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Old 11-19-2006, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Suonymona
A lil' addition:

Monaco: Hereditary Prince/ss of Monaco

However, they (male or female) are generally refered to as "the Heir" and called Prince(ss).

thanks for the addition

Old 11-24-2006, 10:27 AM
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Few pictures from kinds day - pictures

Old 11-25-2006, 08:48 PM
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Thumbs up

This is definately one of my favorite outfits from Mathilde. She looks like a silent film star!
Old 12-12-2006, 05:59 PM
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Prince Laurent + Princess Astrid of Belgium
20 Anniversary of the law on animal protection.
From L-R, Chamber chairman Herman De Croo (L), Belgian Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid pictured in Belgian senate in Brussels Friday 01 December 2006, during a colloqium for the 20 anniversary of the law on animals protection.
Old 12-12-2006, 06:02 PM
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Sorry, but any engagements for Claire?
Old 12-14-2006, 09:29 PM
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Can anyone shed any light on this, somewhat (alarming?) news...
Fake news bulletin widely condemned
Thu 14/12/06 - On Wednesday evening the Francophone public broadcaster RTBF interrupted its normal programmes with the news that Flanders had declared independence. The fake news bulletin formed part of a docufiction programme that caused uproar both and north and south of the linguistic divide.
The docufiction programme was aired on Belgium's main Francophone TV channel La Une. Many people were taken in by this broadcast reminiscent of Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds".
The programme included footage of a reporter standing outside the Royal Palace of Brussels and claiming that King Albert had left the country...
The rest can be found here...
Old 12-15-2006, 05:50 AM
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The end of Belgium

I have always stated that the number one candidate for a republic was and is Belgium. Since in the 1980's the idea of a strong unitary Belgium with a forceful central state and government was left for the federal model with three regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels Region), the centrifugal powers have started and now these seem unstoppable and out of control.

Since the separation from the United Netherlands (1830 de facto and 1839 de jure), initiated by the French-speaking bourgeoisie, there never was a great love lost amongst the 'Belgians' for their new nation 'Belgium'. Famous is the line by the author Geert van Istendael: "Sire, er zijn geen Belgen!" / "Sire, il n'y a pas de Belges!" ("Sire, there are no Belgians!").
Old 12-15-2006, 10:59 AM
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this is the most irresponsible thing, just tasteless
Old 12-15-2006, 12:31 PM
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As long as the programs did not call for violence, isn't just an exercise in free speech? Maybe Belgians would be better off split into two countries? Other countries have done so/are considering it (Canada, for one).
Old 12-15-2006, 01:13 PM
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free speech does not include yelling fire in a crowded theater. to throw a country into turmoil and uncertainty is irresponsible in my opinion. and to wait 30 minutes is criminal. what about the reprecussions you can't calculate, there could have been a rush on the banks(effecting the economy), unrest in the streets, chaos. thank goodness the Belgians rose to the crisis and reacted calmly, but i'm sure there was an initial feeling of fear and want of information. i really think someone should be fired!
Old 12-15-2006, 01:19 PM
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Freedom of speech comes with concomitant responsibility of speech. Although that "news" bit didn't lead to any real problems, those people should be brought up on some charges relating to being a public nuisance at the very least.
Old 12-15-2006, 01:40 PM
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A split of Belgium

Some separatistic parties in Belgium like Vlaams Belang and N-VA like to point to the 'velvet separation' of former Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic (capital Prague) and Slovakia (capital Bratislava).

A main problem is the position of Brussels. Not only it is Belgium's biggest city, but also houses the headquarters of NATO and EU and of many multinationals, banks and companies. Until 'the Belgification' in the 19th century, Brussels was a full Flemish city, where Dutch was the standard language. Go to the city's archives and asks for charters, acts, decrees, memorials, registers, etc. from the 17th century, or medieaeval times, you will see that most of these are in Dutch language.

To present day, Brussels is surrounded by Flanders and its Dutchspeaking community (see this map: ) but the city itself has become more and more francophone, very much to the irritation of the Flemish people who see Brussels as an old and originally Flemish city and as the undisputed capital of Flanders.

The Wallonians will do everything they can to prevent a split-up of Belgium. The problem is that Flanders is one of Europe's richest regions while Wallonia is struggling for decades and is in fact living on Flemish subsidies. That is why they are so 'Belgian-loving' and see the monarchy as a guarantee to keep Belgium together, in their very best interest.

This very same causes a completely different feeling amongst the Flemish people. They feel 'hostaged' by the Wallonians and see the monarchy more and more as the exponent of 'Belgium' which blocks them in their self-deployment and is sucking away their taxpayers' money into bottomless Wallonian holes governed by corrupt socialistic politicians. The Flemish are almost 2/3 of the population and control the economy. So the monarchy, especially with the so-labelled clumsy and dumb Prince Philippe and the so-labelled francophone Princess Mathilde, has to set all sails together not to loose the hearts of the flemish people.

A split-up of Belgium is for sure the end of the monarchy. The King will not remain as a Prince of Liège or so because also for the Wallonians then the King will have lost his relevance for them. Now the King is their 'guarantee' (or hostage) to keep Belgium together. The fake-report by the RTBF has shocked the Wallonians and it will most likely cause them sto step on the brakes and block any further development in the ongoing reformation of Belgium into a loose-fitting federal state. That is why the Flemish people think there is a 'spin' behind all this.
Old 12-15-2006, 01:57 PM
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In the german tv news, they said that this was made by the broadcaster to let the people realize that there IS a conflict and that the people must think about it.
But it sounds a little bit crazy to me.
Old 12-15-2006, 10:08 PM
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Here in Australia the news item appeared on our 9.30pm World News last night. We rarely here anything about Belgium but if featured quite strongly last night.
Old 12-19-2006, 03:30 PM
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The broadcast of RTBF caused quite a stir in Belgium. I'm dead against separation. And there are to many problems to solve and knowing the Belgian system, it might take forever and quite frankly, we've got more important problems on our hands.

Just one example: as there are federal elections next year (2006) it will be 6 years that the politicians started debating if one constituency Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde could be devided. It was a big debate, but I haven't heard about any progress since 2000, so I can state that no progress or sollution could be reached and then the same people would like to separate Flanders and Wallonia?

When Belgium was born back in 1830 Flanders and Wallonnia decided to bond together and form one state. Belgium wasn't believed to survive as a state untill 1839! That's a long time ago, and it will be hard to break those bonds.

There has been some discussion about separation before, but it has always been a storm in a glass of water. More autority to decided one some subjects might happen but a true separation of Flanders and Wallonnia? Not in one million years!

Europe is the future, and as Europe grows, Belgium becomes smaller and smaller, how will we be heard if we are devided into two?

And there's also the Brussels thing: neither group (Flanders or Wallonnia) will want to give that up.

Some politicians may dream of creating a separate Flanders, but I don't buy it for one minute, I guess it'll stay a dream.

In case nobody has heard anything about it: our prime minister was not amused with the broadcast (numerous people dialled the number of his Secretariat in order to find out if the broadcast was for real or not, and not only Belgians abroad but also Belgians in both Flanders and Wallonnia) and he made it very clear that it damaged the image of Belgium in the world greatly. Even the few Belgian politicians that were interviewed and instructed by the RTBF-staff to confirm the story were asked why they had participated in the first place.

The worst thing is that the politicians that were instructed and interviewed by the RTBF were the first to speak shame of the whole broadcast. So I suspect that some politicians might pay a big price at next year's ellections....
Old 12-19-2006, 07:38 PM
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Thank you to Fie and Henri M. for your interesting explanations. I admit that I am ignorant of the situation in Belgium and you both have helped me to understand.
Old 12-20-2006, 01:47 PM
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Belgium's royal family pose next to a Christmas tree ahead of a traditional Christmas concert at the Brussels Royal Palace December 20, 2006
Old 12-20-2006, 01:55 PM
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The photos seem to be really nice, but too small ... you can barely see anything
Old 12-20-2006, 02:00 PM
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Thanks for the pictures fanletizia. They are so cute. But where was Astrid, Amadeo and the rest of the family?
Old 12-20-2006, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for the pics, they are beautiful

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belgian royal family, crown prince phillipe, crown princess mathilde, king albert ii, queen paola

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