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Old 08-17-2008, 01:11 PM
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'King Albert II doesn't want Phillipe but Astrid on the throne'

Mario Daneels was interviewed by the GVA about his book on the royal family that was published a year ago or so. In the interview he says that King Albert II asked a small amount of people, among them the cabinet of former PM Guy Verhofstadt if it was possible to make is daughter Astrid a regent for Princess Elisabeth and surpass CP. Phillipe in the succession. The reply of the PM said that this was not possible.

Article in Dutch here and here.

Though the book is old, as is the information, it has been presented as 'news' and quickly spread in the Belgian and Dutch press.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:34 PM
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I heard these rumours more than 12 years ago. But then they said that Astrid want be a queen and that she is against her elder brother who on this time was unmarried.


But how this guy get this info?
Oh yes I forgot that he is big jurnalist http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Danneels
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:42 PM
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I remember those rumours too, but Danneels claim is more recent, according to him the king informed about it when Elisabeth was already born! Now I am not sure how reliable this information all is. But it does show that the faith in CP Phillipe is still not too high, as otherwise rumours like this would not be around.

Note that Danneels isn't overly reliable, though his biography on Queen Paola was rather good (maybe because it is the only one around so there is little to compare it to) and he did reveal the existance of Delphine Boël.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:50 PM
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Could this have something with that the MD is a Flamand?
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:55 PM
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Though he is from Flanders I am not sure if he is a Flamand. He is a journalist for the Standaard and HUMO and lives in Ireland at the moment. At the time of his Paola book some French speaking press said that Danneels did not write that book but that it was written by the Flemish Block- party. The allegations were proven false though.

I don't think he is that much anti-monarchy btw, just trying to sell books nd maybe give some suggestions how things could be done better.

Anyway, it seems his source probably was somebody int he cabinet of Verhofstadtç which were all Labour and Liberals, no Flemish Interest party members.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Though he is from Flanders I am not sure if he is a Flamand. He is a journalist for the Standaard and HUMO and lives in Ireland at the moment. At the time of his Paola book some French speaking press said that Danneels did not write that book but that it was written by the Flemish Block- party. The allegations were proven false though.
Yes, 18 year old man who wrote book like this... I don't know why but it reminds me all those story about Shakespeare's authorships.
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I don't think he is that much anti-monarchy btw, just trying to sell books nd maybe give some suggestions how things could be done better.
Or have his next five minutes.
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Anyway, it seems his source probably was somebody int he cabinet of Verhofstadtç which were all Labour and Liberals, no Flemish Interest party members.
Or maybe his source was friend of friend who has a friend...

Thanks Marengo.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
I don't think he is that much anti-monarchy btw, just trying to sell books nd maybe give some suggestions how things could be done better.
Not really. Here´s a telling Danneels quote taken out of the very same Gazet van Antwerpen interview which came up with this rumour
MD: “This is truly my last book on the royal family. [note: he told the same two years ago] From an anthropological point of view it´s a fascinating topic. I don´t want to sound disrespectful, but you can also put them in a cage in the zoo and watch their behaviour just as long as that of any other exotic animal.
He is no Flamingant though, he is more the cynical anti-everything kind of person: Belgium, Flanders, the Belgian weather, the RF (Paola and Astrid excl) whatever. This GvA interview was indeed meant to promote his new book (“The king naked”) and it´s obvious that he is into the “the more the merrier” concept rumour-wise. The interview is just a mix of old and new rumours and his far-fetched interpretation of facts gathered by others.

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Anyway, it seems his source probably was somebody int he cabinet of Verhofstadtç which were all Labour and Liberals, no Flemish Interest party members.
He doesn´t bother to name a source for his Albert wants Astrid claim, he is not even operating with the term “anonymous source”, he just presents it as fact.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:55 PM
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Danneels` claim is rubbish though. He was speculating on getting away with it imo, as the Belgian court hardly ever comments these sort of rumours. Anyway, Danneels was proven wrong all down the line last Tuesday in the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (signs and wonders) by many persons who should have been involved in this scenario if Danneels would have been right:
Ex-prime minister Verhofstadt: “Astrid regent? Complete nonsense.“
Ex-vice-premier Vande Lanotte (member of the core cabinet which should have been summoned especially for discussing this topic): “Impossible. Never heard about this and I was present at every core cabinet session. And even if King Albert had asked Verhofstadt directly [and not the core cabinet as suggested by Danneels] I would know about it.”
Prime minister Leterme: “Never heard about it.”
Herman Van Croo (chairman of the chamber back then): “Utter rubbish. The guy [Danneels] is a freelancer and is desperate to sell his book.”
All in all a rather impressing row of persons who stood up to fight back this silly claim invented by Danneels.

And seriously if one reflects about it for a second or two: A member of the core cabinet talking to Danneels? Guess they have better things to do than talking to Danneels who doesn´t have the best reputation. And Albert asking this question? This makes no sense at all. Elisabeth was a toddler mumbling her first words back then and Astrid stepping in for her till she is 18? Come on, an 18 year old girl as head of state in 21st century Belgium? And why ask the Verhofstadt I government? It was quite likely that Verhofstadt would be out of office when Albert leaves to other spheres. And how to implement this? A change of constitution, a secret royal decree? Belgium is a constitutional monarchy after all and it´s not part of Albert´s job to appoint his successor. On top of that there are no indications that Astrid is eager to become regent or anything like this. She even has given up her most prestigious job, the Red Cross presidency, pretty much annoyed by the quarrels going on there. It´s obvious that Albert and Philippe don´t get along as well as desirable, but that´s it imo.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:34 PM
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Didn't King Baudoin want Prince Phillipe instead of his brother, King Albert? Why would he do the same? I find it rather hard to believe!!!
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astrid, crown prince phillipe, duke of brabant, king albert ii, phillipe, princess astrid, succession


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