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  #41  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:44 AM
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The important word here is "openly".
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  #42  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:50 AM
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pilar urbano gave an online chat to its readers on her book and other issues this week. you can read it here, in spanish:
elmundo.es. Encuentro digital con Pilar Urbano
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  #43  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:54 AM
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The important word here is "openly".
indeed, mena, indeed
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  #44  
Old 11-06-2008, 06:31 PM
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About Sofia talking about the extramarital affairs of her husband... that is too tacky! ... talking about her husband's intimate life is too much, IMO. She didn't need to embarrassed herself like that :(
As far as Juan Carlos's affairs go, what does Sofia have to be embarrassed about? He's the one who should be embarrassed.

Did she discuss this in the book? The only articles I've read are the ones that talk about her comments about gay marriage.
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  #45  
Old 11-07-2008, 04:42 AM
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Keeping in mind how strained the relations to Marocco are anyway (Ceuta & Melilla) it's a very unwise move by the Queen to engage herself in politics (accusing the current King of "tricking" JC or revealing stories about the late King of Marocco, annoying the MRF) - the last subject Sofia should voice an opinion on in her position as Queen consort.
The relation between Morocco and Spain mainly depends on the interests of each country and its people. I doubt Sofia's stories would have any impact.

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Same on the "gay" issue, she should not forget that "those people", how she called them, pay for the lifestyle of the SRF as members of the Spanish society. I would have expected more open-mindness from Sofia to be honest, now she comes across as hypocritical and narrowminded.

I bet if her son Felipe had married the royal or noble girl she wanted for him in the first place Sofia would have voiced a negative opinion on divorce too - but with a divorced daughter in law it's being labelled "modern", of course. And if one of the members of the SRF or the wider Borbon family came out as openly gay she probably would have labelled being gay as "modern", too.
She was not against gay, she was against the union of two men or two women being called 'marriage'. I actually find her very honest about her feelings, nothing hypocritical here. Gay marriage is still too 'new' for lots of people, comparing gay marriages to the marriage crisis, extramarital affairs or divorce are like comparing apples and oranges . One can be modern and liberal, but still oppose gay marriage, ex. Barack Obama.
California voters approve the gay marriage ban
http://kmbz.com/California-voters-ap...ge-ban/3263792
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  #46  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:25 AM
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The relation between Morocco and Spain mainly depends on the interests of each country and its people. I doubt Sofia's stories would have any impact.

She was not against gay, she was against the union of two men or two women being called 'marriage'. I actually find her very honest about her feelings, nothing hypocritical here. Gay marriage is still too 'new' for lots of people, comparing gay marriages to the marriage crisis, extramarital affairs or divorce are like comparing apples and oranges . One can be modern and liberal, but still oppose gay marriage, ex. Barack Obama.
California and others vote to end gay marriage
California, others vote to end gay marriage- The New Haven Register - Serving Greater New Haven, CT
If Sofia feels the need to make her thoughts known she should consider running for office and become a politician.

Spain's Queen Sofia under fire on eve of 70th birthday - Breaking News - World - Breaking News

The conservative opposition Popular Party, which has similar views to the queen's on the issue, said Friday that members of the royal family must maintain "neutrality."
"I think that the (royal) institution should not speak. The king and queen are like the flag, which plays a role in officials acts without making statements," said the party's spokesman, Esteban Gonzales Pons.
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  #47  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:50 AM
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To Regina: I am not sure to what extend the Queens religious values go, but since she converted out of opportunism to the church of Rome I tend to take those strong religious feelings with a pinch of salt. And indeed she sounded judgemental, but that can also have to do with the way things were written down, selective quoting for example. And as you say her views are not that surprising considering she is an elderly lady from the upperclass, immune for feminism and other social movements. As she does not mind a divorcee as a daughter-in-law I suppose they can even be called remarkably 'modern' at some points.
Sorry for my late reply, Marengo.

Well, to be honest I dont know if she converted to the church of Rome. Did she ever said "I am a roman catholic"? That's just a question, I really don't know if she had converted.
I do know she had a mixed marriage. She accepted the roman catholic blessings and Juan Carlos accepted the orthodox blessings. But I don't know if Sofia accept the Pope as her Authority.

On the first book of Pilar Urbano, Sofia was a bit critical about roman catholics. She said she felt surprised and confused after arriving to Spain, she saw some roman catholics taking the holy communion every single week as devout believers and then, outside the church, behaving very differently.

In this book, she states her beliefs but I think she doesn't mention any church or religion.

About Letizia's divorce: to the roman catholic church, Letizia was "single" when she was still married to Guerrero. The roman church doesnt accept the civil marriage as a "holy marriage".

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To allow a person to write a second book shows a lot of trust therefore claiming that some remarks were inaccurate is ridiculous. Both women must know each other well. I doubt there will be a third book, after all this Sofia probably will not only think twice before speaking publicly again.
I agree 100% with you. I havent's read the second book, but reading the first one anyone can see both ladies got along very well. The way the queen replies to Pilar, and the expressions Pilar uses to describe Sofia shows a lot of trust and even friendship between them.

After this... there will be no third book, IMO.

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Keeping in mind how strained the relations to Marocco are anyway (Ceuta & Melilla) it's a very unwise move by the Queen to engage herself in politics (accusing the current King of "tricking" JC or revealing stories about the late King of Marocco, annoying the MRF) - the last subject Sofia should voice an opinion on in her position as Queen consort.
She seems to like to talk about other royal houses...

Hola magazines gives some extracts of the book. When Pilar tells Sofia: "Letizia had several characteristics that dont fit on royalty... - commoner, divorcee, divorced parents, her mother working as a syndicalist...The conservative monarchists seemed displeased!... "

Sofia replies she seems no problem, and she refers the Swedish Royal family. She says that both Jean Baptiste Bernadotte and Desirée Clary (Napoleon's lover) were french and commoners, they became king and queen of Sweden, and nothing bad happened to the swedish monarchy. She refers that more recently: King Gustaf married Silvia, "a commoner, working on Olympic games... she's now a very beloved queen in Sweden" and again, nothing happened to the swedish monarchy.
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  #48  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:29 PM
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If Sofia feels the need to make her thoughts known she should consider running for office and become a politician.

Spain's Queen Sofia under fire on eve of 70th birthday - Breaking News - World - Breaking News

The conservative opposition Popular Party, which has similar views to the queen's on the issue, said Friday that members of the royal family must maintain "neutrality."
"I think that the (royal) institution should not speak. The king and queen are like the flag, which plays a role in officials acts without making statements," said the party's spokesman, Esteban Gonzales Pons.
True. However it's one way to say that she should keep all those thoughts private since she occupies such an important position, the other way to claim that she is hypocritical or narrowminded just because she has those opinions. I heard Infanta Pilar said that she completely agreed with everything said by the Queen in her book.
Zarzuela didn't deny the basic opinions of the Queen, but rather the wording. It's possible the author changed some words of the Queen to make her sound more judgemental to fit the author's own agenda, or the author didn't remember every single word from the Queen since there was no recording tape, only notes. Anyway, now the cardinal archbishop of Madrid Antonio Maria Rouco Varela wants a referendum on the gay marriage as the US state of California, what a mess.
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  #49  
Old 11-08-2008, 05:56 AM
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I think it's important to view each monarchy in its own background. Whilst Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh makes controversial statements all the time in all directions and belongs to the somewhat same age group / "true" royal background as Sofia, he gets away with it because a) Britain is probably the most recognized monarchy in the world and b) it's part of his personality, there are even books about his gaffes and people would be surprised if he didn't speak up.

Sofia, "The Professional", stayed silent all these years and her attitude to more or less live the traditional gender role as a Queen consort - give birth to children, support and shut up - was crucial for strengthening the young and weak monarchy in Spain. JC owes her for that and her attitude earned Sofia the respect or even affection of the Spanish public - a difficult task for a foreigner, "The Greek", to become Queen of all Spaniards.

With the "Spanish situation" in mind, Sofia's decision to go public with personal thoughts on partly controversial issues is a misjudgment of her own position and the public reception to her new "speaking" attitude, it shows an "out of touch" with the reality of a modern society (El Mundo called her "outdated") and a sign of deep frustration about a free media world that has left the monarchy in a defensive position, with the mass media becoming more and more respectless and always demanding and critizising and casa real without much opportunity to respond or to justify.
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  #50  
Old 11-08-2008, 07:54 PM
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With the "Spanish situation" in mind, Sofia's decision to go public with personal thoughts on partly controversial issues is a misjudgment of her own position and the public reception to her new "speaking" attitude, it shows an "out of touch" with the reality of a modern society (El Mundo called her "outdated")
What if she said she was a pro-abortion, a pro-euthania and a pro-gay marriage? Would people still say "she should be quiet!" or would they praise her for her "modern" and "tolerant" opinions?

I understand these are hard topics and there are best ways to reply to these questions. But I wonder if she is being critizied because she gave a personal opinion or because her personal opinions don't match with what most people in Spain would like to hear.

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:58 PM
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No, if she would have said that the catholic church and the conservative newspapers and opinion makers would have made a fuss, as they always do. And they would have been quite right about it.
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  #52  
Old 11-09-2008, 05:31 AM
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But I wonder if she is being critizied because she gave a personal opinion or because her personal opinions don't match with what most people in Spain would like to hear.

It must be your first suggestion Regina, Sofia giving a personal opinion in general. It is not her job to do so because her position demands keeping neutrality and not offending one or the other part of society what is inevitable when commenting on ethics or politics.
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  #53  
Old 11-09-2008, 03:47 PM
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I wonder if she is being critizied because she gave a personal opinion or because her personal opinions don't match with what most people in Spain would like to hear.

While I agree with Marengo that Sofia would certainly face some criticism from the Catholic Church had she been pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, a lot of what I'm reading seems to be coming from a dislike of her opinions. The main criticism of her comments seems to be that her opposition to gay marriage is offensive, not just that she shouldn't be giving her opinion (although there is certainly some of that as well.) Sofia also talked about her opposition to President Bush's policies, and I haven't seen anyone complaining about that - probably because most Europeans agree with her on that subject.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:00 PM
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No, if she would have said that the catholic church and the conservative newspapers and opinion makers would have made a fuss, as they always do. And they would have been quite right about it.
I am not so sure of that, Marengo.
The Vice-president of PSOE, the socialist ruling party in Spain, didn't critisize the queen. Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said "the queen is respected and beloved inside and outside Spain. She has been working greatly during her 30 years as queen of Spain".
And, IMO, the same would have happen with the conservative opinion makers and the roman catholic church.

The roman catholic church in Spain is very close to the royal family and although the Bishops could feel angry if she had said she was pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, etc, they wouldn't critisize her so openly as others are doing now.

Besides, the roman catholic church has several lines of thought. The conservative line, more related with Opus Dei is indeed against gay marriage, but there are another liberal roman catholics who simply don't care with civil gay marriages. As long the bishops don't approve religious gay's marriage, they don't care what the governments decides or not.

Again, I am not sure if queen Sofia ever said she was a roman catholic. I am not a roman-catholic, and I am not defending the church of Rome, but I don't see why so many people say that Opus Dei is very happy with this book... The author may be a Opus Dei member, but the answers were given by the queen, not by Pilar. Her answers don't even attach her to the roman church. Evengelical's, anglicans', protestants, mormons', Jeovah witnesses', roman catholics', orthodoxs' churches think exactly as Sofia.

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It must be your first suggestion Regina, Sofia giving a personal opinion in general. It is not her job to do so because her position demands keeping neutrality and not offending one or the other part of society what is inevitable when commenting on ethics or politics.
Princess Máxima of the Netherlands ( a roman catholic) attended some pro-gay's rights meeting. She didn't only attended as she spoke there too. Did you criticize her so much as you're doing with queen Sofia? Or everyone (100% of the population!) in the Netherlands agree with gay's marriages? There are no evangelicals there? No roman catholics against gay's marriage? No one seemed to care with the offended dutch citizens... but most people seem very concerned with the offended people in Spain...

The real reason why most (I said most, not all) people dislike Sofia's book is due to the fact they don't agree with her, and not really because she offended one or the other part of spanish society.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:57 AM
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Princess Máxima of the Netherlands ( a roman catholic) attended some pro-gay's rights meeting. She didn't only attended as she spoke there too. Did you criticize her so much as you're doing with queen Sofia? Or everyone (100% of the population!) in the Netherlands agree with gay's marriages? There are no evangelicals there? No roman catholics against gay's marriage? No one seemed to care with the offended dutch citizens... but most people seem very concerned with the offended people in Spain...

The real reason why most (I said most, not all) people dislike Sofia's book is due to the fact they don't agree with her, and not really because she offended one or the other part of spanish society.
I made my comments especially in regard to the Spanish background which cannot be compared eg to the Dutch who are well known for their tolerance and open society, what is reflected in their royal representatives. The Spanish monarchy is young and not as settled as others within a quite conservative society and Sofia staying silent played not only a vital part in earning the respect of the people but also her whole reputation is build on the fact that she COULD HAVE spoken, about private (lucky JC!) or public issues, but CHOSE not to.

I don't have a problem with the contents of Sofia's opinions as everyone, including her, is entitled to an own opinion, but I have a problem with voicing it in terms of controversial issues. If Sofia only talked about her family, fine, but why about topics that are bound to offend parts of society - a society that is not actually "monarchic" but rather "juancharlistic" - it's like shooting oneself in the foot. It is most important to demonstrate that monarchy is different from politics - monarchy is supposed to work behind the scenes (apart from the Head of State speaking out on rare occasions) and politics is supposed to work openly for and with society. A Queen consort mixing up the characteristics of both institutions can bring the Spanish monarchy into hot waters but I doubt such an occasion will happen again. Sofia will have learned her lesson at the age of 70.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:14 AM
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I am not so sure of that, Marengo.
The Vice-president of PSOE, the socialist ruling party in Spain, didn't critisize the queen. Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said "the queen is respected and beloved inside and outside Spain. She has been working greatly during her 30 years as queen of Spain".
And, IMO, the same would have happen with the conservative opinion makers and the roman catholic church.

The roman catholic church in Spain is very close to the royal family and although the Bishops could feel angry if she had said she was pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, etc, they wouldn't critisize her so openly as others are doing now.

Besides, the roman catholic church has several lines of thought. The conservative line, more related with Opus Dei is indeed against gay marriage, but there are another liberal roman catholics who simply don't care with civil gay marriages. As long the bishops don't approve religious gay's marriage, they don't care what the governments decides or not.

Again, I am not sure if queen Sofia ever said she was a roman catholic. I am not a roman-catholic, and I am not defending the church of Rome, but I don't see why so many people say that Opus Dei is very happy with this book... The author may be a Opus Dei member, but the answers were given by the queen, not by Pilar. Her answers don't even attach her to the roman church. Evengelical's, anglicans', protestants, mormons', Jeovah witnesses', roman catholics', orthodoxs' churches think exactly as Sofia.



Princess Máxima of the Netherlands ( a roman catholic) attended some pro-gay's rights meeting. She didn't only attended as she spoke there too. Did you criticize her so much as you're doing with queen Sofia? Or everyone (100% of the population!) in the Netherlands agree with gay's marriages? There are no evangelicals there? No roman catholics against gay's marriage? No one seemed to care with the offended dutch citizens... but most people seem very concerned with the offended people in Spain...

The real reason why most (I said most, not all) people dislike Sofia's book is due to the fact they don't agree with her, and not really because she offended one or the other part of spanish society.
Princess Máxima did not speak out against the policies of the government, the Queen of Spain did. IMO the reason that the ruling socialist party did not make a fuss about it is in the 1st place because they are ruling. They do not want a (minor) crisis with the monarchy that has to be solved by their prime minister. And of course Queen Sofia did build up enough credit in her 30 years as flawless queen of Spain, enough credit not to blow this thing out of proportions immidiately.

I think the reason why people are so keen on linking this to Opus Dei is because in the eyes of many Opus Dei is a rather secretive and dodgy organisation with a double morale and a double agenda. This view might be a false one but the reputation of Opus Dei in the society at large is bad, of course among a certain group of roman catholics they might be viewed as a positive group but some of my own RC relatives name the organisation 'scary' and compare the members of it to Pharisees.

You are right that people are probably angry etc. because they do not agree with the Queen, that is why reigning royalty should stay away on giving opinions on such topics in public. They only end up offending half the country, which is not really helpfull if you want to keep your job, a job that is based on being a unifying symbol of the country.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:17 AM
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I made my comments especially in regard to the Spanish background which cannot be compared eg to the Dutch who are well known for their tolerance and open society, what is reflected in their royal representatives.
After reading all the criticism against the queen I think the spanish society is after all becoming tolerant and open as the one you're talking about.

Only because the queen is against gay's marriage and abortion, it's not right to think she is not a tolerant person as other royals...

IMO, most monarchists in Spain agree with Sofia's opinions... I don't have any statistics but I believe most royalists in Spain are conservative. Most people in Spain who are not pro-life are leftists who are already republicans... They wouldn't become monarchists if she had remained quiet... and monarchists won't turn republicans just because she gave such offensive opinions...

Everyone will remind her as a great great queen and a real lady who worked hard for Spain. And that's the most important thing.


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I think the reason why people are so keen on linking this to Opus Dei is because in the eyes of many Opus Dei is a rather secretive and dodgy organisation with a double morale and a double agenda. This view might be a false one but the reputation of Opus Dei in the society at large is bad, of course among a certain group of roman catholics they might be viewed as a positive group but some of my own RC relatives name the organisation 'scary' and compare the members of it to Pharisees.
I am a not a Roman Catholic but as far as know, Opus Dei is indeed an elistist movement/organization. I wouldn't call it "scary" but misterious. You have to prove a lot of "good" things about you and your past before you join the movement and all this doesn't match the real catholic (universal) spirit of Christistianism. Anyway, I still don't understand why some people relate this book and Sofia's opinions with Opus Dei... Sofia never mentioned Opus, and never belonged to this organization... Her detractors want to attach her to this conservative religious movement but that's not right...

She is a Christian. Point. I understand she could have chosen better words to describe her feelings. She said something like "if gays want to dress like bride & bride, or groom & groom, etc". It sounds jugdemental and it was uncessary to point out this clothes thing, but I try to understand her motivations. Most real Christians (royal or not) wouldn't be quiet if someone asked these questions. Even if that witnessing could cost them the throne... at least IMO.

Of course I can't know if her faith was the real cause of her declarations, I'm just trying to give some explanation for why she decided to talk about these difficult issues on a book.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:42 AM
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I suppose that one can disagree on how christian it is to judge others, as that is something that in the eyes of many can only be done by God, not by us mortals. But that is a whole other matter of course

And indeed, if she decides that one gaffe on this scale is enough she will be remembered as a competent, dutiful queen indeed, with this matter as a sidenote. If she ends up like her aunt-by-marriage, the blabbering Duchess of Segovia, well... . Of course there are no reasons to assume that she will share more of her personal thoughts with the rest of the world.

About real christians and keeping quiet: they might speak out etc. but there is a sense of hypocricy there too. King Baudouin for example abdicated for one day, so he would not have to sign a bill allowing abortion in belgium. And yet a former courtier (count Benoit Cardon de Lichtbuer, I believe) claims that the king arranged the abortion for a pregnant girlfriend of Prince Laurent. The abortion happened in a hospital run by the catholic church. Personally it is the double moral that annoys me the most, also in this case with Queen Sofia, as it seems rather double that she is critisizing others, considering the state of her own marriage and those of many in her immidiate family. Her own father for example is said to have had several gay affairs.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:35 AM
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I found this article from the new york times (it was published today), related to Pilar's book.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/wo...8sofia.html?hp
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:28 PM
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About real christians and keeping quiet: they might speak out etc. but there is a sense of hypocricy there too. King Baudouin for example abdicated for one day, so he would not have to sign a bill allowing abortion in belgium. And yet a former courtier (count Benoit Cardon de Lichtbuer, I believe) claims that the king arranged the abortion for a pregnant girlfriend of Prince Laurent. The abortion happened in a hospital run by the catholic church. Personally it is the double moral that annoys me the most, also in this case with Queen Sofia, as it seems rather double that she is critisizing others, considering the state of her own marriage and those of many in her immidiate family. Her own father for example is said to have had several gay affairs.
Ok, but these are rumors, right? Personally, I don't believe King Baudoin would do that (but that's just my personal opinion). And those gay affairs are rumors again. We can't tell that King Baudoin or King Pavlos had a double moral as a Christians just because someone say this and that about them.

Sometimes people say one thing when they think and act differently. There are persons who seem intolerant when they are not (remember that Sofia never said she was against gays. She said she is against calling "marriage" to a union between people of the same sex); on the other side you see VIP's (royals, celebrities, politicians, etc) who seem very friendly to everyone, tolerant, liberal... but when you know a bit more about them you get surprised of how controlling and intolerant they are in real life, with their own family and close friends.
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