Belgium has a New King but Will That Ruin Them Financially?

A List of Reasons Why They Matter

King Albert II and Prince Philippe of Belgium Belgium has a New King but Will That Ruin Them Financially?

Belgium is still painfully divided, not so much because of the royal family and their new King supposedly being able to ruin them financially, but there is a lot of tension between the Dutch speaking part and the French part about other conflicts. Many critique and few know the answer. However, today the old King, Albert ll, decided to finally step down and hand over the crown and throne to his son, Philippe. It was not really a surprise. Some countries in Europe who still have royal families prefer to hold on to their throne until the day somebody has to pry the crown of their cold-blue-blooded heads. (For sure Queen Elizabeth of the UK for one doesn’t seem to want to budge an inch. She will be there until her last breath. The same goes for the Spanish King.)  The Dutch Queen started the abdication trend by deciding recently that she too didn’t want to be queen anymore, and handed the crown over to her son. She has certainly passed any retirement age and her son has been ready for the throne for many years, so there was also no element of surprise there either.

It might be a splendid idea that there is a new king in Belgium. Perhaps King Philippe might get the two rival parts working together as a team. There are many things amiss and one can only think that the King might not be the person who will be able to get this mess straightened out. It might be more of a task for the government and re-negotiations. Therefore, once again, people  everywhere are wondering: why are royal families still around in 2013? Isn’t it high time that this tradition gets filed away in a museum? Isn’t it too expensive to keep the whole royal family afloat especially now during these financially difficult times? Might it be possible, that the new King in Belgium might ruin them financially? Are there any reasons to keep these Royals on? Or should they all step down?

  • One might argue that the Queen or King is like a PR person for their respective country. For example the New Dutch King and his Argentinian Queen are very popular within the country as well as abroad, but there is also a prime minister. This prime minister is like a president, the one who calls the actual political shots. The Royal Family is just for show but the prime minister has real power. (Or at least more than the Royals.) Should the prime minister not be the PR person? Might that not be more cost-effective?
  • Another argument is that the royal family is part of the heart and history of the country no matter if that history was pretty or not. (Probably not, because name one country with a blood-shed-free history and if you can then that country should be the one telling others what they did wrong and how awful that was.) Some see it as an anchor, a life line, something they can depend on even in these trying times.
  • The last and probably most entertaining argument is that the Royal Family guarantees gossip, drama, fun memories and usually scandal. (Countless bastard children, relations with unsavory people, illegal deals and just plain stupidity. This makes for some good stories when you are in need of one. Just like Amanda Bynes, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West etc. but with more money and family heritage.)

However the question should be, not if the Royal family and the new King in Belgium are socially relevant, but more, if it will ruin them financially. Should money not be spent more wisely?

By Georgina Pijttersen

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4 Responses to "Belgium has a New King but Will That Ruin Them Financially?"

  1. Sarah Whalen   September 30, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    In The Netherlands, there is actually a tradition of monarchs abdicating to make way for their younger and more dynamic offspring. Queen Beatrix (affectionately called “Trixie” by her subjects) abdicated for her son, but her mother abdicated for her, and her mother’s mother abdicated, too.

    Must reflect the Dutch views of things like euthanasia.

    But really. Queen Beatrix recently lost one of her dearly loved sons, and prior to this her husband died, and so she may well feel it time to step aside and let her eldest son, his Argentine firecracker wife Maxima, and their three enchanting little girls take center stage.

    But seriously, in the United Kingdom, the monarch is the monarch until they die. This is a religious issue. The spirit of God is IN the monarch, and it leaves his or her body only in the final, dying breath. Then, the spirit transfers to the next monarch in line. This is why they say, “The king is dead, long live the king!” Or Queen. In the United Kingdom, there is a continuum. It’s very mystical.

    For Belgium, it is difficult to have a truly engaging Crown Princess like Mathilde, and not make her Queen as soon as possible! But they have the added incentive of scandal tainting them. The most recent king is said to have fathered an out-of-wedlock child who is now kicking up and wants a few things done her way. And other children of the Belgian monarch have weathered financial scandals, too. Prince Laurent, for example.

    So, it just depends. The traditions are a bit different in the Low Countries.

    Reply
  2. Len W Langan   July 22, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    There is no logical argument against constitutional monarchy. Presidents like prime ministers come and go with the political tides. Monarchs add charm and elegance to a country and to its world interests with great and very valuable continuity. Envious little journalists should keep their place in the hope that they might eventually do something useful for their countries and for society in general. They rarely do so!

    Reply
  3. Colin Wilson   July 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    In any country you have to have a head of state. There is very little difference in running costs between a president elected by general election, a president appointed by the parliament, or a monarch who got the job by accident of birth.

    In Belgium’s case having a monarch has the advantage in that that person will have been trained from birth in the cultures and languages of both the Flemish and Walloon segments of the population. An elected president is most likely to identify strongly with one culture or the other. That could cause problems.

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