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  #61  
Old 09-18-2008, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Al_bina View Post
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.
My intention was not to compare both families in terms of their achievements or whatever. My point was that Mathilde was simply an impeccable royal, however the unfavorable opinions on her husband seemed to drag her down a little in a very unfair way (the criticism on the couple in PdV is nothing new). On the other hand, if her hubby were a charismatic leader, she could have been praised up to the sky easily by the media.
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  #62  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:09 PM
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I am not Belgian but IMO, Princess Mathilde is a good princess. Maybe she is not so extroverted as other princesses but I like her personality. She seems to care about her country and her attitudes are impeccable. She doesn't seem a lazy and boring person, at least to me.

I have many old Point de Vue. This magazine was just great. Very informative, good pictures, nice articles. But nowadays is too "common", it's not regal anymore.
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  #63  
Old 09-18-2008, 08:16 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 ?

I think you have absolutely nailed it! Mathilde is Europe's perfect Crown Princess who happens to be married to a Crown Prince who is...let's just be kind and say he needs some work.

If Philippe were as charismatic and articulate as Juan Carlos, Philippe and Mathilde would take Royal Europe by storm...there would be no stopping them!

I understand Philippe's inherent shyness but he has had almost a decade of blissful marriage and that should be enough to bring him out of his shell, don't you think? Remember how King Baudouin was in his pre-Fabiola days...painfully shy, stiff and rather gloomy? The man BLOSSOMED with marriage and was never "Le Roi Triste" again. Even though Mathilde has apparently transformed Philippe's personal life, it hasn't had the desired effect on personality and his attitude toward his Royal role like it did with his late uncle Baudouin.

Baffling
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  #64  
Old 09-19-2008, 05:13 AM
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I read once (but I can't find the article anymore, I think it was in Dag Allemaal) that the royal family was very close to getting the help of professionals after the disastrous economic mission to South Africa (or so it was depicted in the press). There actually were talks with a PR company, which was to take the CP under its wings, and teach him to see the cameras as his friends. However, the deal didn't come through. If I remember correctly, the Palace didn't want to give permission to the PR company for the people who would train the CP to use him as a reference, and I believe there were payment issues as well. The palace wanted the company to regard their services as a favour to the crown.
This would indicate that the BRF is somewhat out of touch with reality, I mean, come on, in this day and age, a favour to the crown?

Also, it is not because Belgium is a small country, that there aren't many functions for the CPs or King and Queen to attend. I remember CP Philippe said something about this in his interview with the VRT, about how many he has to decline, and how he chooses, but (again) I can't remember what exactly he said. Maybe someone can verify?
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  #65  
Old 09-19-2008, 06:13 PM
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CaliforniaDreamin, you got it, thanks. I think perhaps Philippe has issues beyond shyness. For example, I always suspect he has prosopagnosia (face blindness) since I heard people complained that he often couldn't recognize faces. Victoria of Sweden has prosopagnosia and she admitted this disorder in public. A happy marriage is not enough to overcome certain 'disorders', some professional helps might be needed.
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  #66  
Old 09-23-2008, 09:47 AM
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Paris Match Belgium jumps to the defense of the BRF

The Paris Match Belgium issue of 18 September jumps to the defence of the Belgian RF, accusing mostly Flemish media and politicians of trying to "kill the RF". They interviewed Pierre-Yves Monette (ex-counsellor (?) of the Palace) and Francis Balace (History professor at the ULG).

The first openly accused Flemish nationalist/separatist groups of trying to demolish the one institution which represents the unity of Belgium, while the latter mostly explained how (Flemish) media are misrepresenting the problems with the dotations etc.
To be fair, Monette also accuses the Walloon press of following Flemish lead, though with what pupose, he doesn't (or can't) really explain.

Both agree that the criticisms are way out of line, but that more transparancy (when it comes to dotations and costs) and a little more glamour wouldn't really hurt.

Now before anyone starts thinking all Flemish people are separatist and republican, I would like to add that the BRF are still popular amongst the masses, its just the media and certain politicians who try to undermine its position as a unifying force.
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  #67  
Old 09-23-2008, 10:34 AM
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I'm no Belgian but I think Mathilde is a lovely princess. Whenever Phillipe and Mathilde were together, he smiles. I think Mathilde is a picture of a classic princess. She's one of my favorite CPss.
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  #68  
Old 10-02-2008, 08:00 AM
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On a brighter note, the first biography about Princess Mathilde has been published. The title is "Mathilde, Prinses der harten" (Mathilde, Princess of the hearts). It is written by Astrid Bammens, who also wrote a biography about Queen Astrid (Astrid, Koningin der harten or, in English, Astrid, Queen of the hearts).
I haven't found the title of the book in French yet, but maybe it still has to be translated.
The book was written with full permission of the late Count Patrick, and the irony wants that the writer was supposed to give one of her books to the Count personally on the day he was buried, which, incidentally, was also the date of publication.

Link in Dutch about the book:
Mathilde - Geschiedenis - Vrije Tijd - Standaard Uitgeverij
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  #69  
Old 10-05-2008, 02:30 AM
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Does anyone know if the book will also be published in English?
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  #70  
Old 10-06-2008, 06:00 PM
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Noel Vaessen Claims to Have More Revelations About the Belgian RF - Oct. 2008

The former militairy aide (adjudant) of Prince Laurent wrote another book about the Belgian RF, which he introduced to the press today. The title of the book is: 'De Kroon Ontbloot' (the crown uncovered)

Vaessen says that the book came as an awnser to the loads of questions he received after writing the first one. He claims that the RF has illegal money in Liechtenstein and a car accident in 1972 when according to Vaessen two Germans died after a collosion with the car of Albert, while Albert was driving.

Vaessen also critisizes Prime Minister Leterme about the mess around Laurents Sicilian villa.

He claims he does not want to take revanche at the RF but just awnser questions..... He has a fine of 195.000 euros to pay of course, for fraud...maybe that has something to do with it .

Article in Dutch:

GVA

HLN

In French:

La Derniere Heure

Le Soir
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  #71  
Old 10-06-2008, 06:38 PM
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For those who understand Dutch, this is what Peter van der Vorst had to say about it on RTL Boulevard, look here.
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  #72  
Old 10-07-2008, 04:34 PM
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Marengo, I would say accusing K Albert for DWI with death resulting is a pretty serious accusation. Is this gentleman a loose cannon or was a true insider who needs to cash in?
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  #73  
Old 10-07-2008, 05:21 PM
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Well, I see the Belgian television news is not reporting about it, so it can't be all too serious. i think he needs some cash indeed, but I am not sure about the reputation of mr. Vaessen. Maybe other (Belgian) posters will know.
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  #74  
Old 10-07-2008, 09:44 PM
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Whether he states that his intentions were pure or not, you cannot help but notice the timing of this book and the large amount of money that he owes. IMO, it is awfully coincidental.
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  #75  
Old 10-07-2008, 09:58 PM
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Well... what is next for the Belgian Royal family?

Only lazy people in Belgium do not criticise the Royal family. All the rest do. Yet another worried citizen tried to uncover "truths" behind shady dealings of the Royal family by capitalizing on his former employer. He just answered some questions, while making some money to pay a fine for fraud conviction. It is rather convient, isn't it? He can "feed" fairy tales about the purity of his intentions to extremely naive people. Do people employed by the Royal family sing any agreements of confidentiality? Can the Royal family sue him? Are there any more worried citizens with pure intentions, who wish to reveal some details about their Royal family?
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  #76  
Old 10-07-2008, 10:36 PM
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Excellent points Al Bina! I would assume that confidentiality agreements would be part of anyone's employment with the royal family, but I have never heard about anything. I am curious to see if there is a response from the royal family. It's kind of a two-edged sword. If they respond, some might speculate that the contents of the book are true. If they don't respond, people might speculate again that the contents are true. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this is.
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  #77  
Old 10-07-2008, 10:54 PM
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Still, whether they respond or not, one would assume that an investigating reporter could check the records if an accident indeed happened. If there are two people dead in a hit and run accident and then there is this story coming up one could wonder if this person was a witness or has definite information he now revealed for whatever reasons.
I would be very interested to learn if indeed there was an accident that remains unsolved.
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  #78  
Old 10-08-2008, 07:08 AM
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Apparently according to Noel Vaessen Prince Laurent illegally dumped accu's and transformators of cars in the Tsjech republic while his foundation received money received money from the state to get these things recycled....

Article in Dutch here.
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  #79  
Old 10-08-2008, 08:31 AM
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Apparently according to Noel Vaessen Prince Laurent illegally dumped accu's and transformators of cars in the Tsjech republic while his foundation received money received money from the state to get these things recycled....

Article in Dutch here.
The plot thickens. I wonder if Noel Vaessen is trying to raise money by selling these stories or he indeed has something on the Royal family.
Are there laws in Belgium against slander? Can the Royal family sue for defamation of character?
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  #80  
Old 10-08-2008, 10:15 AM
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Everybody in Belgian knows Noel Vaessen, he deserves our royal family by his ungrateful Behavior.
If you want to sell books in Belgian ; the 5 bestsellers are :
The Royal Family, Jacques Brel, Georges Simenon , René Magritte and Hergé (Tintin).
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