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  #41  
Old 09-15-2008, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by amandamrgt View Post
... [snipped] However, I think "Point de Vue" does have a point. The king and queen, especially the queen, are virtually invisible. Philippe and Mathilde have less then 150 activities a year (compare that to any other crown prince and princess of Europe and you'll see the difference), every other member of the royal family, except Astrid, does pretty much nothing, yet they receive allowance. The Belgian monarchy is really out of touch these days. They need a shake up and serious image-changing work, otherwise the future for the Belgian monarchy doesn't look too bright. ... [snipped]
It is impossible to compare the engagement calendar of European Crown Princely couples. Different countries, different demands. Crown Princely couple travelled abroad with economic missions. Belgium is a relatively small country. How many Royal engagements can be possibly performed by the Royal Family? Should the members of the Royal family think some engagements up in order to avoid being viewed as lazy? For instance, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was said to have engagements, which resembled just a photo shoot and did not promote anything worthwhile.
P.S. I think that we should ask Marengo to produce an opinion on the "engagements" issue.
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  #42  
Old 09-15-2008, 05:54 PM
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I am sorry, but I do not think that Mathilde is boring. She is a classy, elegant woman who loves her family and does her job with a smile. Perhaps PdV is really lacking in news stories.
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  #43  
Old 09-15-2008, 06:28 PM
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Norwegianne has a blog where, among other things, she's been collecting data on the workloads of the various crown princesses for the last few months. The blog is here

Blog Royale

and you just need to look for entries about the Crown Princess Work Project.
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  #44  
Old 09-15-2008, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post


... The funny thing is that I do not believe the Point de Vue-article made it to the Walloon press, I couldn't find anything about it in their online editions anyway.
Unlike Marengo suggests the francophone press picked up that item too, most of them just as small notice amongst other stuff, the Sudpresse newspapers had an extended article on Point de Vue though. There was also an interview with Stéphane Bern, a French royalty journalist, who reacted pretty furious and went straight into conspiracy theories. Point de Vue is published by the Roularta group, a Belgian publishing company located in Flanders (Roeslare). So Bern was screaming blue murder, according to him the article isnīt worth wasting paper on it and itīs apparently a “coup de poignard” by Flemish separatists. His reaction is just as over the top as the PdV thing imo.
To put things into perspective. Why should the BRF be overly worried about a Point de Vue article? Itīs not that the French glossy PdV is the bible in Belgium or that this article caused an earthquake or anything like this. Iīm pretty sure they are way more worried about negative articles in Belgian newspapers and actually they already slightly changed their press policy, but these measures need their time.
Sure, Point de Vue touches critical points and isnīt completely wrong - but if desired you could write negative essays on all royal families. And this is by no means the first negative article though.
Actually the article is downright silly in many points. Their initial point is the rather modest party marking Albertīs throne jubilee. Thatīs the way itīs done in Belgium, the Sarkozy bling wouldnīt be appreciated and throwing a lavish party while the political crisis is going on – THAT would be out of touch. PdV then manages to get really silly by sentimentally mentioning the Lilian de Rethy glamour. Actually this kind of glamour was never accepted by the Belgians and Lilian de Rethy damaged the image of the BRF to the utmost back then, not to mention that she never had enough money to finance her lavish haute couture lifestyle and ended up selling family heritage like jewels etc., the main reason why the Belgian royal ladies are lacking in the jewellery department nowadays. As for their allegation Belgian royals have nothing substantial to say, well, every time they do so they score heavy criticism (e.g. Albertīs new years reception speech 2006), so itīs walking on eggs all the time. All in all the article just shows that the author isnīt very familiar with Belgian terms imo.
What urgently needs to be changed though is the whole setup of the court, alas, Albert really missed the opportunity to do so and still sticks to his court dinosaurs which isnīt clever imvho.
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  #45  
Old 09-15-2008, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by amandamrgt View Post
The king and queen, especially the queen, are virtually invisible. Philippe and Mathilde have less then 150 activities a year (compare that to any other crown prince and princess of europe and you'll see the difference), every other member of the royal family, except Astrid, does pretty much nothing, yet they receive allowance.
This less than 150 activities number goes back on a “research” by the tv magazine Royalty (as posted by Marengo elsewhere). And actually they have been positive on Philippe and Mathildeīs number of activities. What wasn’t mentioned by Marengo: These 146 activities are just those engagements, which are listed in the official agenda. According to Royalty there are several work meetings, audiences and visits which aren’t mentioned in their agenda (even Mathildeīs trip to China for a Young Global Leaders meeting wasnīt mentioned, just to give one example). Royalty also counted trade missions as one activity per day, but this sure doesnīt give the right impression of trade mission schedules as the agenda is really packed with activities from early morning till late evening. And after years of royalty watching Iīm pretty sure the Dutch, Belgian, Danish and Norwegian CP couples have a more or less similar workload.

Paola sure could do more but Albert has a really heavy workload for a 74 year old person struggling with health problems.
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  #46  
Old 09-15-2008, 08:33 PM
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""Actually the article is downright silly in many points. Their initial point is the rather modest party marking Albertīs throne jubilee. Thatīs the way itīs done in Belgium, the Sarkozy bling wouldnīt be appreciated and throwing a lavish party while the political crisis is going on – THAT would be out of touch. PdV then manages to get really silly by sentimentally mentioning the Lilian de Rethy glamour. Actually this kind of glamour was never accepted by the Belgians and Lilian de Rethy damaged the image of the BRF to the utmost back then, not to mention that she never had enough money to finance her lavish haute couture lifestyle and ended up selling family heritage like jewels etc., the main reason why the Belgian royal ladies are lacking in the jewellery department nowadays. As for their allegation Belgian royals have nothing substantial to say, well, every time they do so they score heavy criticism (e.g. Albertīs new years reception speech 2006), so itīs walking on eggs all the time. All in all the article just shows that the author isnīt very familiar with Belgian terms imo.
What urgently needs to be changed though is the whole setup of the court, alas, Albert really missed the opportunity to do so and still sticks to his court dinosaurs which isnīt clever imvho""

Excellent, excellent johann! Particularly the part about all this Princess Liliane nostalgia and how really unpopular the glamourpuss Princess was with the Belgians during her heydey.

How soon they forget!
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  #47  
Old 09-16-2008, 04:30 AM
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Oops! My mistake, I thought Matthilde's father died.
Anyway, I think Matthilde is a real asset to Philippe. Every time we see pics of them together she seems always to have an encouraging manner with him. Being in public is painful for him.
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  #48  
Old 09-16-2008, 05:34 AM
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I'm realy shocked that royal born prince like Philippe is may have problems with public apperances
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  #49  
Old 09-16-2008, 06:35 AM
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Prince Philippe was really the Crown Prince during so many years.. It was inexpected that King Baudouin died when he was only 63 years old.. If he was still alive Albert should always be Prince de Ličge whole his life ..
What kind of Childhood did Philippe have ??
He and Mathilde are really doing their very best...
I bought PdV every week before now I am reading PdV in our big shops..and every week you may trust me so many are unsold.. ..
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  #50  
Old 09-16-2008, 07:36 AM
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Point de Vue, has several times beeen sued, especially by Monacoīs princely family and has had to pay heavy fines to them. It seems like they donīt learn their lesson. I donīt think they have the right to bash the BRF. After all, as far as I know they are a French magazine. They should just keep on writing, picturing and honouring Carla Bruni, her husband, her ex, etc..etc...
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  #51  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:17 PM
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The following goes to prove that (1)a royal engagement calendar has got a truly complex nature; and (2) it is impossible to draw any comparisons between Crown Princely couples' workload.
Quote:
Another factor to consider is how and what is described as an event by the individual courts. They do have different ways of presenting this information and they have different styles of accounting.
The British and the Asturias couple are two examples of a liberal accounting system where everything is itemized and virtually everything they do is considered job associated. E.g. The Princess Royal departure for the Olympics is listed…..that’s just the departure.
Another example, this time the Asturias couple, in a morning of audiences at the palace, is not listed as a single event, but each delegation is listed separately and in going down the list it’s easy to count each one as separate from the way it is laid out on the page. It creates a subliminal message that they are doing many things when they are actually doing only one morning of work.
By contrast, CP Frederik last year did a day of audiences. It was listed on the official calendar as one event with no elaboration. Later, it came out that Frederik had received 53 persons and/or delegations. These were not counted separately as they would have been by some other royal courts.
When you compare the the accounting systems used by the Asturias couple and Danish court, for example, the results show a very diverging set of numbers.
The Danish system of listing events is modest to a fault and has done a disservice to the CP, in particular. Meetings or working lunch meetings, (e.g. the DoE,) with patronage people are not listed and council of state meetings don’t seem to get added in either.
....[snipped] ....
It’s better to first look at what each royal court defines as a royal event. Then to look at how it is presented. As you have listed above, there are other factors. The respective countries have different customs and traditions with their monarchies. Although they fundamentally do the same kind of work, how they go about it can vary.
The Spanish model is more audience oriented, few patronages. The Danish model is at the other end of the spectrum; more patronage oriented, fewer audiences.
Please don’t take this as a criticism. I’ve been looking at the same thing for some time and discovered that the numbers alone do not tell the whole story about how they work.
My only critique of some of the royal courts concerning this event accounting is that some of them seem to indulge in “grade inflation”
Source: BlogRoyale by norwegianne, comment by zoeymaree (2008, August 8).
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  #52  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:41 PM
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The comments were not true on the Spanish system. The Spanish system have never included lunches or dinners or cocktail parties as separate events for a visit. For example, Felipe and Letizia visited Expo the other day from 11:00am to 4:00pm including a lunch, only one event was counted. Each oversee trip is only counted as one event in the new website with the main events break downs. On the public audiences which are not the major part of their activities, they did receive different organizations, of course each is a separate event, I'm pretty sure the other countries did the same way. I remember the Danish CP couple had made so many events out of receiving wedding gifts during the first year of their marriage. The private audiences, meetings or conference calls with the organizations have never been counted for Felipe and Letizia. For example, Felipe was at a private audience (not listed) when the news of the death of Letizia's sister Erika arrived at Zarzuela. Felipe and Letizia also did a day of audiences from 10:00am to 7:00pm during the PoA awards and it was only being included as part of the PoA awards.
I'm really curious about how this poster counting the events (I couldn't read it), 16 events one day ? Did she include posing for the cameras as one separate event ? LOL I'm pretty sure not even British system counting the events this way.

itemizable events, again with F&M each doing two separate events.
Day 1, a total of 11 events, which included F&M going off to each do a separate event.
Day 2, a total 12 events, again with F&M going in different directions; Frederik for one, and Mary for two. Frederik was not idling, but traveling a further distance and Mary could work in another visit.
Day 3, a total of 16 separately
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  #53  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:56 PM
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zoeymaree's opinion is to show an impossibility to compare workloads of European Crown Princely couples. It is wrong to say that one couple works more than the other because there is a huge difference in standards applied. I do not question accuracy of an royal engagement calendar of Crown Princely couples of Spain and Denmark.
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  #54  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina;825360
[FONT=Courier New
zoeymaree's opinion is to show an impossibility to compare workload's of European Crown Princely couples. It is wrong to say that one couple works more than the other because there is a huge difference in standards applied. I do not question accuracy of an royal engagement calendar of Crown Princely couples of Spain and Denmark. [/font]2008, August 8).
Obviously she knew little about the Spanish system and didn't provide valid data.
You can always count the days of work. It's undeniable that the British and Spanish RF in general are more active in their royal activities, of course they are bigger countries, more basic work.
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  #55  
Old 09-18-2008, 02:00 PM
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Perhaps we can prevent this thread from turning into another Letizia warzone; so discuss Al Bina's post all you want, as long as it is relevant for the Belgian monarchy. If you want to discuss solely the events of Spanish/other royals I suggest you do that in the appropriate forum, which is not this one. Further responses about this matter will be deleted without further notice unless they are relevant for the Belgian RF.

----
About Point de Vue & criticism on the Belgian RF: the Walloon edition of Paris Match this week has an article on the criticism in esp. the Flemish press about the Belgian monarchy, but also mentions the PdV article. They suspect that all the criticism on the monarchy is driven by Felmish seperatism.
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  #56  
Old 09-18-2008, 02:19 PM
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I hope I am not veering off the subject.

Well ... given the fact that Belguim is a relatively small country, the days of the work tend not to be so impressive, when compared to other European monarchies. So Pointe de Vue can easily claim that Belgian monarchy is out-of-touch, lazy, and so on. A possible solution might include additional engagements to enhance the royal family engagement calendar and/or certain changes into behaviours of King/Queen, Crown Princely couple, and even Queen Fabiola. It may have an advserse effect as well. For instance, people will say that there is too much of the royal presence. Fairly speaking, I do not think that there is a smart solution to this issue.
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  #57  
Old 09-18-2008, 02:31 PM
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I like Mathilde. I think she is the pretty version of Queen Sofia, classy, elegant, always impeccable from head to toe, a little boring ? Perhaps, but that's not a bad thing for a royal. If her hubby were as capable and charismatic as Juan Carlos, she would have been praised up to the sky. It seems her hubby's image had dragged her down a little, let her get all those unfair criticism.
I thought Astrid had been very low key the last few years. What did she do to deserve all those praises when the rest of the family were being criticized ?
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  #58  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:26 PM
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It does seem at times that the monarchy is tired in Belgium. Particularly the king and queen, but I think it actually speaks to the political problems that exist in Belgium that do not exist elsewhere in Europe. It is ironic given how taken the media was with Paola Ruffo di Calabria when she was young to see them denounce her as an old granny, now.
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  #59  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:47 PM
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I find it rather amazing that Point de Vue is writing articles like this. I have been reading Point de Vue for over thirty years - used to love it, now it is a joke. The latest issue has the Sarkozy son's new bride on the cover - WHO CARES?
It's always Carla: swimming, nuzzling the hubby, greeting whomever, etc. etc -
P de V sure does cover Belgian society - the weddings and gala evenings.
Poor King Albert, he has to deal with a volatile government situation and P de V wants him to go around with a big grin on his face?
As for Astrid, she always appears to me to be a bad imitation of Princess Anne of Great Britain - appearing in a military uniform at official functions! I guess that I just don't get her at all.
Philippe probably dreads the thought of becoming king and inheriting his father's government problems.
As for Mathilde, she is a perfect princess - she adds a spark of gaiety and light to the BRF.
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  #60  
Old 09-18-2008, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by donnaK View Post
I like Mathilde. I think she is the pretty version of Queen Sofia, classy, elegant, always impeccable from head to toe, a little boring ? Perhaps, but that's not a bad thing for a royal. If her hubby were as capable and charismatic as Juan Carlos, she would have been praised up to the sky. It seems her hubby's image had dragged her down a little, let her get all those unfair criticism.
I thought Astrid had been very low key the last few years. What did she do to deserve all those praises when the rest of the family were being criticized ?
It would be wrong to further comparisons between the Spanish royals and Belgian ones. Needless to mention a significant difference in mentality, political situations, culture, history, etc. The Belgian Royal family deals with issues accumulated due to poorly resolved or unresolved issues of the past(I hope my assumptions are correct). A volatile situation in the government put King Albert into a very awkward situation. Johan Vande Lanotte stated that parties involved forced King Albert, who is supposed to remain impartial, to play a political role(2007-2008 Belgian government formation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). It is impossible for King Albert to please everyone in this political mess.
I think that Crown Princess Mathilde does an good job performing her royal duties as well as other Crown Princesses do. At the same time, Crown Princess Mathilde does not polarise royal watchers as Crown Princess Mary and Crown Princess Letizia usually do. It would be deemed appropriate for Crown Prince Phillipe to improve his communication skills.
Personally I do not know why Princess Astrid was spared by Pointe de Vue. Your guess is as good as mine.
I do not live in Belgium. Thus, it is for Belgians to determine whether or not they need to have a royal family.
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