King Albert & Queen Paola : Current Events Part 1

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Thank you so much Hannelore. I really like Paola's stubornness to tackle the dutch language. Even if she doesn't succeed I respect her for trying and persisting. And Jan Becous should be a great teacher, no doubt. He usually presents the news, right? And he was a commentator during the religious part of the wedding of Phillipe and Mathilde.
And the 3rd picture is just great!!! Paola looks so relaxed on it!
I just saw the documentary on queen Paola on la une (RTBF) and it was really a very nice one, it showed her really as she is and she talked a lot :) : Italian, French and Dutch. Her Dutch is hesitant but not bad, and actually her French and Italian are hestitant too. I don't mean that she doesn't master those languages, but she sort of thinks while she's talking, hesitates about the things she says.

Many, many topics were evoqued. Her youth in war time, how she still remembers her 18 year old brother leaving to join the allied forces, he went to war with a real ideal but died soon afterwards. She said how sad it was, he was so young and handsome.

About her arrival in Belgium: she was invited by the Belgian embassy for the inauguration of pope John XXIII, and prince Albert was there too. She knew nothing about Belgium, only Tintin, she had the whole collection :) She had vaguely heard about king Baudouin, but never about her future husband. They liked each other from te start but were both very shy. When she was engaged and arrived in Belgium she was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the Belgians and talking about the joyeuses entrées she was still moved.

Her first years in Belgium were lonely. She immediately sensed the two different cultures: germanic and latin, and had to start learning two new languages which was very difficult for her. She said that those first years she really missed queen Astrid (Albert's mother who died in 1935), to comfort her and help her on her way. It's Albert who made her get used to the cold and wet Belgian climate by walks in the Ardennes, in a warm coat :), and it also triggered her love for nature and gardening.
At the start of her marriage Paola & Albert were constantly chased by paparazzi which didn't really help things.

She said her marriage had known problems but now Albert and she are very happy and often say to each other that they're really made for each other.

There was also some talk about the joys of being a grandparent. As a young parent you're responsable, you're like an actor in a play. But as a grandparent there's more tenderness and you're the spectator in the play. I didn't really hear that part very well (I was on the phone :)), but I believe she said that her grandchildren call her "noni" (?)

She talked about art with Flemish art guru Jan Hoet and a Flemish video artist at the biennale in Venice. She said she grew up surrounded by art and the Italian Renaissance in Rome, without really realizing it. When she got to Belgium and discovered the Flemish masters a new world opened for her: emotions, the tenderness of Maria for her child etc.

She said she felt very Belgian. Her heart lies in Belgium and it her children's country. She feels that Belgians are discreet, they don't vant their qualities even though they have many, and they're a people that likes to celebrate.

There were many other things...Maybe someone else can fill in on the parts I left out?
I saw the portrait on VRT, it just finished. I must say I am impressed by the Queen. What a charming, modest and discrete woman, sometimes even a bit shy. And I thought she was quite open and not afraid to show some of her weaker sides. I wal also impressed that, even though she is a shy woman, she still appeared to be very relaxed.

I loved all the old footage they showed as well. There were masses of people during the joyfull entrances, in Liege and Brussels. And...what a beauty the Queen is/was!!! Breathtakingly beautiful.

It is the first time I heard her speak dutch, and I agree with Catherine, she is hesitant, but she speaks the same in french. And all the words and the order of them are correct, so I wonder why people are making such a fuss about it. I just love the slight italian accent.

I particulary liked how she feels joy when her grandchildren say that she can cook delisiously (I never knew that queens cooked ;)) And she commented on getting older: she feels the same, though others keep reminding her that she must have aged...and she added, with a slight smile, as does the mirror perhaps. She also commented that her marriage is like wine, it got better with age, and now they are certain they were destined to be together and happy.

She was also open about her childhood. I never knew her family was on the anti-fascist side. Her brother died while fighting the germans and her mother had to hide herself & change name as the Nazi's wanted to arrest her for helping out anti-fascist family members. I liked the picture she showed of Prince Phillipe, as a todler, on a farm-estate the Ruffo's own, with newborn lambs.

I just loved the scene on the market in Venice, with 'Gina Lollobirgida', where the Queen isn't fooled by the merchant and knows exactly how to get what she wants. She has a lovely sense of humor as well and I like the way she tried to calm the artist that escorted her in the Biennale. He almost immediately said that he was quite nervous for this visit. 'So was I', the Queen confessed with a disarming smile.

Again, what a charming woman!!!
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I also saw the portrait, and now I know why I always have respect her...... she is so nice,open, just herself......

Paola simply the best!!!!
Thank you all so much for the re-cap! I have been waiting to read what you thought. What you say about her does not surprise me just from knowing her through pictures, although I, too, am surprised she cooks for the grandchildren -- is that wonderful!
Forgot to say: happy birthday to the King!!!

His wife gave him a very nice present I think, all the loving words she said on television (how her husband posessed a natural kindness and charm, etc.)

I was happy to see footage of the Queen kissing her husband (on stage), during the 175-25 celebrations. It looked so sweet!
I haven't been able to see it!!! Due to circumstances I was sitting in a train (had to get back home from my parent's house, because I have to work tomorrow) and had no other chance than to take a train which would interfere with my plans of watching the portrait! I was quite mad at myself :mad: and I thought a lot of Paola during my train trip (which is really weird when you're sitting in a train, thinking about Queen Paola).

But thanks for the recaps, Marengo and Catherine. Now it feels like I've seen at least a little bit of it. :)
Thank you Hannelone, Cathérine and Marengo for your great informative Posts.
Queen Paola was and is a very pretty lady but is even more beautiful in her inside. I like the fact she is shy, I always felt more tenderness for shy people.
She is very human too. :)
Regina said:
Thank you Hannelone, Cathérine and Marengo for your great informative Posts.
Queen Paola was and is a very pretty lady but is even more beautiful in her inside. I like the fact she is shy, I always felt more tenderness for shy people.
She is very human too. :)

I agreed with you... Our Queen Paola is a shy but also a reserved person like the Princess Caroline of Hanover. That's why I love shy persons but lots of tenderness and really heartfully person! ;)

And ..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our King Albert II
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to King Albert II !!!
Since I'm young I'm ever very found of Princess Poala, now Queen Paola. I ever found she has the discreat elegancy of the true high aristocracy and more she was/is a very beautiful and genuine woman; I remenber me her tremandous look when she was a young italian Princess just arriving from her roman residence to live in Bruxelles: a tremadous schok of civilisations!

It's true that it's was difficult ten years ago to think that Paola and Albert can give the image of an happy couple, but today they do, in a very convincely way.
May be it's a lesson for many people because now, generally speeking the life is more longer and if they have the heart 's intelligency they can find themselves after a difficult period in their life.
This point of view it's not totally theorical and it's very comforting.
20060611 - MONS, BELGIUM : King Albert II of Belgium with his wife Queen Paola attend the Doudou Feast, Sunday 11 June 2006, in Mons.

from Belgapic


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The Queen Paolo interview

Catherine and Marengo, thank you for the recap on the interview. Could someone tell me if this was an arranged marriage? I ask because I've read a few times that Paola said she didn't know anything about King Albert when they met. Or am I remembering incorrectly?! Was she a princess before they met? How did the courtship come about? Thanks in advance.
What is the Doudou feast? Is that the reason Di Rupo is dressed in a pullover with sneakers?
Professor Pierre Gaspard (L) received from the hands of King Albert II (R) the Francqui price 2006 (science), next to State Minister Mark Eyskens (C) Tuesday 13 June 2006 at the occasion of the Francqui prices 2006 in Brussels academy palace

from belga


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20060614 - GENK, BELGIUM
King Albert II of Belgium (C), followed by De Lijn CEO Ingrid Lieten (L), leaves a bus that brought him to the workshop of Genk, during a visit on the occassion of the 15th anniversary of the Flemish public transport company " De Lijn ", Wednesday 14 June 2006.

from belgapic



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elisabetteke said:
I don't think his hearing aids(HA) are connected to his glasses. Because then he would have to get the HA out of his ears everytime he wants to take off his glasses and it is not so easy to put the HA back in. So probably the thing from his HA behind his ear is just on top of his glasses.
I think the king still hears without his HA but only not very good, and for him it is very important to understand the people very good.
Thank you, Elisabetteke! :)
Sorry I couldn't answer before but I was "grounded". :mad:
On the other hand, it may be a good idea for a king to say:"Sorry, I can't hear you." when he's been asked a question he doesn't want to answer. :rolleyes:
Take care!
I read something in a dutch online newspaper today, that the King and Queen visited the mother of 2 girls who recently went missing in Liege, just after they said goodbye to the dutch Queen. Does any belgian poster have more info on this? I must say I am impressed by such a signal of the royal couple.
That’s right. Paola and Albert met in Liege with Catherine Dizier, mother of the missing Nathalie. They encouraged her not to lose hope. Catherine Dizier handed out posters with a search call to Beatrix´s entourage too. It´s a bad situation and the visit in Liege had for sure a bitter taste.
Nathalie (10) and Staxy (7) are missing since ten days and despite most intensive searching, there is still no hint where they are. I dearly hope they are alive and will be found soon.
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Belgian King Albert II and Queen Paola's wreath on the hearse during the funeral of litle Nathalie Mahy (10), at the Saint-Gilles church in Cointe, Liege, Saturday 01 July 2006.
Around 250 people attended the funeral procession as the parents asked for a private ceremony. Stacy Lemmens (7) and Nathalie Mahy (10) were kidnapped in Liege three weeks ago. The girls' bodies were found on 28 June 2006 during police searches along a railway near de rue Vivegnis in Liege.

pictures of Albert & Paola's wreath (from anp-epa & belga)

According to Joris (on BRMB), King Albert himself is present at the funeral in Liege (which explain why he didn't attend the Luxembourg Wedding Anniv.)
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The King and Queen are especially concerned about these kidnappings & aren't afraid to take a public stand. I remember them inviting the parents of Dutroux victims at the Palace a few years ago. I believe to remind that they were very touched by the kindness of the royal couple and their willingness to try to help them where they could.
One again, King Albert & Queen Paola sent wreath for the funeral of Stacy Lemmens.
20060703 - LIEGE, BELGIUM : Hearse with flowers pictured as the coffin of 7-year-old Stacy Lemmens is carried outside the funerarium, Monday 03 July 2006 for her funeral ceremony at the Sainte-Foy church in Liege. Stacy Lemmens (7) and Nathalie Mahy (10) were kidnapped in Liege 3 weeks ago. Their bodies were found strangled on 28 June 2006 at a stormwater drain in a tangled patch of weeds along a railway near de rue Vivegnis in Liege, not far from where the girls were kidnapped.

(from Belga)
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