.

There were many other things...Maybe someone else can fill in on the parts I left out?
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:21 PM
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I saw the portrait on VRT, it just finished. I must say I am impressed by the Queen. What a charming, modest and discrete woman, sometimes even a bit shy. And I thought she was quite open and not afraid to show some of her weaker sides. I wal also impressed that, even though she is a shy woman, she still appeared to be very relaxed.

I loved all the old footage they showed as well. There were masses of people during the joyfull entrances, in Liege and Brussels. And...what a beauty the Queen is/was!!! Breathtakingly beautiful.

It is the first time I heard her speak dutch, and I agree with Catherine, she is hesitant, but she speaks the same in french. And all the words and the order of them are correct, so I wonder why people are making such a fuss about it. I just love the slight italian accent.

I particulary liked how she feels joy when her grandchildren say that she can cook delisiously (I never knew that queens cooked ) And she commented on getting older: she feels the same, though others keep reminding her that she must have aged...and she added, with a slight smile, as does the mirror perhaps. She also commented that her marriage is like wine, it got better with age, and now they are certain they were destined to be together and happy.

She was also open about her childhood. I never knew her family was on the anti-fascist side. Her brother died while fighting the germans and her mother had to hide herself & change name as the Nazi's wanted to arrest her for helping out anti-fascist family members. I liked the picture she showed of Prince Phillipe, as a todler, on a farm-estate the Ruffo's own, with newborn lambs.

I just loved the scene on the market in Venice, with 'Gina Lollobirgida', where the Queen isn't fooled by the merchant and knows exactly how to get what she wants. She has a lovely sense of humor as well and I like the way she tried to calm the artist that escorted her in the Biennale. He almost immediately said that he was quite nervous for this visit. 'So was I', the Queen confessed with a disarming smile.

Again, what a charming woman!!!
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:24 PM
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I also saw the portrait, and now I know why I always have respect her...... she is so nice,open, just herself......

Paola simply the best!!!!
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:25 PM
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Happy Birthday!! :) :)
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:37 PM
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Thank you all so much for the re-cap! I have been waiting to read what you thought. What you say about her does not surprise me just from knowing her through pictures, although I, too, am surprised she cooks for the grandchildren -- is that wonderful!
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