What is your opinion about Philippe and Mathilde?


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Marengo

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The Duke of Brabant has faced some critisism over the past years, mainly coming from the Flemmish press. Some of the critisism concerned the furniture in his palace, his political remarks about the unity of the country, his speeches at trademissions etc.

How do you feel about the Duke of Brabant? Will he make a suitable king? Are his gaffes really gaffes or are they blown up by elements in the Belgian society who want the country to split up? And related to that, how do you feel about the Duchess of Brabant? She was greeted as the 'savior' of the Belgian monarchy but how is she doing so far?

So in short: What is your opinion on Phillipe and Mathilde?
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Please remember to use a polite tone in this topic.
 
I don't take a particularly large interest in the Belgian royals. They just don't interest me. But from what I've seen of both Philippe and Mathilde, they seem like a very nice couple, are a good and solid support to one another, are wonderful parents and look (and hopefully are) happy :flowers:
 
They are a such a great couple!!!

Why are they 'such a great couple'?

Prince Philippe is really seen as a clumsy goof stumbling over his own feet and not able to have a normal conversation with. It is the Princess which, bits by parts, keeps the Prince up.

That is the general opinion on the Prince. And to be honest, mine is more or less the same. Yesterday on the news I have seen Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde together with Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. Stiff. Uneasy. Uncomfortable. No chemistry between the two royal couples. Nothing more than the obliged smile for the camera's.
 
I think she's wonderful the definition of a princess, he seems painfully shy and uncomfortable alone- but with her and the children he brightens up and and is handsome and animated. they also seem like loving, affectionate parents.
 
Yesterday on the news I have seen Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde together with Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. Stiff. Uneasy. Uncomfortable. No chemistry between the two royal couples. Nothing more than the obliged smile for the camera's.


Well to be honest I don't have as many advantages as others at TRF's I have the pictures that are posted and other pictures that I manage to find out in cyberspace. And that is it. But I must say that I saw the exact opposite of what Henri saw yesterday. Judging by the pictures I was rather impressed with Philippe. I thought he looked comfortable and confident. I really wouldn't expect there to be much chemistry between the two royal couples. I mean there's such an age difference and just overall difference. But I saw a prince that was really trying yesterday. I kind of question and try not to put too much into the comments about the press making him out to be a goof or stumbling goof. Yes, he doesn't always seem real comfortable in his position but that doesn't mean he isn't going to try his best and it doesn't mean he is a goof.

I should also add that over the last few weeks I have been quite impressed with the crown princely couple of Belgium. The trip to China was an important one and it seems that Philippe has been helping out with as much as he can since the King is still recovering. I think due to the King's health Philippe and Mathilde went to meet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, but I could be wrong about that.
 
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I've based my observations purely on pictorials I think it's safe to say...:D

What's the general consensus surrounding the Duchess?
 
I've based my observations purely on pictorials I think it's safe to say...:D

What's the general consensus surrounding the Duchess?


I've never heard anything bad about her and I also hear just like what is written by another poster above that she helps make him more relevant. Mathilde seems to balance him out and bring to the table things that are not in Philippe's original make-up.
 
I've based my observations purely on pictorials I think it's safe to say...:D

What's the general consensus surrounding the Duchess?

Princess Mathilde, the Duchess of Brabant, is popular and is generally seen as the guide for Prince Philippe. She is very popular in Wallonia and 'norma'l popular' in Flanders. The only criticism she faces is about her linguality: despite being a born Belgian and a certified logopediste (speech therapist), she is hardly able to speak two fluent Dutch sentences by heart. Especially in a comparison with Princess Máxima, who has never ever been in the Netherlands before she got a relationship with the Prince of Orange. And Dutch is the mother language of 2/3 of all Belgians.

But where Princess Mathilde reaches high scores in popularity, her spouse is scoring very low. Especially when you consider this man is the future King, it is a bit worrisome.
 
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Oops, the not being able to speak fluent Dutch, that is right, that has been the one major criticism I have heard about Mathilde. Not really sure why she doesn't try harder with that either.
 
I'm not sure, what I should think about them. Exspeacially about Phillipe because at the one hand he makes this clumsy impression and this questionable sentences (like in South Africa, if I recall right) and at the other hand he regulary is a member of the Bilderberg Group, so he couldn't be so 'stupid' (it is not the right word, but a can't remember another).
 
Princess Mathilde, the Duchess of Brabant, is popular and is generally seen as the guide for Prince Philippe. She is very popular in Wallonia and 'norma'l popular' in Flanders. The only criticism she faces is about her linguality: despite being a born Belgian and a certified logopediste (speech therapist), she is hardly able to speak two fluent Dutch sentences by heart. Especially in a comparison with Princess Máxima, who has never ever been in the Netherlands before she got a relationship with the Prince of Orange. And Dutch is the mother language of 2/3 of all Belgians.

But where Princess Mathilde reaches high scores in popularity, her spouse is scoring very low. Especially when you consider this man is the future King, it is a bit worrisome.

Mathilde has improved a lot in het Dutch, nowedays she speaks it verry fluent you can hear in intervieuws and speeches that she improver a lot.
Her childern all go to a Dutchspeaking school in Brussels and recently Mathilde said that they start speeking Dutch among each other at home.
She puts a lot of effort in het duch and it paid of, she speaks it verry good.
 
Why are they 'such a great couple'?

Yesterday on the news I have seen Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde together with Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. Stiff. Uneasy. Uncomfortable. No chemistry between the two royal couples. Nothing more than the obliged smile for the camera's.

When I look at this picture it seems that they are having a really good time.
Supload.com // Free Image Hosting
 
Princess Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth

Mathilde has improved a lot in het Dutch, nowedays she speaks it verry fluent you can hear in intervieuws and speeches that she improver a lot.
Her childern all go to a Dutchspeaking school in Brussels and recently Mathilde said that they start speeking Dutch among each other at home.
She puts a lot of effort in het duch and it paid of, she speaks it verry good.

As long as the separatistic tendences are kept under control, the monarchy is safe thanks to Princess Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth.

The little Princess is an angel, but you already can see she is a total different type of person as for an example Princess Catharina-Amalia, who seems so much more extravert. But in general we can say that the Belgians are more reserved than their 'noisy' northern neighbours. As long as Princess Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth are around, Prince Philippe and the monarchy are safe.

:flowers:
 
I think she's wonderful the definition of a princess, he seems painfully shy and uncomfortable alone- but with her and the children he brightens up and and is handsome and animated. they also seem like loving, affectionate parents.

That is true, he chaged a lot after the birth of his oldest daughter Elisabeth. Right after the birth he gave press conference in his green hospital shirt. He spoke open and showed his emotions. We in Belgium had never seen him like that.

It is tru that during public occation somethimes he is a bit stiff but Filip is someone who does not like verry much he press attention. However, when he is with his kids he is verry open with them, spontanious, ...

I think Filip and Mathilde are a verry good couple and you see that they really love each other. Mathilde can look at him with lot of love and she is a good support and the strong woman he needs.

some pictures of them together
[DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto
[DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto
[DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto
[DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto
[DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto
[DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto
 
If it was about fashion alone, I would easily swap Princess Máxima for the ever elegant, serene and dignified Princess Mathilde!

:flowers:
 
To my mind they are the epitome of old-style royals: reserved, handsome, dignified, and involved with their people yet slightly removed. I think they're wonderful.
 
I get the impression that Prince Phillippe is just one of those people who are very uncomfortable in the spotlight but who are just fine in private. Sadly for him, his work requires that he be the center of attention.

I don't think he is stupid [he graduated from Stanford University, no school for dummies], just inarticulate. Nothing wrong with that, there are a lot of smooth talking people out there that you don't dare believe a word they're saying.
 
To my mind they are the epitome of old-style royals: reserved, handsome, dignified, and involved with their people yet slightly removed. I think they're wonderful.


I think you got it right, this is a very good description of them.:)
 
My opinion about the couple is a bit ambiguous, I don't really know how to think of them. Personally Mathilde is indeed the reserved, discrete 'old-fashioned' royal that I prefer. The noble background doesn't hurt either; I don't want my neighbours daughter as my crowprincess for example. Sadly I think that in this day and age the old-fashioned style that I like isn't sufficient enough. Her Dutch was a problem but I think that was exploited by the flemmish press too negatively, as others said it wasn't that bad and she made a lot of progress. Anothger thing is that she seems rather stiff at times, old-fashioned, etc.

Anyway, I have all these reservations with the duchess but when I see her on television and she gives a smile one just can not help but melt, her smile is so warm, genuine and sweet that the saint-mathilde aura that some are ironically referring to at times, becomes almost visible.

About Phillipe... I think he is a bit 'welt-fremd' (world-strange) and he lives in his own cocon surrounded by incompetent courtiers and fiercly religious relatives. This made him into the insecure man he is now. I remember that I was watching his wedding and Queen Paola seem to show her son that he had to wave, where he had to wave etc. The flemmish media IMO now started a campaign against Phillipe that has little to do with him. His supposed gaffes aren't thar shocking IMHO and in The Netherlands or elsewhere I am sure that crownprinces made simular mistakes but they were covered up with the mantle of love, something that certain parts of the press/public isn't willing to do in Flanders.

What does speak for him is that his personal staff seems much more professional and selected for their merits then the palace staff. Not many noble names etc in his entourage. That he was orientating himself in Ther Hague, so to get ideas how to reorganise the old-fashioned court in Brussels, is a very good thing too, it shows that he might be more modern then we think.
 
My opinion about the couple is a bit ambiguous, I don't really know how to think of them. Personally Mathilde is indeed the reserved, discrete 'old-fashioned' royal that I prefer. The noble background doesn't hurt either; I don't want my neighbours daughter as my crowprincess for example. Sadly I think that in this day and age the old-fashioned style that I like isn't sufficient enough. Her Dutch was a problem but I think that was exploited by the flemmish press too negatively, as others said it wasn't that bad and she made a lot of progress.

Anyway, I have all these reservations with the duchess but when I see her on television and she gives a smile one just can not help but melt, her smile is so warm, genuine and sweet that the saint-mathilde aura that some are ironically referring to at times, becomes almost visible.

I agree. It is Mathilde, and Mathilde alone, who keeps her clumsy spouse up. She has to do it alone because her brother-in-law Prince Laurent is even more clumsy and is no any help to the monarchy. Princess Claire is a nobody in the royal family and Princess Astrid seems to be on a distance, so is my impression.
 
I agree Henri, at the moment Mathilde and Albert II are the two most important members of the family that generate some warm feelings under the public, though I feel (I am not sure if I am right) that the general enthausiasm for Mathilde in belgium is fading a bit.
 
Well, at least in the Flemish press Mathilde undergoes a revival these days (especially after her performance during the economic trip to China). She is praised for being extremely charming, light hearted, for being very professional and concerned, for being communicative, easy to approach, for speaking very good Dutch etc. pp. And all these positive attributes are coming from the ever critical Flemish press (Het Laatste Nieuws, Gazet van Antwerpen, Het Belang van Limburg, etc.). This sure does mean a lot – as it´s well-known they are willing to exploit every single mistake.
But I don´t think Mathilde and Elisabeth are the ones who have to rescue the monarchy. They are very important, that´s for sure (and having a professional spouse sure does help every Crown Prince) – but the fundament of a monarchy is the constitution and not capricious popularity polls. Otherwise the Belgians could do it with Queen Kim Clijsters the one day and King Tom Boonen the next day. Somehow this aspect gets lost in all these popularity, nice gowns, grand diadems and bling bling talk.
And - I´m very sorry to say this - unfortunately nagging and co. are very much en vogue amongst many Belgians (not only when it comes to the royal family). Somehow a great deal of the old Flemish/Burgundian frankness (live and let live) got lost in all these differences between Flanders and Wallonia. And I agree with Marengo, Philippe´s mistakes are not exceptional and his colleagues also have their history of blunders. It´s a question of approach: If one wants to see a clumsy Prince Philippe greeting the Queen and no chemistry between them and whatnot, he/she sure will get it. I saw something else: a confident Prince Philippe and pleased guests. That´s life. And as a sidenote: A look back in time proofs how alike Philippe and his father are. Albert was not the most confident person – he got the time to grow into kingship and I think Philippe deserves the same.
But what really has to be changed ASAP is the press policy round Philippe. IMO it would help to search for advice/staff somewhere else than only in diplomatic/military circles. If it was a smart move to opt for continuity and reappoint Pierre-Emmanuel De Bauw as spokesman? Time will tell.
 
I agree with you Johann, a different press approach is needed asap. Perhaps he could take a hint for his Dutch collegue, as our press seems to be screaming in choir how ready the prince is for the throne, while less then a decade ago he was 'Prince Pils'. Though I am not too fond of former Charles PR-man, Mark Bolland, he was quite competent and IMHO the Belgian CP could do with such a specialist too.

Perhaps he should give a tv-interview where he can show his more unknown side?

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I am glad to hear that the Flemmish press is more positive about Mathilde again at least.
 
Il like a lot the princess, she seems to be a very warm person, and I like also her way to be in public
I don't know a lot of things abort the crown prince, but he seems to be a serious man
 
In my opinion Prince Phillipe and Princess Mathilde are a worthy representant of Belgium. They are a even couple with three very beautiful children. Their ease is natural. They aren't boring. I like them all. And the others of the Belgium royal family, too. Its a very special family, but that is making them nice.
 
In my opinion Prince Phillipe and Princess Mathilde are a worthy representant of Belgium. They are a even couple with three very beautiful children. Their ease is natural. They aren't boring. I like them all. And the others of the Belgium royal family, too. Its a very special family, but that is making them nice.

I'm sorry. I really can walk a long way aside with you but never ever words were só misplaced as saying "their ease is natural".

There is nothing natural with the couple. Everybody is pressing his or her own bottom together out of fear for them saying or doing something stupid. The Prince is nervous, shy, does not know how to handle in public, looks like a steered puppet in the hands of courtiers.

No. They are definitely not a couple from which you can state "their ease is natural".... definitely not.

:flowers:
 
I'm sorry. I really can walk a long way aside with you but never ever words were só misplaced as saying "their ease is natural".

There is nothing natural with the couple. Everybody is pressing his or her own bottom together out of fear for them saying or doing something stupid. The Prince is nervous, shy, does not know how to handle in public, looks like a steered puppet in the hands of courtiers.

No. They are definitely not a couple from which you can state "their ease is natural".... definitely not.


:flowers:

I would believe that the couple is more at ease when they are alone and not in front of the press. Poor Prince Phillipe, this is not the role he most likely would have chosen for himself if given the chance. Does anyone know what career path he might have taken if there was an alternative for him?
 
I would believe that the couple is more at ease when they are alone and not in front of the press. Poor Prince Phillipe, this is not the role he most likely would have chosen for himself if given the chance. Does anyone know what career path he might have taken if there was an alternative for him?

That is an interesting but impossible question for each Heir(ess). They simply have no any choice and any alternative is not even considered.

In Prince Philippe's case it is a little bit different as he was no Heir Apparent from the beginning, but son of the Heir Presumptive, which was his father, The Prince of Liège.

Had his uncle and aunt King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola given birth to a child, the Prince would never have become the Duke of Brabant and Heir to the King. But as we know, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola remained without issue and it was clear from early on Prince Philippe, the eldest son of the King's brother, would once assume the kingship.
 
Oh I understand that when it was apparent that there would be no issue from his uncle and aunt, he'd one day be king. I was curious if he'd ever expressed in an interview what career he'd like to have if he had not been the future heir. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker...lion tamer...
 
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