The press was able to view the documentary today. It will be aired friday the 18th on the RTBF and sunday the 20th on the VRT.
The article of VRT News is positive.
- Asked about her mother in law, Claire describes her as direct, not very diplomatic. When the interviewer asked Claire to describe her mother-in-law, the Queen teased: shall I leave? When count Bernhard de Traux gives her a compliment for her dedication to the Queen Paola Foundation she turns to the interviewer and says: you see how difficult it is not to consider yourself too important?
- Albert asked her to marry him while she was driving, he joked: 'so she couldn't slap my face when I proposed' . Her reply was that she had to think about it, but that under no circumstances she would want to become Queen. When he asked why not, she replied : so many royal heads have rolled. Look at the French revolution, I do not want my head to be chopped of, as happened with the wife of that poor Louis XVI'. Paola now says it was a joke to gain time & get to know each other better.
The Queen now says: it all went so quick. We barely grew out of our adolescent years. We were both very young and stepped into a world of which we understood little.
- Her arrival in Belgium was difficult for her. The paparazzi, the massive adoration of people, the strict limits of court life, and being adressed as Highness instead of Mme Ruffo. At the time she said that she was not a vedette, but all of a sudden she found herself at the center of attention. Due to her shyness she did not like to speak in public and she had difficulties in learning the languages, esp. Dutch: 'it was a struggle. I made enormous efforts of which nobody knows'.
- After the wedding of Baudouin and Fabiola the couple was told to move to the background. Albert was often away on foreign visits. The Queen says: 'I did not have a real role, except the children. I had to rethink my life'.
- About the children Albert says: my own father was very strict with me and I copied him. I was also very authoritarian with Philippe. When a doctor told me that things were not going well with my son, my reaction was to let him go. I should have dealtwith it differently but at the moment I had given up my interest in him.
The children were raised with a lot of nannies and governesses around. 'We were in a pivotal moment, when the zeitgeist was changing. Afterwards young parents paid a lot more attention to raising their children themselves. Paola adds: 'we were en route to a divorce, if we had not regrouped on time. It is a pity we can't re-do it. I understand now how important it is to show affection to your children.
- The interview does not talk about Delphine or her mother. They do talk about a photo of Paola walking on a beach & embraced by a man who is not Albert. Paola comments: I don't feel guilty about that. It was taken at a moment when things really were not working any more. It was a bit of a selfish love. I wouldn t do it again under these circumstances but I don't regret anything.
- I was not happy and distanced myself from everything. I have been alone a lot, between the years 70 and 80. I was unhappy and sad and then there was the risk of a divorce... Things change when they meet to arrange the divorce. The lawyers stated that the children would not go to the wife but to Albert. And Albert said: that is not fair and unacceptable. The children have a right to their mother. The rest followed from there.
A reconciliation followed step by step. Paola says: you need to give it time. Other things are going on. There is no haste any longer, it is not so much about sex, there is tenderness. And that is good.
Albert says: we rejoice to see how magnificently our children are doing things, even if they had problems. They all raised their children excellently.
The children are being interviewed.
Astrid: it is not a secret, weall suffered from it. But I love my parents and I admire my mother. In difficult moments she was exceptional. A great lady, she never talked badly about anybody. It is something I still have to learn. The princess becomes emotional and adds: I love her enormously, I truely am greatly attached to her.
Like Claire, King Philippe says that his mother is a straight talker. She is a non-conformist, very creative and takes the initiative. But especially a non-conformist. Of course as children we witnessed difficult things, things that were tough for the entire family. We all suffered from it. But today you are happy, and that is a victory. You have to really want it. That is courageous and something that doesn't happen by itself. Reconsiliation and forgiveness are the most difficult things that exist but also the greatest.
Even Laurent is complimentary: what I would like my childre to take from her is her drive, the will to persue things to the end. Having a passion, that is something that makes you stronger.