Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Defending the Belgian Monarchy

The Cross of Laeken takes up the cause of the much-maligned King Leopold III in Defending the Saxe-Coburgs: Part III. And, of course, if you have not already, I highly recommend reading up on Part I and Part II. Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium is probably my favorite royal heir at the moment and I onced asked around why so many have a negative view of him when the poor man had really never 'put a foot wrong' as the Brits would say. I was told that the enemies of Belgium wanted to destroy the monarchy as a way of destroying Belgian unity but found little success at this because the Belgian royals were so popular. Hence they have started to make personal attacks to lower the respect people have for the royals themselves, the King and Prince Philippe in particular. As you can see reading through these posts, this tactic is not entirely new and King Leopold III has certainly suffered unjustly in the 'court of public opinion'.


  1. There is definitely a bias against Leopold. Van Audenhaege's latest book, with its bizarre claims, got all sorts of fawning press attention, in the Belgian, French, Anglophone, German, and other European media, whereas, from what I've seen, sympathetic books barely get mentioned even in the Belgian press, and the tone of the interviews with the authors tends to be rather challenging, even a bit hostile. And Michel Didisheim himself has been aggressively badgered in interviews, with insistent questioning about his supposed royal origins. HUMO, for instance, even though Didisheim denied being the son of Leopold III in the interview he gave the paper, still felt free to entitle the article "The Secret Brother", or some such thing. What a bunch of scoundrels.

  2. Much like Crown Prince Philippe, the "bad press" of King Leopold III is something that took me by surprise when I realized the extent of it. It never occurred to me that he could be that "controversial". He surrendered his army -so what? Did the Belgians ever have a prayer on their own against the Germans? He stayed in Belgium during the war -so what? Other kings did and their reputations did not suffer. He got married during the war -again, so what? He was a widower and found a woman he loved, nothing wrong with that. It just baffles me; a mountain of bad feelings built on nothing more than appearances, implications or gossip.


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