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  #121  
Old 03-20-2006, 05:15 AM
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Leanne, I can't put the link to that specific program here, because it isn't online, but another program is, so I'll post that in a day or two

Thank you Catherine. Very much appreciated.:)
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  #122  
Old 03-20-2006, 11:31 AM
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Mathilde gets a taste of South African girl power

Belgium's Crown Princess Mathilde met up with some of the dedicated campaigners who are building a brighter future for South African women at the weekend. The popular royal, who is a well-known champion of gender equality, joined forces with President Mbeki's wife Zanele to show her support for a programme that is giving a voice to the country's long-suffering female population.

from hellomagazine
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  #123  
Old 03-20-2006, 03:05 PM
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Aww shes such a caring person :)
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  #124  
Old 03-21-2006, 08:44 PM
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Thanks to all who posted these lovely photos! The causes Mathilde highlights are always so worthy. I have alot of admiration for her.
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  #125  
Old 03-23-2006, 10:50 AM
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(source: Hola magazine)













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  #126  
Old 03-23-2006, 01:51 PM
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Thank you for the pictores from Hola, they're wonderful!! :)
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  #127  
Old 03-23-2006, 02:08 PM
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thank you, sweet pictures. Mathilde is really sweet and tender towards her husband.:)
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  #128  
Old 03-23-2006, 05:47 PM
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Yesterday I was reading a Belgian newspaper called “De Morgen.” It had an article on Philippe’s stiffness on his recent visit to South Africa versus his dad’s charisma in Lithuania. I think the article has an anti-monarchy bias, but I thought maybe some of the non-dutch speakers would be interested to read what Belgian papers have to say about their royal family.

It strikes me as pretty extreme to call the visit to South Africa a "fiasco," however, do you guys think that most people in Belgium have a negative opinion of Philippe? also, I have never thought of trade missions being "humiliating" for royalty...but maybe the guy has a point....

So here is my translation…
"De Prinselijke appel valt redelijk ver van de koninglijke boom." 22 march 2006. "De Morgen" page 4.
“The royal apple falls rather far from the royal tree”

Even before its conclusion, the Belgian trade mission to Lithuania was declared a success. This did not surprise anyone. The businessmen were accompanied by none less than the King of Belgium . Even (or especially) on non-Belgians, this makes a big impression. Back home, however, there continues to be discussion about Prince Philippe’s behavior during his recent visit to South Africa.

Anonymous sources are calling it a “fiasco.” Apart from the Prince’s unfortunate stiffness, people are accusing him of showing very little interest in his duties on the trip.

“You can’t compare gold and iron,” says royal-watcher Jan van den Berghe ,and his colleagues agree, albeit in more diplomatic language. “Philippe is no Albert,” they say and point to the contrast between the jovial and open manner of the king and the dutiful, uptight manner of the crown prince.

“He will never have the charisma and humor of his father,” says VTM-royalty watcher Briggite Balfoort. “He is more like his uncle King Baudoin. But give him time, just like all the Coburgs the Prince is a late bloomer.”

But there is a real question whether he will ever bloom. In contrast to his younger brother, Laurent, the 46 year old crownprince still does not have much experience with public appearances. “Putting Philippe in the spotlight is like putting salt on a snail, ” says van den Berghe. “He has a number of qualities that will make him a good king but he is not cut out for foreign trips. Those require him to be a salesman for both his country and, by extension, himself. He can’t do that if he continues to act so stiff. In that case, Laurent would be just as good of an option.”

The business representatives who went along on the trip to South Africa want the controversy over the prince to die down as quickly as possible. “Soon he will be afraid to go outside” says Ronny Lannoo, spokesman for Unizo.

That would be counterproductive. Apart from how stiff and uninterested he may have been, in many countries you get a lot further with the prince along on your trade mission than without him.

Rudi Thomas, chair of the Belgian chamber of commerce, says the value of a royal presence on a trade mission cannot be underestimated.

Rudi Bogaerts, tutor to both Laurent and Philippe, does not agree with that. He believes trade missions are humiliating for royalty and should be abolished as soon as possible.

Bogaerts believes that Phillipe’s "problem” goes beyond a lack of flair. He believes it is not the prince himself but his staff who are responsible for his sometimes not coming off well abroad. “When the Prince goes abroad, he is not given sufficient preparation. Thus he does not know enough about the countries he travels to. It is almost impossible for him to avoid making a fool out of himself sometimes under those circumstances. If someone would just take time even for 1 day to teach him about the culture and language of his destination, then I think he would soon cut a much better figure.”

“Moreover,” adds Bogaerts, “In Wallonia the prince does much better than in Flanders. The combination of his lack of proper preparation combined with his poor Dutch speaking skills make him look ridiculous. I can assure you, though, than when speaking French he cuts an impressive figure.”

The same applies to the rest of the royal family, but they have better ways of dealing with it. “Philippe wants to do everything very thoroughly.” Says Bogaerts. “He has a hard time admitting the areas where he is lacking.” Van den Berghe agrees, “King Albert has enough of a sense of humor to admit his mistakes with a twinkle in his eyes and to turn the situation into a joke. As for Laurent, you won’t often see him on these sorts of foreign trips. He just refuses to go.”

Philippe does it all, however: everything people ask him to do he does with a great sense of duty. The question is “at what cost?” Bogaerts says “Philippe is the sort of man who will one day say “I won’t put up with this anymore. Enough is enough.” He does not have this built in “safety mechanism” that his brother Laurent has. Laurent gets angry. Philippe doesn’t do that. He swallows it until one day he can’t take it anymore and explodes.”
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  #129  
Old 03-23-2006, 06:01 PM
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Thank you for that translation, Pollyemma. Being an American, I can't really speak to Philippe's stiffness or lack thereof. From what I see of him on the royalty videos he seems reserved but I wouldn't necessarily call that a liability -- obviously it will be in some situations but it will be an asset in other situations. If he is unprepared by his advisors, well then that may need to be rectified, but he certainly wouldn't be the first member of royalty to receive that criticism. Prince Charles was lambasted for years for various problems with various staff members, although lately he seems to be doing just fine.
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  #130  
Old 03-23-2006, 06:09 PM
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If he indeed has such poor Dutch language skills it seems they could easily be remedied by intense language tutoring.
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  #131  
Old 03-23-2006, 06:19 PM
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Thank you very much for the translation pollyemma.:) That was a very interesting read. But isn't this the same thing some people have been saying for years? It seems they can't come up with something new to say. Hopefully he'll prove all who doubt him wrong.:)

Also thank you mtbcm for the pictures from Hola. They're very sweet indeed.:)
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  #132  
Old 03-23-2006, 07:29 PM
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Thank you Pollyemma for your post.
What about Princess Mathilde? She was perfect, in my opinion!
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  #133  
Old 03-23-2006, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the translation Pollyemma. However, Phillipe has a secret weapon: Mathilde. She will be a great asset when he becomes king. She is already coming into her own on her solo trips as well

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  #134  
Old 03-23-2006, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linda85
Thanks for the translation Pollyemma. However, Phillipe has a secret weapon: Mathilde. She will be a great asset when he becomes king. She is already coming into her own on her solo trips as well

Linda 85
I agree! I like Prince Phillip very much. Of course I never had met him but I think he does the Best he can for Belgium. He is not lazy or not concerned with his country. And he chose the perfect woman for him: Princess Mathilde who is a woman full of charisma, kindness, serenity and strength. They will be very good Monarchs in the future, imo.
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  #135  
Old 03-24-2006, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Regina
I agree! I like Prince Phillip very much. Of course I never had met him but I think he does the Best he can for Belgium. He is not lazy or not concerned with his country. And he chose the perfect woman for him: Princess Mathilde who is a woman full of charisma, kindness, serenity and strength. They will be very good Monarchs in the future, imo.
To me Phillippe and Mathilde will be great kings for their country, he gives the impression of stiffness because he's a very serious person but it doesn't have to be read like that, he's like old school royal because his uncle Baudouin shaped him like that and should be understood; Mathilde it's a true gem, the belgians should feel incredibly proud because they are gonna have a Queen like her
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  #136  
Old 03-24-2006, 04:01 AM
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About the article Pollyemma posted: the paper in which it appeared has never ever said a positive word about the monarchy, and the person they quote, Jan Van Den Berghe, is a self declared royal watcher who hates ever Belgian royal and invents all sort of gossip and lies (a hilarious one he uttered a few months ago: Philippe & Mathilde's marriage is an arranged one, in reality Philippe is gay and has a secret relationship with Edouard Vermeulen of Natan...I have to admit, not easy to come up with!)

The VBO (Belgian trade organization) emphasized, after the Flemish criticism, that it is very glad with the role Philippe plays, and that it can't be another one than a discreet one. The prince is not a business man, and must not get involved in actual cotracts between the parties, but has to open doors and present the parties to each other. Which he does, and apparently this mission was a success. Maybe not for the anonymous man who wasn't pleased, but he has to realize that he has to do the selling himself, the prince can't do it for him.

Philippe's Dutch is as good as his French IMO, and Mathilde's is very good as well, although she has a French accent.
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  #137  
Old 03-24-2006, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathérine Bergeyck
Jan Van Den Berghe, is a self declared royal watcher who hates ever Belgian royal and invents all sort of gossip and lies (a hilarious one he uttered a few months ago: Philippe & Mathilde's marriage is an arranged one, in reality Philippe is gay and has a secret relationship with Edouard Vermeulen of Natan...I have to admit, not easy to come up with!)
1. There's really someone that stupid?
2. Yeah, an arranged marriage, they are so cold and unfeeling towards each other NOT, I haven't seen many couples as openly and naturally affectionate as P&M but once again, the guy is stupid; though you gotta credit his originality, next time he'll say that Laurent is the secret lover of Albert of Monaco
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  #138  
Old 03-24-2006, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathérine Bergeyck
About the article Pollyemma posted: the paper in which it appeared has never ever said a positive word about the monarchy, and the person they quote, Jan Van Den Berghe, is a self declared royal watcher who hates ever Belgian royal and invents all sort of gossip and lies (a hilarious one he uttered a few months ago: Philippe & Mathilde's marriage is an arranged one, in reality Philippe is gay and has a secret relationship with Edouard Vermeulen of Natan...I have to admit, not easy to come up with!)

The VBO (Belgian trade organization) emphasized, after the Flemish criticism, that it is very glad with the role Philippe plays, and that it can't be another one than a discreet one. The prince is not a business man, and must not get involved in actual cotracts between the parties, but has to open doors and present the parties to each other. Which he does, and apparently this mission was a success. Maybe not for the anonymous man who wasn't pleased, but he has to realize that he has to do the selling himself, the prince can't do it for him.

Philippe's Dutch is as good as his French IMO, and Mathilde's is very good as well, although she has a French accent.
thanks for the context! in holland we also have a few papers which would never in a million years bring themselves to say anything good about the monarchy. I just try to avoid their royalty coverage as I the bias and the blatant errors are just too much to handle.

phillipe with vermeulen...that is beyond ludicrous. wow. I will make a point of never taking anything that man says seriously ever again.

the bias shows in their failure to mention anything about Mathilde and how well she does. She is such a great asset for him. Even if he might be a little bit stiff at times, having her there more than makes up for it.
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  #139  
Old 03-24-2006, 04:35 AM
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If one looks at photos of Philippe in South Africa where he is among the public there is no way he can be accused of being stiff and cold. But then photos give a completely different view to that of a video or actually seeing him in person. Perhaps a change should be made among his advisors instead.

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  #140  
Old 03-24-2006, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisiñaki
1. There's really someone that stupid?
I agree. Being gay with 3 children is quite something...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crisiñaki
next time he'll say that Laurent is the secret lover of Albert of Monaco


People against monarchy have always to make up weird and sensacionalists stories to call the attention, but call "gay" to Prince Phillipe is too much!
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