The Royal Forums Coat of Arms

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Old 10-25-2004, 05:10 PM
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the duke of Brabant giving a speech and praising his wife
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:07 PM
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Some more pictures from their economic mission to Poland.
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:09 PM
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And some more...
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:10 PM
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more photos...
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:11 PM
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Mathilde is half Polish, half Belgian
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Old 07-03-2005, 05:47 AM
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Translation of an article / interview I dug up about their mission to Poland...

Thank you Mathilde ! Thank you Poland !

Elisabeth is already used to it, but now Gabriel also knows what it's like to miss his mum for a week. Mathilde's motherheart was bleeding, but still she woudn't have wanted to miss this trip to Poland. Not for anything in the world ! Story travelled with them and saw it all went fine ...

"Mathilde, when I came to Poland in 1998, you had already conquered a place in my heart. Since our marriage 4 years ago you've been a great support for me day after day and my source of happiness. You're my honest, sincere and faithful buddy and a great mother for our two children. Thank you Mathilde ! Thank you Poland !"

In the big galahall the 450 guests stand up to give an overwhelming applause. Mathilde glows and is visibly touched. Filip never made a secret of his admiration for his wife, but never before did he praise her so clearly and publicly.

It's clear : Filip feels better when Mathilde's around. It was visible in Poland, the country of Mathilde's ancestors, where the prince presides a trade mission - together with minister Fientje Moerman.

Of course Belgium has been the home country of the princess and her mother, Polish countess Anne Komorowska, for a very long time, but Poland is still present in their blood and their heart.

"Most of the family moved to Belgium" Mathilde told us "I've come back here three times and I've seen huge changes the last years. Through the centuries, Poland has suffered immensely and when I visited Auschwitz I could still clearly feel the horrors of the war. Constantly new borders were imposed on this country, new rulers and new neighbours. But despite it all the Polish have survived. It are strong, friendly and hospitable people, who never complain. I think that's their big strength".

Mathilde continues : "I'm proud of my background and I'm sorry and ashamed I don't speak the language. I woudn't have missed this travel. Only a pity we won't be visiting Krakow, the city in the South where my family comes from. It's the most beautiful spot in Poland. But Filip and I will certainly be returning here, to show the country to our children. After all they're 1/4 Polish."

But this time Mathilde had to leave her kids behind for a week. For little Gabriel it was the first time he had to miss his mother. "He's doing fine", says mama Mathilde. "He's an easy little fellow. And he gets along very well with his sister. Not a hint of jealousy".

Although the Russians drove the last Polish king, Stanislaw I, out of the country in 1831, especially the capital Warshaw has a royal atmosphere. Filip and Mathilde were staying at the Royal Meridian Hotel, which is located on the Royal Route. This route is swarming with palaces and aristocratic residences. There also are the gothic St-John's cathedral and the church of the holy cross where the heart of Chopin is burried. The beautifully restaured royal palace is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Compared to that, the Spieha palace in one of the sidestreets looks a bit fragile and sad. Still this used to be one of the prettiest palaces. It was a mundaine and idyllic spot, the proud possesion of Mathilde's ancestors. Count Sapieha was a very respected man, but also a Don Juan, who secredly had an affair with the wife of one of the last kings of Poland.

When she visits the school for children with hearing problems, that's nowadays located in the palace, Mathilde can't help but think about her family history.

As usual during these economic missions Mathilde deals with the sociocultural activities. In the impressive Culture Palace she enjoys a performance of Gaweda, the most famous youth group of Poland who travel around the world with their songs and dances, like a local kind of Up with People. In the picturesque townhall of Poznan she meets social workers and visits the museum of music instruments.

"I adore music" the princess says, "and I play the piano myself".

In Warshaw Mathilde visits a kintergarden for children with problems concentrating. On all these visits she's accomanied by the Polish first lady, Jolanta Kwasniewska, who's incredibly popular, and is called "the Hillary Clinton of Poland". If she were to participate in the elections she'd get 53 % of the votes, so the president is living with his biggest rival!
Old 07-03-2005, 06:13 AM
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Second part ...

Filip and Mathilde also spend a day in Lodz, where the city's archivist calculated it was 1430 years ago a royal visited them. More than 50 local journalists and photographers showed up. Mathilde is received as a real star at the Cinema School where Roman Polanski learned the trade.

But of course she isn't alone, together with Filip she visits the centuries-old university of Poznan, the exhibition on Belgian writer Georges Simenon and in Warshaw an exhibition on the building styles in Flanders.

But most of the time Filip and minister Moerman accompany the businessmen to strengthen the ties between Belgium and Poland, soon to be a member of the European Union. He runs from one seminar to the next , visits produce exchanges, opens new Belgian companies, talks to politicians, pronounces speeches, and so doing tries to create bridges between Belgium and Mathilde's country.

During such a trade mission the traditional galanight is the most beautiful way of selling Belgium. At their arrival, Filip opened the Belgian week in Poland with moules frites, chocolates and beer. But for the gala dinner Belgian cook Pierre Wynants of the toprestaurant Comme Chez Soi in Brussels was flown in, and together with him the team of caterer Loriers. The trucks full of delicious Belgian food have come over as 'diplomatic mail' and in the kitchens of the Sofitel everything is being transformed into a gastronomic delight : a combination of shrimps and fish in Palm beer, roast pheasant with chicory and brussels sprouts, followed by chocolate mousse with cristalized orange and a bit of Mandarine Napoléon liqueur.

Wynants loves to perform magic with food and also often cooks for the prince and princess, who come to his home. "Mathilde really loves cooking" he says, "She's got talent. When she comes to dinner, she always makes sure she's sitting at a little table in the kitchen so she can see how I prepare everything. Afterwards she always asks for the recipe to try it herself at home. Filip's a lucky man!"

After the coffee and the chocolates from Pierre Marcolini, everybody can sit back and enjoy a Belgian fashion show. King of handbags Delvaux and designers Natalie Demets, Anna Heylen, Fiona McGreal, Tim van Steenkisten and -last but not least- Natan prove that our country has a large reservoir of young and creative fashiondesigners.

But actually the fashion show already started at the beginning of the evening, when Mathilde appeared in a new creation of Edouard Vermeulen (Natan). A lace corsage covered with little stones on wide pants in absinth coloured mousseline, with on top of that a wide shawl/cape in the colors absinth and grey.

Mathilde is the queen of the ball and she's glowing, although that could have something to do with Filip's words as well.

It have been busy days in Poland. After 4 days Mathilde wants to go back to her children. And while Filip is still opening a few Belgian companies in Poland, Mathilde's snug at home with the little ones...
Old 07-03-2005, 06:40 AM
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Thank you for translating the interview Hannelore :)

Here are photos of the Saphieha Palace that belonged to Mathilde's family before it was taken from them by the communists. Now it belongs to the state.
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Old 07-04-2005, 05:43 PM
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Yes, thank you indeed for the translation Hannelore. :) What a nice story from Story (bad joke I know), and I never get tired of reading what Philippe said to Mathilde at that gala night. :)
Old 07-04-2005, 07:19 PM
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Thank you for translating the article Hannelore. It's sweet how Mathilde sits in the kitchen watching Pierre Wynants cook. :) I really love what Philippe said to Mathilde at the gala dinner.

Old 07-28-2005, 12:26 PM
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thank you so much for the hard work you have done in this thread
Old 04-14-2006, 04:37 PM
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at the gala night (point de vue)

Old 04-14-2006, 04:45 PM
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She looks so happy and relaxed! She is naturally beautiful!
Old 04-14-2006, 04:49 PM
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Just one thing to say about Mathilde, she is very lovely. Everthing she does seems effortless and smooth. Just a georgeous lady.
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crown prince phillipe, crown princess mathilde, duchess of brabant, duke of brabant, mathilde, official visit, phillipe, poland, president kwasniewski

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