Belgian Royal Family: TV, DVD, film, etc


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A preview from the new TV series 'Albert II' that will be aired from September on on één.

I think none of the actors actually resembles the character they are playing.
But apparently that was not what was focused on, it was more about to get all the facts right.
 
I'm tempted to buy this series on DVD, has anyone seen it? What did they make of it?
 
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Does anyone know where to find the complete footage of Philippe and Mathilde's religious wedding in 1999?



All that I have been able to find on the internet are 5-minute clips or alike and I would really like to see the entire ceremony.
 
Thanks cdm. An interesting idea, to interview former employees. They can address certain misconceptions while the king himself can not. Like the colonel said in the clip the misconception that Philippe was eagerly awaiting to be king in 1993 always seemed incredible.
 
Secrets d’histoire by Stephane Bern about Queen Elisabeth with her grandchildren King Albert II, Princess Esmeralda and Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Savoie.
https://youtu.be/O1gegTW4Kow
 
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According to the book Koninklijke Juwelen (Royal Jewels) by Christophe Vachaudez it was was a diamond headband with an aquamarine by Altenloh.
Later on Elisabeth had the stone removed and used it as a brooch.
Her daughter Marie-Jose inherited the jewel.
 
Histories was a documentary series on Flemish TV channel Canvas in the early 2000’s
They had some royal episodes.
The docu is in Dutch but some interviews are in English or French.

Queen Astrid
https://youtu.be/wScVi08bJmQ

Princess Lilian
https://youtu.be/ffFHPckCfa0

Leopold and Lilian’s life in Argenteuil
https://youtu.be/fdaWgVGXWJc

Queen Elisabeth
https://youtu.be/CFFYA2QQkdU

King Albert I
https://youtu.be/ikb8tEm9uIE

The Coburgs at the altar
https://youtu.be/lfzgzDUUCCM

The Royal Question, Leopold III after WW II
https://youtu.be/MYba-S1DuTo

Princess Marie-José. Queen of Italy
https://youtu.be/5z-QMCYkjxc
 
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I don't know if I agree with these casting choices. Except maybe young/older King Baudouin.

Could they not think of an episode for Albert II?
 
Could they not think of an episode for Albert II?
Maybe they decided to leave out of this series both the Belgian living kings on purpose. It's true Albert abdicated 10 years ago, but his reign is still quiite recent in people's mind (and again, he's still alive). The other five kings are probably distant in time enough to see them as historical figures
 
Maybe they decided to leave out of this series both the Belgian living kings on purpose. It's true Albert abdicated 10 years ago, but his reign is still quiite recent in people's mind (and again, he's still alive). The other five kings are probably distant in time enough to see them as historical figures

But given Albert II has already been fictionalized (see the top of this page for one example), it feels slightly strange to leave him out just because he's alive. (Philippe is still reigning, so it makes sense not to include him.)

I wonder what moment they would have chosen for Albert.
 
I assume 'Laurent - de rebelse prins' is a documentary that was purchased by the EO and not produced by them. Nonetheless, it will be broadcast for the next few weeks on Sunday evening it seems.

 
It must be the same documentary as the Flemish public broadcaster CANVAS made. It aired in April 2023. The title was different though. Laurent -Prins op overschot (Laurent - Prince in surplus) was the title there.
 
It must be the same documentary as the Flemish public broadcaster CANVAS made. It aired in April 2023. The title was different though. Laurent -Prins op overschot (Laurent - Prince in surplus) was the title there.
Thanks, I recalled there was a previous Belgian documentary but didn't recall the title.
 
It seems we reviewed the first episode in the Laurent thread.


The other 3 episodes were a bit more haphazard and esp. the last one rather difficult to follow (about all the financial dealings of the prince).

Still the impression I have is one of sadness that the rightful resentment towards his father was never healed. Paola was closer to Laurent and more involved than what was previously the story. But it was implied that the court e.g. Baudouin and Van Ypersele, simply decided what should happen next. Not always taking Laurent's qualities and limitations into account. The one time she was able to stand up for him things actually greatly improved.

It is clear he hates his father. In one episode they talk about him meeting police agents at the White marches (for the victims of pedophile Marc Dutroux). He asked a police official if he had any knowledge of his father attending any of these -now believed to be made up- sex parties of the Belgian elites with the underage girls. It seems he never forgave Paola for getting back with his father.

It was obvious the palace/ Laurent ok-ed this documentary. Many people spoke who would otherwise not have done so. His foster parents in Wilrijk, the former mayor of Brussels, Mrs. Renée Haferkamp etc.

The conclusion in the final episode, even by his friends, is that he *could* have done something (workwise), he was/is always full of plans, but he is his own worst enemy and there are always excuses for him not to simply find a job. His whole identity seems to be somebody who is against something. Against the monarchy, against the establishment in his case. As Mrs. Haferkamp says: there are enough banks or Mercedesses to sell and these companies would love to have a prince representing them. Adding: 'but he doesn't like to hear that'.

Another reason why I think they may have received some approval from the prince/palace is that the episode where he ended up in hospital and nearly died is simply omited completely. Which is rather odd as it was all very strange and sad.

I great thing in these Belgian royal documentaries is that people are rather frank and relatively honest. Even intimi of the family or sometimes even the family themselves. As Queen Paola said in Albert's post-abdication interview: 'we don't play comedy'.
 
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It must be the same documentary as the Flemish public broadcaster CANVAS made. It aired in April 2023. The title was different though. Laurent -Prins op overschot (Laurent - Prince in surplus) was the title there.
It feels like a gratuitously unflattering title (or is that really just the Dutch equivalent of “spare”?) so perhaps it’s not surprising it got changed?
 
It seems we reviewed the first episode in the Laurent thread.


The other 3 episodes were a bit more haphazard and esp. the last one rather difficult to follow (about all the financial dealings of the prince).

Still the impression I have is one of sadness that the rightful resentment towards his father was never healed. Paola was closer to Laurent and more involved than what was previously the story. But it was implied that the court e.g. Baudouin and Van Ypersele, simply decided what should happen next. Not always taking Laurent's qualities and limitations into account. The one time she was able to stand up for him things actually greatly improved.

It is clear he hates his father. In one episode they talk about him meeting police agents at the White marches (for the victims of pedophile Marc Dutroux). He asked a police official if he had any knowledge of his father attending any of these -now believed to be made up- sex parties of the Belgian elites with the underage girls. It seems he never forgave Paola for getting back with his father.

It was obvious the palace/ Laurent ok-ed this documentary. Many people spoke who would otherwise not have done so. His foster parents in Wilrijk, the former mayor of Brussels, Mrs. Renée Haferkamp etc.

The conclusion in the final episode, even by his friends, is that he *could* have done something (workwise), he was/is always full of plans, but he is his own worst enemy and there are always excuses for him not to simply find a job. His whole identity seems to be somebody who is against something. Against the monarchy, against the establishment in his case. As Mrs. Haferkamp says: there are enough banks or Mercedesses to sell and these companies would love to have a prince representing them.

Another reason why I think they may have received some approval from the prince/palace is that the episode where he ended up in hospital and nearly died is simply omited completely. Which is rather odd as it was all very strange and sad.

I great thing in these Belgian royal documentaries is that people are rather frank and relatively honest. Even intimi of the family or sometimes even the family themselves. As Queen Paola said in Albert's post-abdication interview: 'we don't play comedy'.
Thanks for sharing your impressions about the documentary. Certainly, Prince Laurent bears resentment towards his father, and rightfully so. At some points in his life it was particularly evident. However, it seems that in the past few years things did get better.

A close friend of Prince Laurent, Werner-Édouard de Saeger (who intervenes in the documentary as well) was interviewed by Het Nieuwsblad last year (here archived) and said, among other things, that the atmosphere in the royal family is much more positive and constructive than the media portrays. As an example, he told that Laurent, Claire and their children had just spent Easter in Rome with Albert and Paola (Aymeric had shared pics from this holiday): normal things like that aren't sensational enough to create headlines, but they do happen.
Werner-Edouard de Saeger also recently (April 2024) accompanied King Albert and Queen Paola on a 5-day religious journey to Assisi, so he certainly knows rather well several members of the RF. He was also recently interviewed by Het Nieuwsblad for a piece about Albert's faith (as part of a series of articles to mark his 90th birthday).

Laurent himself, in an interview for his 60th birthday told that he had spent part of his summer holidays with his family and his parents in Grasse. I remember the claim that he allegedly "never forgave his mother for getting back with his father", but I don't know how true it is.

In any case, it's evident that Claire and the children have a close relationship with their parents-in-law/grandparents. Aymeric's birthday wishes to his grandfather/apapa a couple of weeks ago were rather nice.

Btw, I've just seen that the nice documentary about Paola by Nicolas Delvaulx, which aired in 2022, is available again (for a few more weeks) on RTBF Auvio (outside of Belgium it's available through a VPN). If anybody had missed it, here's the link:
Paola, côté jardin - Les confessions d'une femme au destin exceptionnel
 
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