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Marengo 03-09-2007 11:12 AM

Future of the Belgian monarchy
 
In many threads in the Belgian forum, a discussion is started about the future of the Belgian monarchy and about Belgium as one nation. To keep the other threads on-topic and the insights about the future of the monarchy together instead of scattered we decided to start this thread.

In the future posts in current events thread about this matter which seem to much OT will be redirected to this thread. We would like the members to show some moderation in the way they express their feelings, so please stay polite towards each other.

Another rule that we have is that the posts should not become to political. This is a royalty forum after all, so please keep that in mind to.

I am looking forward to an interesting discussion.

Aurora810 03-09-2007 12:45 PM

Yes, this topic finally got it's own thread. I inquired about such a thread being started over a month ago and it's finally here. I just think there is too many important issues going on that should and can be discussed in a nice civilized manner. I know there are many differeing opinions on these hot issues but I'm glad to see that there is now somewhere to learn about what is going on.

Aurora810 03-09-2007 01:06 PM

Since we have a new thread for this topic I'm not sure where to post my reply to Martha-Louise. Thanks for all the info Martha-Louise. It sounds like some of these issues are just hot topics as far as the media and politicians are concerned. That definitely happens in America as well.;)

Maybe this is just simply a media storm that the BRF will weather. I also have to say the actions of the BRF so far concerning some of the issues don't seem to be that of an RF that is too worried. It will be interesting in 6 months to a year if opinions change. Belgium is such a tiny country it seems so odd to think of it seperating.

Henri M. 03-09-2007 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aurora810
Belgium is such a tiny country it seems so odd to think of it seperating.

There is a widespread belief in Flanders, that Wallonia (the French speaking part of Belgium) is a stronghold of the Parti Socialiste which is subsidized by the Dutch-speaking northern half of the country. The Belgian Constitution stipulates that any major decision in Belgium requires approval in both Flanders and Wallonia. This has doomed the country to inertia and is increasingly frustrating the Flemings. Flanders, with its strong freemarket culture, wants to lower taxes and reform social security. But Wallonia blocks many reforms. Among the frustrated Flemings there is a call for secession from Belgium.

The Parti Socialiste, although of no importance in Flanders, has become the most influential party in Belgian politics. Since it is the largest party in Wallonia it can obstruct any policy it objects to. As no government in Belgium is formed without the approval of a majority in both Flanders and Wallonia, the Socialists are ensured of an permanent reign.

Wallonian politicians are enraged by the growing Flemish wish for independence: it would mean that their days are over because redistribution policies only last as long as there is (Flemish) money available to redistribute.

Why is King Albert more popular in Wallonia than in Flanders? Not because the Wallonians are so pro-monarchy. King Albert symbolizes Belgium. Wallonia has all the interest in keeping Flanders, the chicken with the golden egg, aboard inside Belgium. They see the defence of the monarchy as a defence of the Belgian state and, therefore, keeping Flanders in Belgium.

This is exactly why King Albert is less popular in Flanders: he is seen as the guy which keeps Belgium together, with other words: which is a blockade on the way to Flemish self-deployment and growing independence.

So it really has nothing to do with Princess Mathilde being 'so perfect', 'so angelic', 'so beautiful'. Sadly in many threads the comments are only on looks and couture and not on the real thing. She can be as perfect, angelic and beautiful as she wants: when there is no Belgium anymore, there is also no Belgian monarchy. That is obvious.

martha-louise 03-09-2007 02:20 PM

I understand Aurora810 when she says it seems odd to seperate such tiny country, she is American. Belgium seems so small on the map. eg. Greater Londen has 10 million inhabitants of al kinds of races, whole of Belgium counts 10 million inhabitans. It's a bizarre matter of scale.

But it is true as Henri M. says, there is a line in the middle, and when you cross it, you feel like you are in an other country.
It is already odd to notice that in our very tiny country (30,528 km²) we have 3 governments (Flemish, Walloon, Federal) and 3 districts (Brussels, Walloon, Flemish) and 4 communities (French, Flemish, bilangual brussels and German) What an administration! A separation can't be much more odd, don't you think?
As a united state, we couldn't agree on many topics, because of the differences. We solved it, not by guns, but by the almost mythical "Belgian Concensus".

martha-louise 03-09-2007 02:29 PM

In the previous thread Henri M. made the remark that not all seperations have to be violent, thanks for your information, it is an interesting point.
IMO if Belgium splits up, it won't be by force, but in a peacefull way, Belgians are rather used to talk and talk it over. (eg. in our tough discussions between communities)

martha-louise 03-09-2007 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Henri M.

This is exactly why King Albert is less popular in Flanders: he is seen as the guy which keeps Belgium together, with other words: which is a blockade on the way to Flemish self-deployment and growing independence.

So it really has nothing to do with Princess Mathilde being 'so perfect', 'so angelic', 'so beautiful'. Sadly in many threads the comments are only on looks and couture and not on the real thing. She can be as perfect, angelic and beautiful as she wants: when there is no Belgium anymore, there is also no Belgian monarchy. That is obvious.

I wouldn't say King Albert is less popular, he is seen as a easygoing, rather cool King, who signs every law. The Flemish people are far more rude against his children. King Albert is still more untouchable 'no bad word for the good old man'. Separatists think forward towards the future, they want to block prince Philippe, that's far more interesting than blocking King Albert. I have doubts wether Philippe will make it to become king...

I don't agree with your remark about the glorifications of Mathilde of the members. That's part of the game! Monarchy isn't alone about politics, the real thing you call it, but also about the glamour and glitter that makes ordinary people say 'aaaah'. Today the impact of media and fans-attention can also be political. If no-one would be there to wave at the royals, to give flowers, to admire the royal family, there wouldn't be a monarchy either. Monarchy lives by the grace of his people, no?
(and I think you are a man among many women on the board, that could be an explanation too :))

flcty 03-09-2007 05:25 PM

Just a question:
If [only if, guys] Flanders does break away would they have a constitutional monarchy or will they be a republic? :smile:

Henri M. 03-09-2007 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flctylu
Just a question:
If [only if, guys] Flanders does break away would they have a constitutional monarchy or will they be a republic? :smile:

Republic Flanders.
What else?

Other options are:

1) the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg re-unite in the Kingdom of the United Netherlands (becoming one of the world's top-10 economies)
2) Belgium remains as an individual state
3) Flanders joins the Netherlands and Wallonia joins France

Aurora810 03-09-2007 06:01 PM

This is all great information and I was wondering the same thing about what would happen if the country does break. It seems like to join another country would mean a lot more serious discussions and debate. Option 1 from Henri's post seems really odd to me just because that means that Luxembourg's dukes go bye bye. Why would Luxembourg become involved in the near future at least? And would Flanders want to get away from Belgium just to turn around and join the Netherlands?

Sorry maybe it's b/c I'm an American which I apologize for, I'm really trying to understand as best I can. But it just seems that there are many unbelievably complicated issues that need to be dealt with before option 1 or 3 could ever happen. It seems more likely that the country would simply split in two. I mean Belgium is tiny but Europe has other tiny countries as well so maybe it's not that odd for it to just separate.

I tend to agree that some of the worry might be about Philippe becoming King someday.

Henri M. 03-09-2007 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aurora810
Why would Luxembourg become involved in the near future at least?

And would Flanders want to get away from Belgium just to turn around and join the Netherlands?

The Grand Dukes of Luxembourg are a spin-off from Netherlands royal family. When King Willem III of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg died in 1890, he had only one daughter, Princess Wilhelmina (grandmother of Queen Beatrix).

Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands and could have become Grand Duchess of Luxembourg as well but her father decided not to change but to respect the old Nassau Family Treaty which says that male descendants have preference to the throne of Luxembourg. Therefore Luxembourg went to a collateral branch of the House of Nassau, which still reigns today.

Flanders could unite with the Netherlands because of the cultural, linguïstic and historical ties which binds them with the Northern neighbours ánd to merge into a bigger unity.

As the Orange-Nassaus are not only already for 603 years in the Low Countries and are ruling in by far the biggest country (qua population and economy) of the three, they could deliver the Sovereign.

The Luxembourg and Belgian royal families could become non-reigning families, remaining in their residences and become part of the 'Salon Bleu', the dozen highest Peers in the United Netherlands:

- The Prince(ss) of Orange
- The Duke of Brabant, Duke of Saxen-Coburg-Gotha
- The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau
- The Prince de Bourbon de Parme, Duke of Parma
- The Prince de Ligne
- The Prince de Mérode
- The Prince de Chimay et de Caraman
- The Prince de Lobkowicz
- The Prince d'Arenberg
- The Duke de Croÿ-Solre
- The Duke de Looz-Corswarem
- The Duke d'Ursel

Aurora810 03-09-2007 06:40 PM

Oh, I see. Alright when you put it like that I can see how that might happen. Gee, another question just popped into my mind. Would there be any sort of competition among other countries in the area to join with a separated Belgium, for example France? Oh darn am I showing my American roots again, well we love to compete in many different forms.

I guess we'll just all have to wait and watch as some of this unfolds in the next few months.

Warren 03-10-2007 12:14 AM

I think Henri is already campaigning for the aggrandisement of the territories of the House of Orange, and the mediatisation of the displaced princes, including their Nassau cousins. So much for the Family Pact of 1783.

Alternatively, with a break-up of the Belgian state, we could go back even earlier and reinstitute the Duchy of Burgundy, with a Habsburg on the throne.
Now there's a job for Lorenz and Amedeo! :biggrin:

Henri M. 03-10-2007 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warren
I think Henri is already campaigning for the aggrandisement of the territories of the House of Orange, and the mediatisation of the displaced princes, including their Nassau cousins. So much for the Family Pact of 1783.

Alternatively, with a break-up of the Belgian state, we could go back even earlier and reinstitute the Duchy of Burgundy, with a Habsburg on the throne.
Now there's a job for Lorenz and Amedeo! :biggrin:

I agree that the Habsburgers could also come back as Dukes of Burgundy but their starting point is poor as right NOW they do not possess any of the thrones.

And then with regard to the three reigning families. It is very unlikely that such a re-union would happen, but you never know when Belgium will really split up, how the three Benelux-states would react.

The Duke of Brabant or the Grand Duke of Luxembourg are not dethroned. They can remain Duke of Brabant or Grand Duke of Luxembourg. See the example of the German Reich with an emperor and many royal families in the various German states.

Warren 03-10-2007 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Henri M.
The Duke of Brabant or the Grand Duke of Luxembourg are not dethroned. They can remain Duke of Brabant or Grand Duke of Luxembourg. See the example of the German Reich with an emperor and many royal families in the various German states.

So I assume in this scenario the Dutch Monarch becomes Emperor/Empress of the new reich and the Orange-Nassau's raise themselves to Imperial rank? A Kingdom and an Empire!
HIM and HI&RH has a nice ring to it, eh Henri? :smile:

Henri M. 03-10-2007 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warren
So I assume in this scenario the Dutch Monarch becomes Emperor/Empress of the new reich and the Orange-Nassau's raise themselves to Imperial rank? A Kingdom and an Empire!
HIM and HI&RH has a nice ring to it, eh Henri? :smile:

LOL,
No, they can remain as they are, or even become a princely family again with delivering the Stadtholder, as in the times of the Republic of the United Provinces.

flcty 03-12-2007 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warren
Alternatively, with a break-up of the Belgian state, we could go back even earlier and reinstitute the Duchy of Burgundy, with a Habsburg on the throne.
Now there's a job for Lorenz and Amedeo! :biggrin:

Indeed :wub: ;) . Amedeo, pardon my teen girl antics, would make a pretty handsome and smart monarch, a pretty good person/Hasburg to claim a throne/regain a throne through. Re-establish the good name of the Hasburg's. But then again would Lorenz and Amedeo need to pursuade Otto/Carl/Georg to give up their rights; make alliances in the hasburg family and pressure otto/carl/georg to renounce their rights, denounce Carl's marriage to Francesca as morgantic. Please PM me about the history of the Duchy of Burgendy, I'm really intrested.

SASSY 03-21-2007 08:58 PM

Exactly how serious is the debate in Belgium?

princess olga 03-21-2007 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by martha-louise
I have doubts wether Philippe will make it to become king...


Oh my gosh, you serious? Are you pretty much representing the Flemish consensus on this one? (I'm assuming here you're Flemish, maybe wrongly?)

Aurora810 03-21-2007 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SASSY
Exactly how serious is the debate in Belgium?

Other posters can certainly weigh in on the seriousness of this debate. Apparently there will be some politically related reform talks this summer. Some people think it's just a political idea and not widely supported yet about Belgium separating. But who knows all we can do is wait and watch at this point...oh and speculate, which has been interesting to read about. I have to say the royal family is certainly not acting worried at all in recent months, but that's just my opinion and just what I've noticed.

Before this thread was started we were discussing this topic in the Royal Family of Belgium's Current Events 6 thread. So if you want you can read up on things a little in that thread.:smile:


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