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  #141  
Old 06-30-2020, 02:09 AM
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King Philippe, Current Events, Part 2 (Sept. 2017 - present)

On the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independance King Philippe expresses his deepest regrets of the Belgian wrongdoing in Congo’s history in a letter to the Congolese president.
It is the first time a Belgian King adresses the acts during Belgium’s colonial past.
http://Koning Filip betuigt "diepste...be/p.3kOxjy1wJ
https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/de...se?id=10532781
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  #142  
Old 06-30-2020, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cdm View Post
On the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independance King Philippe expresses his deepest regrets of the Belgian wrongdoing in Congo’s history in a letter to the Congolese president.
It is the first time a Belgian King adresses the acts during Belgium’s colonial past.
http://Koning Filip betuigt "diepste...be/p.3kOxjy1wJ
https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/de...se?id=10532781
I presume those who accused the Belgian Royal family of cowardise if not bordeline racism for not adressing its colonial past can stick that in their pipe and smoke it.
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  #143  
Old 06-30-2020, 07:17 AM
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I presume those who accused the Belgian Royal family of cowardise if not bordeline racism for not adressing its colonial past can stick that in their pipe and smoke it.

Historic circumstances prompted a few western European nations, chiefly Portugal, Spain, England (later the UK), France, the Netherlands and then late comers like Belgium to be at different times in control of vast territories in the Americas, Africa, Asia and what used to be called Oceania. That is a historic fact which has changed the world as we know it now and, for better or worse, we have to deal with it.

European colonialism will always be controversial. Personally to me, as someone who was born and raised in the Americas, what happened in the so-called "settler colonies" (what is now the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and, somewhat differently, the major countries in Latin America) was even graver because we are talking here of even mass (direct or indirect) extermination of the native population and entire civilizations (their culture, languages, religion, institutions, etc.) that literally disappeared to be replaced by "new societies" whose mainstream is basically a western European offspring. On top of that, and as a separate (different) issue, the Americas and the Caribbean in particular were also the driving engines of the transatlantic slave trade


Curiously though, the "late" European colonialism in Asia and Africa, of which the Belgian Congo is an example, seems to attract far more attention.
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  #144  
Old 06-30-2020, 08:41 AM
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https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-europe-53232105


https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/30/e...ntl/index.html

Since when is King Philippe of The Belgians a descendant of King Leopold II? Am I forgetting something?
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  #145  
Old 06-30-2020, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Princess Xenia View Post
https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-europe-53232105


https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/30/e...ntl/index.html

Since when is King Philippe of The Belgians a descendant of King Leopold II? Am I forgetting something?

He is not, but they are both descendants of King Leopold I.



Sometimes, people use the word "ancestor" to mean a family connection that is broader than direct descent. Even Queen Elizabeth II is apparently guilty of that: at the state dinner in honor of King Willem-Alexander, when mentioning the Revolution of 1688, she referred to King William III of England and Scotland when addressing King Willem-Alexander, as "your ancestor, William III, Prince of Orange" even though Willem-Alexander does not descend from William III who, as everybody knows, did not have any children.



King Philippe may not be a direct descendant of Léopold II, but the Belgian RF is deeply connected to Léopold II's legacy, who in a way was, for the Belgian monarchy, what Queen Victoria now represents for her British successors. Most of the Belgian royal residences were either acquired or extensively upgraded/ renovated by Léopold II and, other than the highest ranked order of Léopold (which was created by Léopold I), all other royal orders of Belgium were established by Léopold II, including the extant orders of the Crown and of Léopold II and the now dormant orders of the African Star and of the Lion .



In fact, beyond the RF, Léopold II was a central figure in recent Belgian history as, like his father, he was a key figure in creating a Belgian national identity (in a somewhat artificial country) and securing little Belgium's place as a substantive industrial and colonial European state. That doesn't erase the seriousness of his actions in the Congo, but we cannot simply wish him away from Belgian history (as I said before, for better or for worse).
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  #146  
Old 06-30-2020, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
He is not, but they are both descendants of King Leopold I.



Sometimes, people use the word "ancestor" to mean a family connection that is broader than direct descent. Even Queen Elizabeth II is apparently guilty of that: at the state dinner in honor of King Willem-Alexander, when mentioning the Revolution of 1688, she referred to King William III of England and Scotland when addressing King Willem-Alexander, as "your ancestor, William III, Prince of Orange" even though Willem-Alexander does not descend from William III who, as everybody knows, did not have any children.



King Philippe may not be a direct descendant of Léopold II, but the Belgian RF is deeply connected to Léopold II's legacy, who in a way was, for the Belgian monarchy, what Queen Victoria now represents for her British successors. Most of the Belgian royal residences were either acquired or extensively upgraded/ renovated by Léopold II and, other than the highest ranked order of Léopold (which was created by Léopold I), all other royal orders of Belgium were established by Léopold II, including the extant orders of the Crown and of Léopold II and the now dormant orders of the African Star and of the Lion .



In fact, beyond the RF, Léopold II was a central figure in recent Belgian history as, like his father, he was a key figure in creating a Belgian national identity (in a somewhat artificial country) and securing little Belgium's place as a substantive industrial and colonial European state. That doesn't erase the seriousness of his actions in the Congo, but we cannot simply wish him away from Belgian history (as I said before, for better or for worse).


Thank you for your explanation
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  #147  
Old 06-30-2020, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Historic circumstances prompted a few western European nations, chiefly Portugal, Spain, England (later the UK), France, the Netherlands and then late comers like Belgium to be at different times in control of vast territories in the Americas, Africa, Asia and what used to be called Oceania. That is a historic fact which has changed the world as we know it now and, for better or worse, we have to deal with it.

European colonialism will always be controversial. Personally to me, as someone who was born and raised in the Americas, what happened in the so-called "settler colonies" (what is now the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and, somewhat differently, the major countries in Latin America) was even graver because we are talking here of even mass (direct or indirect) extermination of the native population and entire civilizations (their culture, languages, religion, institutions, etc.) that literally disappeared to be replaced by "new societies" whose mainstream is basically a western European offspring. On top of that, and as a separate (different) issue, the Americas and the Caribbean in particular were also the driving engines of the transatlantic slave trade


Curiously though, the "late" European colonialism in Asia and Africa, of which the Belgian Congo is an example, seems to attract far more attention.
And as far i can see it's far more easier to vandalize statues and to insult people than acknowledging this historic move from the KIng of the Belgians.

Less "Twitter compatible " i presume ...
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  #148  
Old 06-30-2020, 04:33 PM
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I am not quite sure what you mean with that comment? The newspapers in Belgium are filled with articles and headlines about a 'historic' or 'brave' move etc.
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  #149  
Old 06-30-2020, 04:50 PM
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"This is the first time a Belgian monarch has formally expressed remorse for what happened during the country's colonial rule. The remarks, however, fell short of an outright apology."

On the one hand, at least this is getting somewhere. On the other, I guess the DRC wasn't colonized in a day and it will take longer to put this to rights.

Is there any other news of the proposed truth and reconciliation commission?
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  #150  
Old 06-30-2020, 05:12 PM
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In a purely speculative sense (just thinking about Philippe not being directly descended), is there any way to determine whether Leopold would have become quite so monstrous had he not lost his son?

He was not a sympathetic man before Prince Leopold died, but he never got over it and it seems to have licensed him to do whatever he wanted, because nothing would make up for it.

Would he have pursued a legacy, any legacy, so unfeelingly if he still had his nice little boy? In which case we'd all be feeling even sorrier for the Belgian monarchy.
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  #151  
Old 06-30-2020, 05:25 PM
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This is a start for progress - Philippe is apparently the only head of state in Europe who has acknowledged their colonial pasts and apologised for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nico View Post
I presume those who accused the Belgian Royal family of cowardise if not bordeline racism for not adressing its colonial past can stick that in their pipe and smoke it.
Well, to be fair, a lot of the criticism has come from the Congolese community themselves and they have every right to want some sort of recognition to how brutally they were treated under colonial rule. I'm pretty sure that if your community had gone through an atrocity, you'd want some kind of reparations.
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  #152  
Old 06-30-2020, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HereditaryPrincess View Post
This is a start for progress - Philippe is apparently the only head of state in Europe who has acknowledged their colonial pasts and apologised for them.
To my knowledge King Willem-Alexander offered apologies for the Dutch occupation of Indonesia while on a state visit to the country a few years ago
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  #153  
Old 06-30-2020, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by HereditaryPrincess View Post
This is a start for progress - Philippe is apparently the only head of state in Europe who has acknowledged their colonial pasts and apologised for them.

Well, to be fair, a lot of the criticism has come from the Congolese community themselves and they have every right to want some sort of recognition to how brutally they were treated under colonial rule. I'm pretty sure that if your community had gone through an atrocity, you'd want some kind of reparations.
King Philippe did not yet apologize. He 'only' expressed his 'deepest regret' (which is considered a weaker form as it apparently doesn't have legal consequences as it doesn't admit wrongdoing).

In addition, Filip's family's relation to the cruelties are a lot more direct: Congo Free State was privately ruled by his forefather - unlike other colonies that were ruled by foreign powers.

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Originally Posted by JR76 View Post
To my knowledge King Willem-Alexander offered apologies for the Dutch occupation of Indonesia while on a state visit to the country a few years ago
Exactly. I guess March 2020 feels like years ago with the pandemic going on His mother already wanted to do so in the 90's but at that point it was considered too political (and especially painful for the many veterans who had fought to keep Indonesia - nowadays there aren't that many left), so, just like Philippe 26 years later, she expressed her regret ("it makes us very sad...").

Nonetheless, it's great that Philippe follows his neighbor's example (the hope that others would follow Willem-Alexander's example was expressed in for example this article) and made an important first step in acknowledging the past with the deepest regret - even though he started that same paragraph by referencing a history of 'shared/common achievements' that had painful episodes... While, it mainly was Belgium enjoying the achievements and Congo living through the painful episodes. Nonetheless, it was very different from the way his uncle talked about Congo's colonial past.
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  #154  
Old 06-30-2020, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
King Philippe did not yet apologize. He 'only' expressed his 'deepest regret' (which is considered a weaker form as it apparently doesn't have legal consequences as it doesn't admit wrongdoing).

In addition, Filip's family's relation to the cruelties are a lot more direct: Congo Free State was privately ruled by his forefather - unlike other colonies that were ruled by foreign powers.


Exactly. I guess March 2020 feels like years ago with the pandemic going on His mother already wanted to do so in the 90's but at that point it was considered too political (and especially painful for the many veterans who had fought to keep Indonesia - nowadays there aren't that many left), so, just like Philippe 26 years later, she expressed her regret ("it makes us very sad...").

Nonetheless, it's great that Philippe follows his neighbor's example (the hope that others would follow Willem-Alexander's example was expressed in for example this article) and made an important first step in acknowledging the past with the deepest regret - even though he started that same paragraph by referencing a history of 'shared/common achievements' that had painful episodes... While, it mainly was Belgium enjoying the achievements and Congo living through the painful episodes. Nonetheless, it was very different from the way his uncle talked about Congo's colonial past.

Congo and neighboring Ruanda and Burundi became independent about 10-11 years after King Baudouin was enthroned, so I suppose it was rather personal to him. At that time, those territories were colonies of the Belgian state and no longer the King's personal property as was the case under Leopold II, but, still, Baudouin was their sovereign at least for a decade or so.



Still I am curious: how did Philippe's uncle talk about Congo's colonial past?
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  #155  
Old 06-30-2020, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Congo and neighboring Ruanda and Burundi became independent about 10-11 years after King Baudouin was enthroned, so I suppose it was rather personal to him. At that time, those territories were colonies of the Belgian state and no longer the King's personal property as was the case under Leopold II, but, still, Baudouin was their sovereign at least for a decade or so.



Still I am curious: how did Philippe's uncle talk about Congo's colonial past?
Sixty years ago, "King Baudouin, representing Belgium, gave the first speech in which he praised the "genius" of his ancestor, King Leopold II, who began the colonisation of the Congo on his own initiative in the 1880s. Baudouin depicted the end of colonial rule in the Congo as the culmination of the Belgian "civilising mission" and spoke of the close relations he hoped would be maintained between the two countries.[12] The thousands of Congolese listening via loudspeakers outside the Palais were infuriated." -Wikipedia
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  #156  
Old Yesterday, 10:00 AM
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Sixty years ago, "King Baudouin, representing Belgium, gave the first speech in which he praised the "genius" of his ancestor, King Leopold II, who began the colonisation of the Congo on his own initiative in the 1880s. Baudouin depicted the end of colonial rule in the Congo as the culmination of the Belgian "civilising mission" and spoke of the close relations he hoped would be maintained between the two countries.[12] The thousands of Congolese listening via loudspeakers outside the Palais were infuriated." -Wikipedia
I could not find this quote in the Wikipedia article on King Baudouin and therefore cannot identify "[12]". Could you clarify who it refers to?

Based on this quotation alone, I cannot tell if the quote "civilising mission" represents the king's speech or the writer's own interpretation of the king's speech, or how it became evident that thousands of listeners were infuriated.
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  #157  
Old Yesterday, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I could not find this quote in the Wikipedia article on King Baudouin and therefore cannot identify "[12]". Could you clarify who it refers to?

Based on this quotation alone, I cannot tell if the quote "civilising mission" represents the king's speech or the writer's own interpretation of the king's speech, or how it became evident that thousands of listeners were infuriated.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congol...nd_and_context

Edit: I moved the rest of my reply (and the link to his speech) to King Baudouin's thread so as not to drag Philippe's thread off-topic. https://www.theroyalforums.com/forum...ml#post2323645
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  #158  
Old Yesterday, 12:21 PM
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Good Gracious, if the current King would say things like that today he would be crucified...!
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  #159  
Old Yesterday, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congol...nd_and_context

I would think that Baudouin's speech and the lukewarm-at-best reaction has been public record for decades at this point. "Genius" is very much what he said.

Edit: "“Belgium has sent to your land the best of his sons. […] When Leopold II started the great work that finds its crowning today, he did not come to you as a conqueror, but rather as a civilizer”

Edit 2: The whole speech, in French and Google Translate. It would probably have been passable if patronizing, if he had not felt the need to praise Leopold and the Force Publique.
https://translate.google.com/transla...search&pto=aue
Thanks! The transcript is precisely what I was searching for.

Has it been confirmed whether King Philippe's statement of regret came out of his own wishes or the wishes of the Government (although I am sure both parties consented to it)?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Xenia View Post
Since when is King Philippe of The Belgians a descendant of King Leopold II? Am I forgetting something?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
He is not, but they are both descendants of King Leopold I.



Sometimes, people use the word "ancestor" to mean a family connection that is broader than direct descent. [...]
Yes, as discussed here (regarding a different issue), Belgian law includes the specific term "direct descendant" for people who descend one from the other, meaning that the less specific term "descendant" technically has a more general application.
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  #160  
Old Yesterday, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cdm View Post
On the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independance King Philippe expresses his deepest regrets of the Belgian wrongdoing in Congo’s history in a letter to the Congolese president.
It is the first time a Belgian King adresses the acts during Belgium’s colonial past.
http://Koning Filip betuigt "diepste...be/p.3kOxjy1wJ
https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/de...se?id=10532781
Is this apology a personal initiative of The King or does it have to be sanctioned by the Belgium Government?

I'm unsure of the constitutional rules in Belgium. I do know that something like this could only happen in the UK at the suggestion of the government.
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