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  #61  
Old 09-16-2007, 06:32 PM
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A lot of people in Belgium seemed to have forgotten that Prince Albert (now King Albert II) was first in line to the throne from 1951 when his brother Baudouin succeded to the throne. But because King Baudouin always moved his nephew Prince Philippe forward, people thought Prince Albert would refuse the throne (as did his grandfather Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders) but to everybody's surprise Prince Albert accepted the throne when it was offered to him. Rightfully so, as he was first in line, no matter how hard King Baudouin pushed Prince Philippe forward.

The 1993 change in the constitution to allow females to the throne had a dual perpuse...
Firstly, King Baudouin believed in equel rights and most of the surrounding monarchies allready had changed their constitution to allow females to the throne...
Secondly, King Baudouin had no children of his own, which meant that the throne would one day pass through Prince Albert (now King Albert II) and his decendants. At that time only Princess Astrid had married and had a family. Both Prince Philippe and Prince Laurent were single. In order to secure the succession (which only helt 3 persons before 1993 Albert, Philippe and Laurent) he thought succession would be more secure if Princess Astrid and her decendents were added to the succession line.
Little did he know that Prince Philippe would marry in 1999 and Prince Laurent in 2003!

Now back to the topic at hand: the Future of the Belgian monarchy...

Prince Philippe was educated by his uncle and has taken over a lot of his manerisms... King Baudouin was also very closed, and rarely smiled, but he had the gift of talking to people (which Princess Mathilde also seems to have) and he was forgiven his strickt and closed aditude because people felt sorry for him for having lost his mum at a young age and because of his childless marriage. But Prince Philippe can not use that excuse! He is a very timid child by nature (just take a look at all the childhood pictures of him as a little boy), he has always been very aware of his position (his education was closely followed by his Uncle Baudouin) and perhaps the marital problems of his parents have also influenced him greatly.

Daily practice of his social skils would do him a lot of good, but won't solve the problem compleetly... Although his own grandmother Queen Astrid who was very shy by nature did win all the hearts after some serious training.

It would also be good for Prince Philippe to get a domain of specialisation of his own. The trade thing is ok, but not too filling. Sience has always been one of his hobbies, so why don't they do something with that? Belgium has a few of the most leading firms in medicine devellopment, so why don't they search for some project in that hobby?

One thing that HAS to be avoided is new negative critisism on Prince Philippe, so his advisors must be very aware of what is happening.
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:32 PM
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Just to throw my two cents in, Royalty.nu post links to articles etc as they appear, and have recently begun posting links to articles along the same topic as this thread. You can use my first link to see them all, but here are the main ones:

Update: King Albert II attempts to protect Belgium's role as model for EU

Bitter language divide could yet tear Belgium apart

Who needs Belgium? (I especially like the way the caption sums everything up and relates to what you have all been discussing!)
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  #63  
Old 10-11-2007, 09:13 AM
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Well, the economist always has a cynical tone, I am surprised they write anything about Belgium because they seem to be covering Britain and Eastern Europe only these days (in the European section).

The proverbial silent majority still needs Belgium, though maybe in an altered form.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:01 PM
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An interesting article from the Herald Tribune about the political role of the King and the future for Belgium/the monarchy:

Quote:
Limping king symbolizes decline of royal powers in Belgium

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The country is in its fifth month without a government. There is talk of abolishing the nation. Insults fly across the linguistic border which splits Belgium into Francophone Walloon and Dutch-speaking Flemish halves.
If ever there was a moment for the monarch to act this would be it. After all, the royal family is the most potent symbol keeping this fractious nation of 10.5 million bound together. Too bad the aging King Albert is largely palace-bound, struggling with a replacement hip.

The king still meets with key political negotiators as the government crisis extends into 130-plus days, but his lack of impact reflects the dwindling fortunes of the Belgian monarchy.
"There is no longer this blind awe. You sense the palace no longer has a grip on things," said Pol Van Den Driessche, a senator-elect with the Flemish Christian Democratic Party and royal expert.
It was not always like this. A century ago, Leopold II wielded great power, ruthlessly running a huge empire in Congo. King after king, the decline set in, reducing the monarch ever more to an official figurehead.
Read the entire article here.
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  #65  
Old 10-23-2007, 07:07 PM
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is there another branch of the Belgian Royal Family that can ascend the throne when Albert passes away. Given that Phillipe and Laurent seem to be unpopular?.........
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  #66  
Old 10-23-2007, 07:52 PM
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Well, there won´t be a question who will succeed Albert, that will be Phillipe and his children. Princess Astrid, the Kings daughter, is rather popular so some people would rather have her, but that isn´t the way it works of course.
There aren´t any sidebranches with dynastic rights, the King has a half brother and two half sisters but they have no succession rights.
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  #67  
Old 10-23-2007, 07:55 PM
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Give the man a chance. Phillipe seems like a decent sort and understated. He may do a wonderful job. George VI of England, was thought not to be up to the job, but sallied forth and did well. Good advisors and a strong wife helped him through. Phillipe certainly has a good wife. The malcontents who wish to split up a nation should consider that divison makes the whole smaller.
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  #68  
Old 11-26-2007, 02:07 PM
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THe King half-siblings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Well, there won´t be a question who will succeed Albert, that will be Phillipe and his children. Princess Astrid, the Kings daughter, is rather popular so some people would rather have her, but that isn´t the way it works of course.
There aren´t any sidebranches with dynastic rights, the King has a half brother and two half sisters but they have no succession rights.
I remember reading somewhere that Prince Alexander, Princess Christine and Princess Esmeralda are LEGALLY (even though public opinion was against their mother) entitled to succession making them ranked 15th, 16th, and 17th respectively. I guess that would make Princess Marie-Christine's children Leopold and Alexandra ranked 18th and 19th.
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  #69  
Old 11-26-2007, 02:22 PM
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I found something here
The validity of Leopold III's second marriage The Belgian Succession
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  #70  
Old 11-26-2007, 02:39 PM
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Possible Succession

Also with the removal of Salic Law couldn't the descendants of Princess Stephanie of Belgium be considered in the line of succession if it were needed?

King Leopold II of Belgium--> Princess Stephanie of Belgium--> Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria--> Prince(s) Franz Josef/ Ernst/ Rudolf and Princess Stephanie of Windisch-Graetz.

The latter of whom (Princess Stephanie of Windisch-Graetz) was a part of the Belgian Nobility until her death this year, and whose oldest son Count Alvar de Querrieu still lives there with his family.

There's also the ironic possibility of a Bonaparte on the Belgium throne through the descendants of Princess Clementine of Belgium. King Leopold II of Belgium--> Princess Clementine of Belgium--> Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte--> Prince(s) Charles and Jerome Bonaparte/ Princess(es) Catherine and Laure Bonaparte.

I believe there may also be some Orleans and Hohenzollern descendants from King Albert's two sisters Princess(es) Henriette and Josephine; although none of them seem to reside in Belgium which would probably discourage succession.
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  #71  
Old 11-26-2007, 05:32 PM
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The change of the constitution in 1991 is NOT retrospective and only applies to the descendants of Albert II (then Prince of Liege). If they had changed the law with retrospective effect, Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte would have been the first person in charge after Baudouin’s death in 1993 btw. The descendants of Leopold III and Lilian Baels are also explicitly excluded from the succession to the throne.
So no Bonapartes, Orleans, etc on the Belgian throne. The line of succession counts 13 persons right now: Philippe and his three children followed by Astrid and her 5 children, followed by Laurent and his three kids.
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  #72  
Old 11-26-2007, 06:10 PM
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Give the man a chance. Phillipe seems like a decent sort and understated. He may do a wonderful job. George VI of England, was thought not to be up to the job, but sallied forth and did well. Good advisors and a strong wife helped him through. Phillipe certainly has a good wife. The malcontents who wish to split up a nation should consider that divison makes the whole smaller.

I couldn't agree more. It's a mystery to me, why he is made out the way he is. Nor do I understand the most recent posts in this thread yours being the exception. Just not sure why some are discussing putting others in the line of succession that should not be there.
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  #73  
Old 11-26-2007, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by johann View Post
The change of the constitution in 1991 is NOT retrospective and only applies to the descendants of Albert II (then Prince of Liege). If they had changed the law with retrospective effect, Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte would have been the first person in charge after Baudouin’s death in 1993 btw. The descendants of Leopold III and Lilian Baels are also explicitly excluded from the succession to the throne.
So no Bonapartes, Orleans, etc on the Belgian throne. The line of succession counts 13 persons right now: Philippe and his three children followed by Astrid and her 5 children, followed by Laurent and his three kids.
I was wondering, is it known what will happen to the children of, let´s say..Aymeric or Amedeo? Are their titles heriditairy or did the King give them non hereditairy titles, much like what happened to the van Vollenhoven princes in the Netherlands. All other RF´s seem to be ´downsizing´ as much as they can while the Belgian RF is the only one who has gotten more generous with these titles.
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  #74  
Old 11-27-2007, 03:34 PM
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I couldn't agree more. It's a mystery to me, why he is made out the way he is. Nor do I understand the most recent posts in this thread yours being the exception. Just not sure why some are discussing putting others in the line of succession that should not be there.

Add me to the club. I agree wholeheartedly and I think the comparison with George VI is an excellent one.

Give Philippe a chance.
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  #75  
Old 11-27-2007, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
I was wondering, is it known what will happen to the children of, let´s say..Aymeric or Amedeo? Are their titles heriditairy or did the King give them non hereditairy titles, much like what happened to the van Vollenhoven princes in the Netherlands. All other RF´s seem to be ´downsizing´ as much as they can while the Belgian RF is the only one who has gotten more generous with these titles.
According to the 1991 decree about the Titles there is no Limit. If it where followed all great-grandchildren of Albert II. (also this by his granddaughters) would be Prince/Princess of Belgium and so on.
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  #76  
Old 11-27-2007, 04:51 PM
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Well, I suppose Phillipe can change that law again, this would mean in the next generation there would be a wildgrow of titles, and also a wildgrow of people who can damage the monarchy just due to their name.

Still, Belgium is one of the more aristocratic minded countries in Europe, the nobility still plays a role etc. So I assume the wildgrow of titles in Belgium would be less of a problem than in other monarchies.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:53 PM
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Add me to the club. I agree wholeheartedly and I think the comparison with George VI is an excellent one.

Give Philippe a chance.

Well, I am all in favour of giving Filips a chance, but although he might be comparable to George VI, the times certainly are not. The press is much more critical towards royals than in those days AND especially in Belgium the monarch is one of the few things that keeps the country together.
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  #78  
Old 11-30-2007, 11:03 PM
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I am hoping to ask a question, and hope it's not found to be offensive to any Belgian posters. I have been keeping up with the ongoing political news that's going on in Belgium. Given the King is more of a figurehead, what are the implications for the Monarchy, should Belgium separate into states (not sure I am using the proper word there so hope it makes sense)?

Thank you and I hope that was not offensive, it was not my intention.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:51 AM
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I don't know if what I will say here, is part of this thread, or should form a new thread...

In my reading of the "children" of the Belgian Royal family - ie: Philippe, Astrid & Laurent - I have come to learn that Philippe has been criticized for his public speeches, and that Laurent inadvertently was involved with public money going to the improvement of his house.

Does that mean Astrid is the "smartest" of the three?

What is the public perception of her, and her abilities?

If.... it were possible, would she make a bette queen, than her brother as king?
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:58 AM
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Cheer up it may never happen

It is always interesting to hear people predict the end of something, but there is an equally strong (or stronger) case for Belgium staying together.

First, a split could only happen through a 2/3 majority change in the constitution. Now, rougly one million flemings can be said to be seperatists: roughly speaking that would make it 1/10 belgians, or 2/10 at the most..so an amicable split is impossible.

if that is the case, then why not a unilateral secession? Simply, because

a. the UN convention forbids seccesion of its memberstates (convention on territorial integrety)

b. the EU can not afford the split up of its prize pupil and one of its founding members. The example of the European capital being caught up in a violent splitting up scenario would be hugely damaging. Also the example of the Flemings would cause havoc in Spain (Baskenland) and other memberstates. Besides, Britain, which fought WWI to preserve the identity and neutrality of Belgium, and France, two huge members, have already stated that their interests would not be served by a disunited Belgium.

It is an unfortunate habit of Flemish seperatist that they tend to see flanders as an economic worldpower - which is of course ridiculous. And while they object to the french culture, they fail to notice that their region is being anglicised at a far greater speed than it has ever been "frenchified'".

As long as Belgium is united, there will certainly be a monarchy: if a people can not even manage the small affairs in politics, it could certainly never find a person of consensus in both parts of Belgium who would be a likely candidate for the presidency.

It is however the case that the small but very vocal group of extremists are getting a greater part of media attention than the majority of silent supporters of Belgium and its Crown. It seems to be a common mistake that republicans make: they take the silence for support. They could be in for a very rude awakening (eg the Australian referendum 1999).

Prince Philip has the same problem than that other Prince Phillip (GB): the media have long since decided that a negative story will boost their circulation more than a positive one. His only fault is that he tries too hard. He should not listen to the media and become media-savvy: the monarchy is not just a media-hype. We don't need any Paris Hiltons or Diana's (she was a wonderful person, i'm sure, but she failed to put duty above her own happiness). The monarchy cannot be avant-garde or fashionable...it must endure and represent more than that. In Belgium it really represents the union: thats its strenght but also its weakness. For seperatists attack it exactly for that reason.

As long as Albert II liveswe will not change it. The moment he dies, I have no doubt, that a huge campaign will be put up to stry and stop Philip from ascending the throne. Lets hope we dont cave in and accept any alteration in the system that has safeguarded the democratic freedom and rights of the majority of the Belgian people!
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