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  #21  
Old 03-21-2007, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren

Alternatively, with a break-up of the Belgian state, we could go back even earlier and reinstitute the Duchy of Burgundy, with a Habsburg on the throne.
Now there's a job for Lorenz and Amedeo!
Now there's a scenario that sounds intriguing! One suggestion for their new flag's slogan could be:

"Burgundy Uber Alles!"

Seriously though, if we were to judge future royals by looks alone, Amedeo would easily win this one hands down!!
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  #22  
Old 03-21-2007, 11:39 PM
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I should add though that I hope Belgium will stay the way it is. It's a lovely country that has inspired such Dutch rock groups as The Goede Doel to write songs like "Belgie", that wax lyrical about the place! And not without reason: it's got amazing history and great cities I'd recommend anyone to visit, i.e. gorgeous, unique, epic Brugge and Gent, cool and hip Antwerp, and Paris-the-way-it-was-in-the-eighties-Brussels.
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2007, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by princess olga
I should add though that I hope Belgium will stay the way it is. It's a lovely country that has inspired such Dutch rock groups as The Goede Doel to write songs like "Belgie", that wax lyrical about the place! And not without reason: it's got amazing history and great cities I'd recommend anyone to visit, i.e. gorgeous, unique, epic Brugge and Gent, cool and hip Antwerp, and Paris-the-way-it-was-in-the-eighties-Brussels.
...and the mussels and the French fries with Bearnaise sauce are to die for
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  #24  
Old 03-22-2007, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by princess olga
Oh my gosh, you serious? Are you pretty much representing the Flemish consensus on this one? (I'm assuming here you're Flemish, maybe wrongly?)
Well I'm a Belgian, I've roots in Flanders, but I live in Wallonia, I work in Brussels
I surely want Philippe to become king! But when I listen to and read the media about him, when I hear people talk about him, I've doubts if he will have the support of the Belgian people when he will become king...
It's just not a person that people find sympathetic or really competent. He's unfortunately not the person that unites Flemings and Walloons, his behaviour has the opposite result...

I don't know if I'm in favor for Astrid to be queen instead of Philippe. I mean Philippe will become king, but maybe he will have to step aside after a fiew weeks, 'cause the people won't accept him..., and leave Astrid to the throne.

Thàt's a whole lot of speculation from my side. But speculation about a crisis to come makes the crisis less hard to cope with, 'cause one has got used to the idea, I think.
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  #25  
Old 03-22-2007, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SASSY
Exactly how serious is the debate in Belgium?
It is serious.

There will be General Elections in the coming months and then another round of State Reforms. Every State Reform has contributed to the crumbling down of 'Belgium' in favour of Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

The main party, the Christian-Democrats have already stated that they are not willing to discuss the role of the King. But all other parties want to diminish any political influence or even abolish it (Flemish Interest, the second largest party). And the Christian-Democrats needs to find coalition-partners, so they can not block the discussion.

Note that the discussion does not need to ba about the King. Any minimalization of the national state does intrinsically also minimize the role of the King. That is obvious.
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  #26  
Old 03-23-2007, 06:06 PM
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Apparantly guys...[if this hasn't been reported]...
King not to be demoted
BRUSSELS – Flemish minister-president Yves Leterme (CD&V) talked to Le Soir on Thursday. He said in the interview that he has no desire to limit the role of the monarchy.
On 2 May the houses of Parliament will be dissolved with a declaration of revision to the constitution. The majority parties will decide by the end of March which articles "are in need of revision."
The Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V) is going to itself submit a proposal for declaring a constitutional revision and will vote for its proposal, Yves Leterme said on Thursday. In the same breath he added that the CD&V does not have any plans to tamper with the role of the monarchy at this point...
...denied that this decision was influenced by the fact that a large part of his party's following is pro-monarchy. He said he just didn't think such a move would benefit efficiency in any way at this point. He does think a debate on revising the royal endowment would be a good idea, as long as the discussion does not get out of hand.
After several incidents recently, including unfortunate statements from Prince Philip, who wanted to deny several journalists access to the royal palace, some have been calling for the monarch to be demoted to a purely ceremonial role after the federal elections on 10 June.
"If Prince Philip does not immediately realise that the constitutional monarchy in this country does not work that way, we will be closer to a discussion on a ceremonial role for the king," Socialist party SP.A leader Johan Vande Lanotte said at the time. The Flemish nationalists N-VA, ally of the CD& V, has also wanted the monarchy's powers diminished for some time now.
Without explicitly announcing his candidacy, Yves Leterme said he would "of course" like to be prime minister, because the reform of the state is being decided on the federal level, he said.
Leterme insisted that state reform is inevitable for the Walloon region. He said Bergen was a "capital of unemployment." "26 percent unemployment is a catastrophe for people."
King not to be demoted, Belgian News, Belgium, Expatica
I guess the media debarcle is still fresh in the minds of many belgian politicians. Do they believe that Prince Phillipe is a power hungry monster or something ["If Prince Philip does not immediately realise that the constitutional monarchy..."]...?
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  #27  
Old 03-23-2007, 06:12 PM
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Very interesting info, flctylu!

I think Philippe will realize his role and I think the royal family will continue being a stable part of Belgium or at least that's my hope.
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  #28  
Old 03-23-2007, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysbel
...and the mussels and the French fries with Bearnaise sauce are to die for
Ha!Yes, how could I forget the most important thing about Belgium? The great cuisine..
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  #29  
Old 03-23-2007, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by martha-louise
Well I'm a Belgian, I've roots in Flanders, but I live in Wallonia, I work in Brussels
I surely want Philippe to become king! But when I listen to and read the media about him, when I hear people talk about him, I've doubts if he will have the support of the Belgian people when he will become king...
It's just not a person that people find sympathetic or really competent. He's unfortunately not the person that unites Flemings and Walloons, his behaviour has the opposite result...
I don't understqand that, why do people think so little of him, Philippe? I mean, in the Netherlands people didn't think too much of Willem Alexander either, and I think Maxima helped create some goodwill towards him there..that and he himself has done his best over the past years to show he has some vision, that he cares where his country's headed..

Is that not the case re. Philippe? His wife seems lovely, doesn't that help? What has he done to earn so little respect? Perhaps he's done too little? But then, Fred of Denmark is one lazy prince, according to critics, yet the Danes seem fine with him and the way he is..
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  #30  
Old 03-23-2007, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by flctylu
Apparantly guys...[if this hasn't been reported]...
King not to be demoted
BRUSSELS – Flemish minister-president Yves Leterme (CD&V) talked to Le Soir on Thursday. He said in the interview that he has no desire to limit the role of the monarchy.
After several incidents recently, including unfortunate statements from Prince Philip, who wanted to deny several journalists access to the royal palace, some have been calling for the monarch to be demoted to a purely ceremonial role after the federal elections on 10 June.

Well I suppose that's part of the answer to my question above..perhaps Philippe's just not very diplomatic?
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  #31  
Old 03-23-2007, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princess olga
Well I suppose that's part of the answer to my question above..perhaps Philippe's just not very diplomatic? [/b]
I asked the same thing awhile back and I was told by other posters that Phililppe is shy and lacks charisma. The type of charisma/charm his dad has. It sounds as though it's been something of a sport to make fun of him in recent years. Sad! But I think things will turn around for him and Mathilde soon. Or at least I hope so! I hate comparing W-A and Maxima with Philippe and Mathilde. But I certainly don't see the type of spark in Mathilde that I observe in Maxima. Maxima seems like a firecracker, anyone could get along with her as it seems, not a shy bone in her body I don't think. But Mathilde helps Philippe some but she still seems so reserved and subdued to me. I just think it's hard to identify in many ways to Philippe and Mathilde.(Now that is just what I have personally observed only my non-important opinion)

As for Fred and Mary, well I don't really get it. I have trouble seeing what everyone else sees in them. I think they attract a lot of extra attention b/c of the Australia connection. Australia was so accustom to following the British RF and suddenly one day they have a reason to pay attention to the Danes.
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  #32  
Old 03-23-2007, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princess olga
I don't understqand that, why do people think so little of him, Philippe?
The person of Philippe himself is not so important. A temporarily dip in popularity can develop in a temporarily high. Try to look further than Philippe or his beautiful spouse.

It is about the constitution. Since 1977 (Egmont Pact) so much has happened in Belgium, which -as a national state- has seen an astonishing erosion. Any erosion of what 'Belgium' stands for, automatically affects the position of its King.

I remember posters being shocked: 'How can the Belgians not be in awe for the angelic Mathilde? They are crazy they want to get rid of them!' But again, try to look further. The royal family delivers the head of state. A state which is in the line of fire in a divided nation. The Belgians experience their daily reality 365 days a year and make their own choice on what they think about the situation in their country. The pretty face and the nice smile of Princess Mathilde is probably the most unimportant item in building up their opinion about the goings and doings in their country.

I today's newspapers De Standaard (Dutch-speaking) and Le Soir (French-speaking) it became clear that a majority of the Belgians as a whole, as well as a majority of the Flemings as well a majority of the Walloons believe Belgium will be no more in 25 to 50 years.

Some figures:

Flanders has 58% of all Belgians
Wallonia has 33% of all Belgians
Brussels has 9 % of all Belgians
This means that the people of Flanders do clearly outnumber Wallonia and Brussels together. Keep that in your thoughts when you compare the statistics: the Flemings always outnumber the rest.

44% of the Flemings feel themselves 'Belgian'
---------------------------------------------------------
60% of the Wallonians feel themselves 'Belgian'
41% of the Brusselians feel themselves 'Belgian'


52% of the Flemings are in favour of the monarchy
---------------------------------------------------------------
83% of the Wallonians are in favour of the monarchy
51% of the Brusselians are in favour of the monarchy


71% of the Flemings wants the King to lose all political influence
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
17% of the Wallonians wants the King to lose all political influence
56% of the Brusselians wants the King to lose all political influence


The Standaard has held a poll on Prince Philippe as well;
46% of the Flemings agree that Prince Philippe better never becomes King
35% of the Flemings disagree that Prince Philippe better never becomes King
19% does not know


56% of the Flemings thinks that the monarchy represents a group of privileged persons with an useless role
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
30% of the Wallonians thinks that the monarchy represents a group of privileged persons with an useless role
30% of the Brusselians thinks that the monarchy represents a group of privileged persons with an useless role


93% of all Dutch speaking Belgians think: Belgian should remain but a majority thinks it will become extinct in 25 to 50 years.
39% of all Dutch speaking Belgians wants more autonomy for Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels
15% of all Dutch speaking Belgians wants a restoration of the centralistic state
26% of all Dutch speaking Belgians wants to keep Belgium as it is now (a federal state)
10% of all Dutch speaking Belgians wants lesser autonomy for Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels


98% of all French speaking Belgians think: Belgian should remain but a majority thinks it will become extinct in 25 to 50 years.
22% of all French speaking Belgians wants more autonomy for Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels
36% of all French speaking Belgians wants a restoration of the centralistic state
20% of all French speaking Belgians wants to keep Belgium as it is now (a federal state)
18% of all French speaking Belgians wants lesser autonomy for Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels



Link to the enquête in Le Soir

Link to the enquête in De Standaard
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  #33  
Old 03-23-2007, 09:17 PM
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Yes, Henri is right. You have to look far beyond just popularity. Some of what is going on has been slowly happening over the last few decades. You can't connect and have trust and faith in just an beautiful face. It's about much more than just looks.

This might be a little off subject but I don't see Philippe and Mathilde working abroad or going on trips abroad for different issues. They don't seem to do things like that very often. Granted I haven't been a member for a very long time but it just seems strange to me.
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  #34  
Old 03-23-2007, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora810
I asked the same thing awhile back and I was told by other posters that Phililppe is shy and lacks charisma. The type of charisma/charm his dad has...don't see the type of spark in Mathilde that I observe in Maxima. Maxima seems like a firecracker, anyone could get along with her as it seems, not a shy bone in her body I don't think. But Mathilde helps Philippe some but she still seems so reserved and subdued to me. As for Fred and Mary, well I don't really get it. I have trouble seeing what everyone else sees in them. I think they attract a lot of extra attention b/c of the Australia connection. Australia was so accustom to following the British RF and suddenly one day they have a reason to pay attention to the Danes.
I think that Phillipe's position as heir is gradually resembling that of Prince Charles of England [what I mean is the age thing...]. Yeah, I agree with you there about Mixima, shes very confident and is the type of person that can make friends easily. I'm sure Mathilde's a lovely person but my opinion on Mathilde is still [how would I put it, I'm still working it out]. I guess why Phillipe and Mathilde are more reserved than the other couples could come down to the fact that they were both raised in aristocratic/noble/royal families [refer to the upbring and language used by Mathilde's father, Patrick]. [going of track for a second...] your on track with the whole Fred and Mary thing. It's special and heartwarming that one of us [Aussie's] [an Aussie battler] got to marry their prince charming [and Fred happened to be a crown prince] and how the story unfolded [where they first met each other...etc]. Like, Will. will likely marry a girl from the UK then a girl who lived most of her life in Australia [by the way, I don't really mind who Will will marry], so were back to being [I'm not speaking for all the aussie members here] somewhat isolated . I remember watching it on tele. it was like a fairytale .
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  #35  
Old 03-23-2007, 10:47 PM
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Well, I also think, (having lived in the Nerherlands, married a dutchman and seen/experienced quite a bit of the culture, as well as being part of it from the day I met my husband and his family) that the Dutch, though also circumspect as a nation/people, are also more exuberant than the Belgian cousins, who have alot of French aspects in their way of comporting themselves and acting. There is nothing wrong with that at all. But as they are two very distinct cultures, it would be hard to compare the two crown princely couples. Furthermore, Mathilde and Phillipe are both Belgian, while Maxima brings a lot of latin american "joie de vivre" to the Dutch RF.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:53 PM
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Wow, Henri you were busy! Thanks its all very good info.
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  #37  
Old 03-23-2007, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Empress
But as they are two very distinct cultures, it would be hard to compare the two crown princely couples. Furthermore, Mathilde and Phillipe are both Belgian, while Maxima brings a lot of latin american "joie de vivre" to the Dutch RF.
Good point, Empress. Maxima sort of in a sense brings more international PR to the family whereas Mathilde has [lived most of her life lived in Belgium]. I think it would raise more PR [not quite sure whether it will damage the belgium monarchy more] if Prince Phillipe and Mathilde supported something such as, health and exercise for kids, you know do an ad., such as the like of Princess Mary [yeah, and I know Mary brings international PR to the danish household like Maxima and I shouldn't compare Mathilde to Mary but it's just an idea]. Doing something like this will make the public feel as if your really interacting with them - that you care, you know talk about your concerns and hopes for your kids and apply them to the country [don't attck me, I'm just thinking of an example here ]. I don't know whether the belgians feel as if their crown prince and princess are distancing themselves from them or not so...
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Empress
Well, I also think, (having lived in the Nerherlands, married a dutchman and seen/experienced quite a bit of the culture, as well as being part of it from the day I met my husband and his family) that the Dutch, though also circumspect as a nation/people, are also more exuberant than the Belgian cousins, who have alot of French aspects in their way of comporting themselves and acting. There is nothing wrong with that at all. But as they are two very distinct cultures, it would be hard to compare the two crown princely couples. Furthermore, Mathilde and Phillipe are both Belgian, while Maxima brings a lot of latin american "joie de vivre" to the Dutch RF.
Very very good point. I guess I wasn't thinking of it like that.
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by flctylu
Good point, Empress. Maxima sort of in a sense brings more international PR to the family whereas Mathilde has [lived most of her life lived in Belgium]. I think it would raise more PR [not quite sure whether it will damage the belgium monarchy more] if Prince Phillipe and Mathilde supported something such as, health and exercise in kids, you know do an ad., such as the like of Princess Mary [yeah, and I know Mary brings international PR to the danish household like Maxima and I shouldn't compare Mathilde to Mary but it's just an idea]. Doing something like this will make the public feel as if your really interacting with them, you know talk about your concerns and hopes for your kids and apply them to the country [don't attck me, I'm just thinking of an example here ]. I don't know whether the belgians feel as if their crown prince and princess are distancing themselves from them or not so...
That's what I've been thinking for a long time now. There seems to be many little things or somewhat small things that Philippe and Mathilde could do to improve public opinion and make themselves seem more useful. But instead I don't see them doing many things in recent months.
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  #40  
Old 03-24-2007, 12:42 PM
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Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde were actually busy

I think Prince Philippe was more visible in his country than Prince Willem-Alexander. And Princess Mathilde was quite busy the last weeks.

But for some reasons they hardly get attention, except for another faux-pas or so.

The 'groundtone' concerning the royal families in both countries does differ as well. The Orange-Nassaus are much more rooted in 'Dutchness' and phenomenons as Queen's Day or Princes' Day are as much a part of Dutch identity as cheese, tulips and Heineken, the colour orange on their sport teams, to name something.

The Belgians do not feel that so strong, with their royals.
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