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  #81  
Old 06-05-2020, 12:32 PM
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There is no evidence but what other company would offer an INTERNSHIP (not a job) to someone who had been working for years? In what context? Etc. So, yes, it could be that he arranged it with another employer but it seems more likely that her family was involved.
According to Belgian newspapers (sudpresse, Nieuwsblad) Victoria's father planned the parties for her 30th birthday and Joachim's attendance was the ultimate surprise for his daughter. There was no truly legal way to get Joachim to Cordoba and for sure everyone involved knew they were bending the rules. The 'internship' it seems was a 'job' offered by a farmer who works for the family or in a company owned by Victoria's mother herself. If it's true – and I think its plausible – their smart plan proofed to be a complete fiasco. And it all happened during a period of national mourning.
I get that its hard to be separated for such a long time and a 30th birthday is a special milestone.. but still... With great privilege, comes great responsibility and no one is above the law.


Also given that Joachim was with his parents before he travelled to Spain I guess they knew what he was up to. They should have intervened. And would it have hurt Astrid to say that her son was wrong and they are all sorry when she was asked for a comment?
If you look at all these incidents during these last years: what a missed opportunity that Astrid and Laurent didn't retire when Philippe succeeded his father. It would have reduced the damage for the monarchy. I sincerely hope there is an exit strategy for them at the latest when Elisabeth becomes a full-time working royal.
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  #82  
Old 06-05-2020, 12:43 PM
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Mara, so far away you understand what each Belgian is thinking. Thank you so much. I always appreciate your posts.
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  #83  
Old 06-05-2020, 01:20 PM
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I thought Mara was Belgian, but please correct me if I'm mistaken.

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Originally Posted by *Mara* View Post
According to Belgian newspapers (sudpresse, Nieuwsblad) Victoria's father planned the parties for her 30th birthday and Joachim's attendance was the ultimate surprise for his daughter. There was no truly legal way to get Joachim to Cordoba and for sure everyone involved knew they were bending the rules. The 'internship' it seems was a 'job' offered by a farmer who works for the family or in a company owned by Victoria's mother herself. If it's true – and I think its plausible – their smart plan proofed to be a complete fiasco. And it all happened during a period of national mourning.
I get that its hard to be separated for such a long time and a 30th birthday is a special milestone.. but still... With great privilege, comes great responsibility and no one is above the law.
Thank you, Mara.


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Also given that Joachim was with his parents before he travelled to Spain I guess they knew what he was up to. They should have intervened. And would it have hurt Astrid to say that her son was wrong and they are all sorry when she was asked for a comment?
If you look at all these incidents during these last years: what a missed opportunity that Astrid and Laurent didn't retire when Philippe succeeded his father. It would have reduced the damage for the monarchy. I sincerely hope there is an exit strategy for them at the latest when Elisabeth becomes a full-time working royal.
I cannot recall there being "all these incidents" involving Princess Astrid in the last few years, except perhaps her absence from a national day, whereas I can think of numerous ones involving her brother Prince Laurent. To me the princess has always seemed diplomatic and dedicated to her role, and even the rumored spats between King Philippe and his sister were supposedly due to his decision to sideline her from duty. That is why I think it is premature to assume that she agreed with her son's choice to break quarantine.

She (and Prince Lorenz) would surely have known about their son's destination, but according to the Spanish laws, it would have been allowable for him to spend his quarantine in a private residence. So given that his journey and destination did not break the law, I am not sure how she (or Prince Lorenz) could have intervened to prevent him from attending the parties once he was in Spain.

Prince Joachim himself has never been a working royal and has an extremely low profile; I noticed that many of the headlines in Flanders even named him as "Princess Astrid's son" rather than "Prince Joachim". I am not sure how it would have reduced the damage to the monarchy if his mother had been retired. But if that is the case then King Philippe should sideline his own three younger children from the very beginning, as it is equally possible that his children's future children will eventually do something similar.

However, I agree with you that it would have been more diplomatic for Princess Astrid to repeat her son's apology and stress that it was wrong (although I think she herself should only apologize if she indeed supported his actions) when asked for comment.
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  #84  
Old 06-05-2020, 04:37 PM
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I cannot recall there being "all these incidents" involving Princess Astrid in the last few years, except perhaps her absence from a national day, whereas I can think of numerous ones involving her brother Prince Laurent. To me the princess has always seemed diplomatic and dedicated to her role, and even the rumored spats between King Philippe and his sister were supposedly due to his decision to sideline her from duty. That is why I think it is premature to assume that she agreed with her son's choice to break quarantine.
Sure, most incidents are caused by Laurent but Astrid also had her moments. It's unprofessional to openly show discontent with staff members, or to miss out quite a few of the mayor events she was expected to attend etc. And it's not Astrid's fault but her father's decision to ask for a dotation for his younger kids is haunting the RF since decades. It was one of the biggest misjudgements and it needs to be fixed soon. But I should have started a new paragraph as this was a more general remark.

Quote:
She (and Prince Lorenz) would surely have known about their son's destination, but according to the Spanish laws, it would have been allowable for him to spend his quarantine in a private residence. So given that his journey and destination did not break the law, I am not sure how she (or Prince Lorenz) could have intervened to prevent him from attending the parties once he was in Spain.

Prince Joachim himself has never been a working royal and has an extremely low profile; I noticed that many of the headlines in Flanders even named him as "Princess Astrid's son" rather than "Prince Joachim". I am not sure how it would have reduced the damage to the monarchy if his mother had been retired.
Had his mother been retired she would not have been out and about representing the monarchy two days after the incident became known. She would have gotten away with a 'no comment' as she would not have a relevant role any longer. And the Prime minister who attended the opening of the Atomium with her would not have felt the need to come to her rescue with the statement 'case closed', which was well intended but only made matters worse. The public would not have to think about the possibility of Astrid being ill and spreading the virus during the opening. She was invited to make sure the visitors of the Atomium and other attractions felt confident and safe about going there. But now the focus totally shifted and people are angry because they feel that rules are only for Joe Average. Had she not been a paid working member of the RF it would still have been bad but the impact would have been smaller imo.
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But if that is the case then King Philippe should sideline his own three younger children from the very beginning, as it is equally possible that his children's future children will eventually do something similar.
That already happened. Only Elisabeth gets a dotation. The younger children will be private persons, who must earn their keep. They are only entitled to a reimbursement of expenses if they represent the crown. (see the law concerning the dotations from Nov 23rd 2013)


Quote:
However, I agree with you that it would have been more diplomatic for Princess Astrid to repeat her son's apology and stress that it was wrong (although I think she herself should only apologize if she indeed supported his actions) when asked for comment.
Joachim, Astrid and Lorenz certainly knew only essential travels were allowed. And they all knew that attending a party under the cover of an internship isn't a valid reason for travelling to Spain. They all thought Joachim would fly under the radar and no one would notice.

There were people dying in their hospital beds without their relatives being able to comfort them. Funerals were held with a minimum attendance, weddings and birthday parties were cancelled, grandparents hadn't seen their grandkids in ages and yet Joachim travels around in Europe like rules are not for him. Out of respect and solidarity he should have stayed home. Sure, he is a grown up man and it was his decision to travel. But he did live under one roof with his parents. They certainly talked about the travel and Astrid and Lorenz could have convinced him that this is a bad idea since he certainly did not make the right decision. A 'no comment' is not the adequate answer in this situation.
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  #85  
Old 06-05-2020, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by *Mara* View Post
Sure, most incidents are caused by Laurent but Astrid also had her moments. It's unprofessional to openly show discontent with staff members, or to miss out quite a few of the mayor events she was expected to attend etc.
I am interested in those incidents; could you please provide further details (or a link)?


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And it's not Astrid's fault but her father's decision to ask for a dotation for his younger kids is haunting the RF since decades. It was one of the biggest misjudgements and it needs to be fixed soon. But I should have started a new paragraph as this was a more general remark.
I would say it has been fixed with, as you noted, the overhaul of the dotation system to withhold dotations from the next generation of younger siblings.


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Had his mother been retired she would not have been out and about representing the monarchy two days after the incident became known. She would have gotten away with a 'no comment' as she would not have a relevant role any longer. And the Prime minister who attended the opening of the Atomium with her would not have felt the need to come to her rescue with the statement 'case closed', which was well intended but only made matters worse. The public would not have to think about the possibility of Astrid being ill and spreading the virus during the opening. She was invited to make sure the visitors of the Atomium and other attractions felt confident and safe about going there. But now the focus totally shifted and people are angry because they feel that rules are only for Joe Average. Had she not been a paid working member of the RF it would still have been bad but the impact would have been smaller imo.
To clarify, is it your belief that the public anger at rules being only for Joe Average would have been lessened if Prince Joachim was only the grandson and not the son of a paid working royal? And that if Princess Astrid had not been a paid working royal, whichever paid working royal opened the Atomium would not have had to face the same questions that she did?

It was reported in the Belgian press prior to the visit that both Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz had tested negative (which she confirmed).


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That already happened. Only Elisabeth gets a dotation. The younger children will be private persons, who must earn their keep. They are only entitled to a reimbursement of expenses if they represent the crown. (see the law concerning the dotations from Nov 23rd 2013)
We will see how it plays out. There are manifold European royals who are treated as public persons with public duties without receiving any government dotation. For the moment all of King Philippe's children are treated as public persons. On the royal family website they rank above the King's working royal siblings and retired working royal parents. Their birthdays are acknowledged on the royal social media and photographs are published.


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Originally Posted by *Mara* View Post
Joachim, Astrid and Lorenz certainly knew only essential travels were allowed. And they all knew that attending a party under the cover of an internship isn't a valid reason for travelling to Spain. They all thought Joachim would fly under the radar and no one would notice.

There were people dying in their hospital beds without their relatives being able to comfort them. Funerals were held with a minimum attendance, weddings and birthday parties were cancelled, grandparents hadn't seen their grandkids in ages and yet Joachim travels around in Europe like rules are not for him. Out of respect and solidarity he should have stayed home. Sure, he is a grown up man and it was his decision to travel. But he did live under one roof with his parents. They certainly talked about the travel and Astrid and Lorenz could have convinced him that this is a bad idea since he certainly did not make the right decision. A 'no comment' is not the adequate answer in this situation.
We will have to disagree about the "certainty" that the prince's parents were aware of the birthday plans and he would not have attended without their consent. It is possible that it happened exactly as you believe it did. But I see nothing unbelievable in the possibility of an adult disregarding his parents' wishes (particularly an adult who disregarded the rules intended to protect his fellow guests).

If the Royal Palace and the Ortiz Martínez-Sagrera family can be believed, Prince Joachim had a legally valid reason for "essential travel", specifically a professional internship. If it is true that the internship was arranged as a cover for attending a party, then that would indeed be an abuse of the laws.
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  #86  
Old 06-05-2020, 06:43 PM
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To clarify, is it your belief that the public anger at rules being only for Joe Average would have been lessened if Prince Joachim was only the grandson and not the son of a paid working royal? And that if Princess Astrid had not been a paid working royal, whichever paid working royal opened the Atomium would not have had to face the same questions that she did?

It was reported in the Belgian press prior to the visit that both Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz had tested negative (which she confirmed).
I agree that I don't think it would have mattered much. He was mostly an unknown prince and he would have been so had his mother been sidelined. He still however is a prince of Belgium and therefore it would have attracted attention either way.

Quote:
We will have to disagree about the "certainty" that the prince's parents were aware of the birthday plans and he would not have attended without their consent. It is possible that it happened exactly as you believe it did. But I see nothing unbelievable in the possibility of an adult disregarding his parents' wishes (particularly an adult who disregarded the rules intended to protect his fellow guests).

If the Royal Palace and the Ortiz Martínez-Sagrera family can be believed, Prince Joachim had a legally valid reason for "essential travel", specifically a professional internship. If it is true that the internship was arranged as a cover for attending a party, then that would indeed be an abuse of the laws.
I am sure his parents' were aware of Victoria's birthday (as they have been in a relationship for real). While Joachim may have planned his trip to coincide with Victoria's birthday; I'd say the general purpose would be to be back together after months of separation. So, by focusing on 'attending a party', the other position is not represented fairly.

Of course he, like any other in his situation, wanted to be with his girlfriend after several months of unplanned separation. So, they found a way to get him to Spain. So yes, I believe they bended the rules (and they are probably not the only ones doing so - but they had bad luck and got found out because of Joachim's infection) to make it happen because it is not logical at all -for someone who had a job in South Africa- to suddenly need 'an internship in Córdoba' (this internship was clearly not a necessity - as the company would have hired him if they truly needed them; and he is not currently undertaking university studies that would require him to take this internship to graduate either; so, non-essential) at the exact time and place that would conveniently mean he could be with his girlfriend again.
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  #87  
Old 06-05-2020, 07:06 PM
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If the Royal Palace and the Ortiz Martínez-Sagrera family can be believed, Prince Joachim had a legally valid reason for "essential travel", specifically a professional internship. If it is true that the internship was arranged as a cover for attending a party, then that would indeed be an abuse of the laws.
I am sure his parents' were aware of Victoria's birthday (as they have been in a relationship for real). While Joachim may have planned his trip to coincide with Victoria's birthday; I'd say the general purpose would be to be back together after months of separation. So, by focusing on 'attending a party', the other position is not represented fairly.
I did not mean to misrepresent anything and am ready to correct any errors I've made, although I am not sure what you are referring to. However, I specifically cited the party because it was what Mara cited as an invalid reason, because joining a partner living in another country was a legally valid reason to travel abroad per the Belgian government, and thus it would not have been an abuse of the Belgian laws. It would have been an abuse of the Spanish laws, but the discussion was focused on whether Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz might have attempted to convince their son, and I am not sure they would be aware that the Spanish laws differed from the Belgian laws on this point.

I think being aware of the birthday, if that was the case, would not necessarily mean being aware of their son's plans to disrespect the quarantine rules in order to celebrate the birthday.


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Of course he, like any other in his situation, wanted to be with his girlfriend after several months of unplanned separation. So, they found a way to get him to Spain. So yes, I believe they bended the rules (and they are probably not the only ones doing so - but they had bad luck and got found out because of Joachim's infection) to make it happen because it is not logical at all -for someone who had a job in South Africa- to suddenly need 'an internship in Córdoba' (this internship was clearly not a necessity - as the company would have hired him if they truly needed them; and he is not currently undertaking university studies that would require him to take this internship to graduate either; so, non-essential) at the exact time and place that would conveniently mean he could be with his girlfriend again.
I agree that the circumstances are suspicious. If the internship is genuinely something more than an arrangement of convenience it would be helpful to both families to release more information to demonstrate that (although I can understand that no employer would want their name attached to this headline news story).
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  #88  
Old 06-05-2020, 08:43 PM
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I did not mean to misrepresent anything and am ready to correct any errors I've made, although I am not sure what you are referring to. However, I specifically cited the party because it was what Mara cited as an invalid reason, because joining a partner living in another country was a legally valid reason to travel abroad per the Belgian government, and thus it would not have been an abuse of the Belgian laws. It would have been an abuse of the Spanish laws, but the discussion was focused on whether Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz might have attempted to convince their son, and I am not sure they would be aware that the Spanish laws differed from the Belgian laws on this point.
Thanks for the clarification. I understand your point of view.

Quote:
I think being aware of the birthday, if that was the case, would not necessarily mean being aware of their son's plans to disrespect the quarantine rules in order to celebrate the birthday.
I agree that Lorenz and Astrid might not have been fully aware of the Spanish rules; but I don't think they thought Joachim would fly to Spain on the day before his girlfriend's birthday and not meet her - but again, I don't know whether they were aware of the quarantine requirement.

Quote:
I agree that the circumstances are suspicious. If the internship is genuinely something more than an arrangement of convenience it would be helpful to both families to release more information to demonstrate that (although I can understand that no employer would want their name attached to this headline news story).
I expect we won't hear anymore about this internship... Joachim isn't very active in keeping his LinkedIn-profile up to date it seems.
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  #89  
Old 06-06-2020, 04:08 AM
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Newspaper HLN went published the family properties where the prince has been staying.

On Monday night the birthday was held at the Palace of Moratalla in Hornachuelos near Cordoba.

Later on he was at the family villa in Cordoba. The newspaper was only able to show a photo of the gate & trees surrounding the property.

https://www.hln.be/showbizz/royalty/...ting~a9c19e48/
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  #90  
Old 06-06-2020, 05:46 AM
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I don't believe Astrid & Lorenz would know about the rules around the Spanish lockdown. I live in the UK, I'm in England and my parents are 10 miles away in Wales. Here we are allowed now up to 6 people to meet outside including in a garden, so when I spoke to my parents last I said I'd come over and see them for the first time in ages. Oh no said my parents, here the rules are different and only two households from within 5 miles can meet.

I don't think I'm particularly dumb and I couldn't keep up with two different countries rules even when the countries are next to each other and my own relatives live in one. I can 100% see Astrid and Lorenz not knowing the specifics of the Spanish rules. They may have either assumed Joachim was following the rules without asking or Joachim may have told them a few "white lies" about what the rules were especially given that the Belgian rules would have allowed him to do what he did (travelling to another country).

The "internship" may well be the undoing of this whole saga, if the family set up, to all intense and purposes, a fake internship to navigate around the rules then that is bad as it shows they knew what he was doing was wrong and were trying to make the situation artificially fit the rules.
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  #91  
Old 06-06-2020, 01:29 PM
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Pieter De Crem , Minister de l' Intérieur who allowed Prince Joacim to go to Spain for his Work knew it.
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Old 06-06-2020, 01:43 PM
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A second person who attended the party has tested positive on Corona. The Spanish minister Jesús Aguirre commented in a press conference yesterday that "this is his fault" and added that the prince should have stayed in quarantine.

https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detai...us?id=10516392

https://sevilla.abc.es/andalucia/cor...8_noticia.html

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ABC has written a profile on the girlfriend of the prince:

https://sevilla.abc.es/andalucia/cor...a&vtm_loMas=si
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  #93  
Old 06-06-2020, 02:16 PM
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She is a striking young lady-no doubt about it. Eminently suitable and "princess material" to the nth degree.
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Old 06-06-2020, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Newspaper HLN went published the family properties where the prince has been staying.

On Monday night the birthday was held at the Palace of Moratalla in Hornachuelos near Cordoba.

Later on he was at the family villa in Cordoba. The newspaper was only able to show a photo of the gate & trees surrounding the property.

https://www.hln.be/showbizz/royalty/...ting~a9c19e48/
I didn't know Moratalla Palace belongs to Victoria's family. This family really is very interesting.
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Old 06-06-2020, 05:17 PM
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I also wonder whether Prince Joachim violated the quarantine law because he wanted to attend his girlfriend's birthday, but surely he could afford to simply depart Belgium two weeks earlier. His girlfriend's birthday falls on the same day every year...
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Rules change all the time, so I'm not sure that both Belgium and Spain allowed travel between the countries two weeks earlier.

The second infection could very well be because of Joachim; and if that person didn't know that you are ill (and had no symptoms) I don't think he/she broke any rules. Unlike Joachim who was supposed to be in quarantine for 14 days after traveling to Spain.
Yes, you are right on both counts. Apparently the Spanish laws changed effective May 24 to allow travel to Spain from abroad for professional reasons. The restrictions that were effective through May 23 made only a few exceptions for professionals, such as health care providers. So if I have understood the laws correctly, Prince Joachim flew into Spain on the first day when he could use his internship to enter the country, which also happened to be the day before Victoria Ortiz's birthday.

Hopefully none of the people involved in recruiting the prince for the internship (as far as I can find out, they remain unidentified) were involved in arranging either of the two parties he attended, since his employer(s) must have been aware of the restrictions on professional travel. They would therefore know that May 24 was the earliest date possible of Prince Joachim's arrival in Spain and that he should not be invited to social gatherings on May 25 and 26.


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I agree that Lorenz and Astrid might not have been fully aware of the Spanish rules; but I don't think they thought Joachim would fly to Spain on the day before his girlfriend's birthday and not meet her - but again, I don't know whether they were aware of the quarantine requirement.
Most EU countries seem to have instituted some version of a quarantine requirement for foreign arrivals, but I would like to think that most would respect the requirement implemented to protect health and lives even if it meant missing their partner's birthday party and that most parents would assume their adult children would follow the requirement (which would unfortunately be the wrong assumption in this case).
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:29 PM
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A second person who attended the party has tested positive on Corona. The Spanish minister Jesús Aguirre commented in a press conference yesterday that "this is his fault" and added that the prince should have stayed in quarantine.
Sad that another person tested positive. I cannot blame the Spanish minister with what he said too.

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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
ABC has written a profile on the girlfriend of the prince:

https://sevilla.abc.es/andalucia/cor...a&vtm_loMas=si
According to this article, Montealto which is owned by Victoria's family is just 30km away from the very cite King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola had their honeymoon in the 1960's.

Pretty interesting.

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I didn't know Moratalla Palace belongs to Victoria's family. This family really is very interesting.
Indeed.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:02 AM
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[Wim Dehandschutter]
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Prins Joachim (28) krijgt een boete van ​10.400 euro in Spanje, zo vernam hij vandaag. Hij ging niet eerst 2 weken in quarantaine bij aankomst in Madrid maar reisde direct door naar Córdoba. "Een ernstig misdrijf tegen de wet voor de bescherming van de veiligheid van de burger."

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Once mil euros, la multa al Príncipe Joaquin de Bélgica por saltarse el decreto del Estado de Alarma al asistir desde Belgica a una fiesta en #Cordoba. C/c @WDehandschutter"


"Prince Joachim (28) will be fined 10,400 euros in Spain, he learned today. He did not first quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival in Madrid, but immediately traveled to Córdoba. "A serious crime against the law for the protection of the security of the citizen.""
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  #98  
Old 06-10-2020, 11:27 AM
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The Story is closed here in Belgium because it is Princess Astrid's Son.
Now he Has to pay as everybody ! Well done
The Dutch newspapers and reporters are much more informed as the French so thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:18 PM
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Have no sympathy for him and he might think twice next time.

€10,400 is a hefty fine.
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:25 PM
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I hope his parents do not cover the fine on his behalf, and will insist that he pay it out of his personal funds. If he doesn't have it he can work to pay it off.

It would teach Joachim a valuable lesson while he is young.

As it is, this messy story will accompany every article about him for the remainder of his life...his wedding, etc...perhaps even his obituary!
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