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  #41  
Old 08-27-2007, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by susan alicia View Post
well I agree with the positive remarks but Mathilde does not look good in sandles with stockings, it is really completely wrong and she sometimes wears too much makeup for her type of face and too loud coloured clothes.

No one mentions it but I will, they both seem rather stupid (low iq), this in contrast to WA and Maxima. Anyway if the Belgians are happy so am I for them.
How did they give you an impression of having a low IQ? Princess Mathilde From the website of the RF, Monarchie.be:

She studied speech therapy at the Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels from 1991 to 1994 and obtained a diploma with Great Distinction.
She worked as a speech therapist at her own practice in Brussels from 1995 to 1999. In parallel, she studied psychology at the Université Catholique de Louvain. In 2002, Princess Mathilde earned her diploma in psychology with Distinction.

And for Phillipe:

Prince Philippe completed his academic training at Trinity College, University of Oxford (UK) and at the Graduate School of Stanford University (USA) where he took a “Master of Arts Degree” in political science in 1985.
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  #42  
Old 08-27-2007, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by susan alicia View Post
well I agree with the positive remarks but Mathilde does not look good in sandles with stockings, it is really completely wrong and she sometimes wears too much makeup for her type of face and too loud coloured clothes.

No one mentions it but I will, they both seem rather stupid (low iq), this in contrast to WA and Maxima. Anyway if the Belgians are happy so am I for them.
I think this are stupid arguments! I they ask you opinion about a couple you should not only look at the outside! (by the way: Mathilde always wears little make-up and loud coloured clothes are more something for Maxima as mathilde)

I don't you couls say they have a low IQ, Mathilde studied speech therapy at the Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels and obtained a diploma with Great Distinction. And after that she earned her diploma in psychology with Distinction! There is the Princess Mathilde Fund where she puts a lot of work in! She is also involved in "unicef" and she was an United Nations Envoy for the International Year on Micro-credit. Prince Philippe Prince Philippe completed his academic training at Trinity College, University of Oxford (UK) and at the Graduate School of Stanford University (USA) where he took a “Master of Arts Degree” in political science in 1985. So I son't think they have a low IQ!

It is not the point comparing, everybody is special in his own way! that does not mean that somebody (prince, princess) it better than the other one!
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  #43  
Old 08-28-2007, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
How did they give you an impression of having a low IQ? Princess Mathilde From the website of the RF, Monarchie.be:

She studied speech therapy at the Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels from 1991 to 1994 and obtained a diploma with Great Distinction.
She worked as a speech therapist at her own practice in Brussels from 1995 to 1999. In parallel, she studied psychology at the Université Catholique de Louvain. In 2002, Princess Mathilde earned her diploma in psychology with Distinction.

And for Phillipe:

Prince Philippe completed his academic training at Trinity College, University of Oxford (UK) and at the Graduate School of Stanford University (USA) where he took a “Master of Arts Degree” in political science in 1985.
I know that the Duke and Duchess of Brabant have a good educational report. Wonderful. But it is the impression they make. They (also Mathilde, but for sure Philippe) make the impression of being dumb, clumsy, goofy, and acting like they could not make any step without a whisper from the entourage. They look like continuously feeling at unease. It looks like they need more selfconsciousness, firmness and also need to work at their "body language".

That is all. Prince Philippe is not the only one. I see exactly the same with Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid.
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  #44  
Old 08-28-2007, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Henri M. View Post
I know that the Duke and Duchess of Brabant have a good educational report. Wonderful. But it is the impression they make. They (also Mathilde, but for sure Philippe) make the impression of being dumb, clumsy, goofy, and acting like they could not make any step without a whisper from the entourage. They look like continuously feeling at unease. It looks like they need more selfconsciousness, firmness and also need to work at their "body language".

That is all. Prince Philippe is not the only one. I see exactly the same with Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid.
I have met Astrid on various occasions when she was studying art history in Leiden. She came with a load of people to my student room and I cooked spagetti for everyone. She was a lovely young girl, impressively modest and calm, not a spot of makeup and beautiful skin. Very religious, she had an small alter in her room and shared an appartment with a girl whose father is a well known opus dei member.
The arthistory results where hung up on the wall in de kloksteeg in Leiden and it was Astrid de Groot (astrid of belgium), always 2 or 3's or no show. 6 is a passing grade in holland.

It might be that Philippe and Mathilde remind me of her and yes I know that stanford is a very good university. But the impression remains: not too many braincells up there.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:32 AM
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Well, the lack of braincells is something I never thought about actually.. They seem to be smart people, though there wouldn t be a problem if they werent (we cant all have university degrees of course).

I do think they are both naturally introvert and shy but that is something they share with many and Belgian people usually are a bit more discrete than their sometimes over boisterous Northern neighbours . But clumsy, goofy etc... that is a bit too much for me, they made a much more positive impression.

Laurent doesn´t look to bright indeed, especially after the navy scandal, but Astrid is goofy, clumsy etc? I actually think she is rather charming, witty and usually radiant. Especially when you see her attending an event on television (the royalty programme of VTM), you can see how well she can deal with people around her.

susan alicia: Thanks for sharing that story about Astrid btw, it is charming (an she still seems to have a gorgeous skin for a woman over her 40-ties ).
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  #46  
Old 08-28-2007, 12:16 PM
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One has to make the distingtion between IQ and social/emotionale intelligence. Philippe and Mathilde have a normal high IQ, both with universitary background.

Philippe lacks social intelligence (a lot!) That is why I wonder if he is so bad in social behavior only when people are around or also in private life.
My opinion is that Mathilde has a high IQ and social/emotional intelligence, but is to obedient to the royal establishment, to classic, to pious to be totally accepted/popolar.

It's kind of ironic to think now of Lady Di, she had no grade, she was a nursery teacher. It's not the brains that make a woman popular (do I need to give more examples...)
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  #47  
Old 08-28-2007, 02:57 PM
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I for one don't get when people say she reminds them of Diana. Diana was so gracefull, beautiful, elegant, stylish and just a real pleasure to look at. Attractive. Mathilde ? Her shape really isn't something to brag about, her clothes are absolutely terrible, worse than Maxima's, and she just seems a little clumsy to me. Not gracefull at all. Or at least that's how it looks in pictures. Shiny stocking, awfull shoes, the same Maxima usually wears, and horrible colors like orange and a not very flattering red. She dresses very matronly.

She does NOT look like a 33 year old. Or is it 32 she is? Letizia and Mary look SO much younger both of them !!

She seems really sweet and genuine and open. Inteligent and Hardworking. A good mother.

Philippe is just soo grey and borring, he seems unhappy in his role.
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  #48  
Old 08-28-2007, 04:29 PM
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You misunderstood, I didn't say she reminds me of Diana. It was just a comparison about the intelligence.
Diana was loved all over the world with a very mediocre IQ. That proves that nobody cares about your academic degrees. Philippe and Mathilde have a higher IQ but people look at them as dumb. Diana was the opposite.
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  #49  
Old 08-28-2007, 04:51 PM
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Hi everyone - I know that tempers are running high this week because of all the happenings in the British forums, but let's please not let that trickle over into any of the other forums.

On that note, I do not think that we need any further mention of Diana in this thread.

While we would love to have a bit more excitement in these threads, that is not the sort we want!

Thanks for understanding

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  #50  
Old 08-28-2007, 05:17 PM
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I am curious to find out why some people think Mathilde is clumsy?
To me she is a very elegant and gracious woman

She is always interested and listens to everybody. She fourfills her duties as a princess with grace and is always curious, kind and interested in what people are saying.

As far as het looks, i think she is a beautiful woman with stunning legs and eyes. After the birth of 3 childern it is normal that she does not look like a supermodel but as a real woman without complexes. I really like her clothing, it is sober not over the top. She has a good mix between modern and classic.

As fat as her language goes. Especilly her Dutch improved a lot over the years. I saw an intervieuw with her on television a few month ago and her Dutch was really good. It is normal that she has a French accent. The tv host said that het Dutch was verry wel and behind the scenes (when she talked to het without cameras) is was even better.
I find it verry important that they send their childern to a Dutch soeaking school since the beginning. Mathilde sais recently that Elisabeth and Gabriël start to speak Dutch along each other at home. So that is a verry good sign that the kids will be perfect billingual. Elisabeth goes also follow dancing classes stating in september in a normal dancing school, o think that is verry good, she will be less shy as her father who never did thing like that.
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  #51  
Old 08-28-2007, 05:19 PM
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Well, they are not as much in the spotlight as the other couples and many tend to find them boring. They do lack a bit of excitement but that does not make them less worthy representatives of Belgium. Maybe they are too normal for a royal couple but when you look at the scandals in the life of King Albert and Queen Paola it's not a bad thing I personally think very highly of Mathilde as she seems to be a very warm person who can easily deal with people. She is definitely an asset for the monarchy and Phillipe can count himself lucky that he found such a spouse as he lacks a bit of personality at first look.
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  #52  
Old 08-28-2007, 05:35 PM
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Yeah i also think Philippe couls be more open. He seems a closed, stiff person when he has officail duties. When he is with his childern he is more open, relaxed. I don't think he likes the press verry much!
After the birth of Elisabeth Belgium was shokked about the open prince who came to the press conference in his green operation shirt speaking so open, relaxed. We could not believe our eyes. We hoped that the prince would become more open, social after that but that was not the case.
He has changed with the help of Mathilde and nowadays puts in a lot of effort to bemore open, social but it is not easy for him. He has already changed a little bit but i think he needs time to change. Little by little i think/hope he will get there.
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  #53  
Old 08-28-2007, 06:50 PM
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They seem to be a lovely couple. She is elegant and seems gracious. Phillipe on the other hand may seem a bit stiff, but he just may be shy or nervous. They certainly aren't stupid, as some have inferred. Being new, I do not want to overstep my bounds, but Queen Elizabeth reads her copy for Christmas and such in a stiff, uninteresting tone. It is only of late that she tries to reach out to people and be more friendly. I think Mathilde and Phillipe, will grow into their roles, in time and with experience.
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  #54  
Old 08-29-2007, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Henri M. View Post
I know that the Duke and Duchess of Brabant have a good educational report. Wonderful. But it is the impression they make. They (also Mathilde, but for sure Philippe) make the impression of being dumb, clumsy, goofy, and acting like they could not make any step without a whisper from the entourage. They look like continuously feeling at unease. It looks like they need more selfconsciousness, firmness and also need to work at their "body language".

That is all. Prince Philippe is not the only one. I see exactly the same with Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid.
I agree with Henri M on that one, they won't seem to do anything without approval from 5-6 people, even on the most innocent, simple acts.
Question. Did Phillipe attend a dutch speaking school? How is his dutch? If its really bad. Will Elisabeth follow in her pa's footsteps?
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:38 AM
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I agree with Henri M on that one, they won't seem to do anything without approval from 5-6 people, even on the most innocent, simple acts.
Question. Did Phillipe attend a dutch speaking school? How is his dutch? If its really bad. Will Elisabeth follow in her pa's footsteps?
Elisabeth will not follow in her dad's foorsteps. Philippe went to scholl in both languages as for Elisabeth she goes to a totally Dutch speaking school. She speaks French with her parent but in school everything is in Dutch, het nanny is Dutch speaking and she is going to a Dutch speaking dancingschool from september. Philippe and Mathilde already said that they find it verry important that their childern will be billingual. Filip speaks the 2 languages, his Dutch is good but he still has an accent. And they don't want that fot their childern. Mathilde already said that Elisabeth and Gabriël start to speak Duth along each other when they are not at school so that is a good sign that they will be perfect billingual.
The childern of Astrid went also to a Dutch speaking school (the same as Elisabeth) and they are an example of Billinguality. They spoke French with their parent and Dutch in school. I have heard Amedeo speaking in Dutch on television and she speaks it perfect.
So this is a good sign for the future that the next generation of Belgium royals will be perfect billingual.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:57 AM
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Apart from a small accent and once in a while an odd word choice Phillipe´s Dutch is fluent and good. Mathilde´s Dutch is fairly well too IMHO.

BTW didn´t Filip join dutch-speaking boyscouts when he was young? I remember seeing that in a documentairy before his wedding to Mathilde.

The present court is rather rigid according to some books, most recently told by col. Vaessen. Albert kept most of his brothers staff. No major changes can be expected under this reign but I suspect Filip will ´democratise´ the court with people selected for their professionalism instead of their noble titles etc, as he does with his own staff.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:31 AM
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I agree with Henri M on that one, they won't seem to do anything without approval from 5-6 people, even on the most innocent, simple acts.
Mathilde is accompanied by her assistant and her security, pretty much standard if you ask me and far away from needing 5 or 6 persons to tell her what to do. And she is very well capable of doing things on her own – one recent example would be calming down hysterical paparazzi in China by organizing a group photo. Philippe is usually surrounded by his advisor Boudewijn Dereymaker, by his assistant Noel de Bruyne or one ordinance officer plus security. And for the rest: royal work is always team work, or do you think the other crown princely couples do things on their own without being supported by staff?

But generally spoken the BRF urgently needs to reorganize the court and finally retire Jaques Van Ypersele de Strihou (70), chief of the King’s cabinet. He certainly has his merits, but nowadays his way of running the court is more than outdated. Once the new government is working smoothly (whenever that may be), they should look for another head of cabinet and review the complete court structure. And in opposite to Marengo I think there is a realistic chance that at least the Van Ypersele de Strihou change will take place during Albert´s reign. The Verhofstadt government already plead (unsuccessfully) for a change and IMO the pressure on Van Ypersele de Strihou did increase enormously during the last years.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:16 PM
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Well stated, Al bina.

And Henri, my deepest apologies for confusing the two PM's. In trying to make sure I spelled the names correctly, I relied on other sources. Cutting and pasting the names of the former and current caught my fingers in the garden gate. Any error is, of course, mine; my new-found Belgian friend showed me exactly the clip on line of Yves Leterme and is in no way responsible for my error.


I have found her to be well informed and insightful, and am inclined to lean toward her findings. We could be dealing with a generation gap here with regard to opinions such as these; the young woman in question is in her late twenties, as are her other Belgian and European friends with whom I have also met. I find her circle to be well-read and independent thinking, and while not actively agitating for change, certainly would welcome changes and fresh air.

Given that two brothers have held the throne there since 1951 and that it is well beyond anyone over the age of 45 or so to remember either King as being particularly "young" in action, demeanor, or attitude, it is certainly understandable. The current King took the throne at age 59, after all.

I personally believe that some princes will never season enough to reign, regardless of their right to do so. In reviewing the available information on-line, I think that Philippe is a man who is coming into his own. I will enjoy watching him, and several other princes such as Haakon of Norway, as they move through their apprenticeship to power and/or position.

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Old 09-04-2007, 04:32 AM
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It's quite an interesting fact that most of the negative comments regarding Phillipe and Mathilde are originating from people in the Netherlands (Marengo excluded). What a remarkable coincidence!

Anyway this whole discussion is ridiculous, childish and presumptous. Noone of us knows or has has ever held a longer conversation neither with Phillipe nor with Mathilde. So how can anyone claim to know anything about their intellectual abilities.

And I do not want to imagine the appearance of those contributors who describe Mathilde of not being elegant and gracious...
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:05 PM
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As you can see by my profile I am from Israel. Here you don't find many royalty watchers . But well I am different. And since I pay attention to royalty I am in love with Belgian Royal Family. Everyone is entitled to have their opinion but for me the belgian royals represent the most elegant and classy royal family. No other crown princess compares to Mathilde (Mary is very close). She's so traditional, sweet and faithful.
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