• Belgium Says Goodbye

    The funeral for Belgium’s dowager Queen Fabiola was held today.

    There were some touching and sad photos from the proceedings. Young Prince Gabriel sobbed, and Queen Mathilde leaned in to console him. King Phillippe, at one point, just stared into space with a look of utter shock and disbelief in his eyes.

    I know what that heartbreak feels like. Fabiola was 86, just a little older than my grandfather, who died earlier this year at 84.

    If Fabiola was anything like Ralph, I’d wager that no one saw her as elderly. When she died, it probably felt as if she’d gone far too soon. One of the many reasons losing Ralph was so difficult was that he seemed much younger. Instead of 84, he was more like 64. His personality was positive and energetic. He kept his daily routines, had a healthy diet, and had a razor-sharp intelligence that he fortified with science news, politics, and crossword puzzles. I imagine Queen Fabiola lived in a similar vein, defying age at each turn.

    Ralph’s sheer force of will to survive, along with his bravery in the face of what he knew was inevitable still humbles and astounds me. Certainly I had no idea that he would die. I’ve feared it, but it always seemed to happen to other people. It never occurred to me that it would happen to him. And while I hoped he’d regain strength and live to see my daughter grow up to at least teenagerhood, he already knew that time was short. He never let on, though. He fought to the last.

    Then the bad dream became real. For the Belgian royals, for me, for all of us who have lost an elderly loved one. The body was, in fact, too old. That strong, intelligent being needed to be released to return to God and be free from the shackles of a human form.

    So to the Belgian Royal Family, please take heart. To all of you who have lost someone you love, especially if this is the first Christmas without them, remember 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 18. They are verses that I now live by and cherish. We will meet again. Until then, it’s just a long wait as we all make our way home.

    Bekijk meer video’s van vtmnieuws op nieuws.vtm.be

  • Remembering WWI 100 Years Later; The Cambridge Career on RoyaltyNow!

    Today’s show: Remembering WWI One Hundred Years Later; The Cambridge Career

    We recently commemorated the start of the Great War on August 4th of this year. One hundred years ago on that date, British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith announced at 11pm that Britain was to enter the war after Germany had violated Belgium’s neutrality. Can William be a pilot and perform royal duties? He seems to think so.

    Photos of World War I centenary remembrance

    More News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with RoyaltyNow News on BlogTalkRadio

  • 2014: A Year of Royal Firsts

    King of the Netherlands

    King of the Netherlands (Photo credit: HereIsTom)

    Prince George of Cambridge isn’t the only royal to celebrate a first this year.

    A mere 24 hours separated the young prince’s first birthday (July 22) and the one-year anniversary of Belgian King Philippe’s reign (July 21).

    Philippe’s father, King Albert II, shocked the nation last year by abdicating on July 21 – Belgium’s National Day. Philippe stepped into the role as king and his wife, Mathilde, became Queen Consort.

    Unlike the Dutch, where abdication has been traditional within the royal family, the Belgian people were not expecting Albert to step down. Poor health was cited as the cause, but many felt that the pressure to acknowledge an alleged out-of-wedlock daughter was another reason.

    Philippe’s Dutch counterpart, HM King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, met his one-year milestone on April 30th.

    The first Dutch king in a century, Willem-Alexander took the throne when Queen Beatrix abdicated after 33 years. The king and his wife, Queen Maxima, immediately undertook an official introductory tour of several European countries. At home, they have been hard at work around the kingdom.

    Another abdication took place in June – a first for this year – that of Spain’s King Juan Carlos. His son, now King Felipe VI, is steering the Spanish monarchy’s prestige back into the gilded realm of respectability. Felipe is the same generation as Philippe and Willem-Alexander, and all three must prove to the world that kings are still a guiding light in the maelstrom of politics.

    2014 has been a year of firsts, and they have all been immensely positive for the role of royalty. May it ever be so.

  • Royal News: No York Romance; King Accused; Murder in Kenya | RoyaltyNow!

    The Yorks aren’t reuniting after all; Prince William mourns friend murdered in Kenya; the former king of the Belgians exposed in documentary by ex-lover.


  • Phillippe Takes The Throne

    queen Mathilde and King PhillippeJuly 21st marks Belgium’s national day, but it’s not the average celebration this year. Today, the Belgians get a new king!

    Earlier in July, Belgium’s King Albert II announced that he would step down in favor of his son, Crown Prince Philippe, on the 21st of the month. A good move, as it is an opportunity to blend national celebration with the crowning of a new monarch.

    The king, 79, stated that his health was the reason he intended to abdicate after nearly 20 years on the throne.

    Phillippe takes the throne as the 7th King of the Belgians. His wife, Mathilde, will become queen consort. The couple’s eldest child, Princess Elisabeth, is now the heir to the throne and will be known as Duchess of Brabant.

    Phillippe follows his friend King Willem-Alexander, who gained the Dutch throne in April when his mother Beatrix abdicated after 33 years as monarch.

    The abdication of King Albert has a more controversial side: after he succeeded his brother in 1993, Albert found himself at the center of scandal when he was alleged to be the father of an out-of-wedlock daughter, Delphine Boel.

    Ms. Boel recently came forward again with her claims that she is the king’s daughter, and even began court proceedings in order to prove paternity. Some speculate that this move may also have contributed to his decision to abdicate now, moving the possible timing from November to July.

    Watch LIVE:

    * Gala
    * RTBF

    Official sites:

    * Belgian Monarchy
    * 21july.monarchie.be

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  • The Calls For Abdication: Margrethe Resists

    Trine Villeman, journalist for the Danish media outlet Politiken, has called for the Danish queen to step down.

    Villeman is not alone. According to a poll conducted in Denmark last year, a majority of Danes want Queen Margrethe II to retire. But while the calls for abdication grow, Margrethe resists even more.

    Villeman, a long-time critic of the Danish Royal Family, has cited Queen Margrethe’s health issues as a reason for abdication. How much longer can she go on, Villeman asks, when she frequently has to cancel engagements due to severe back pain?

    English: Picture showing the Royal Family of D...

    English: Picture showing the Royal Family of Denmark during Queen Margrethe II 70th birthday, 16 April 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    But Margrethe, 73, continues to soldier on. She has brushed aside any notion of abdication despite two fellow monarchs stepping down in their own countries: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (75) in April, and King Albert of Belgium (79) this July.

    Margrethe may be looking to the United Kingdom for strength, as her counterpart, Elizabeth II, continues the business of queenship well into her 80s. Royal consort Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has also set a working royal precedent by continuing his duties into his 90s.

    The maladies suffered by Denmark’s queen seem very severe. The monarch is so pained by arthritis that it is now impossible for her to carry out official duties, says Villeman.

    Margrethe is resisting the pressures of age, however. During her Ruby Jubilee in 2012, there was discussion in Denmark that the queen should abdicate. Margrethe was having none of it:

    In my eyes, it’s part of the position that you have when you inherit a monarchy: It is a task you have handed down to you, and that you ?keep as long as you live, the way my father did and my grandfather ?before him.”

    What do you think? Should Queen Margrethe II of Denmark step down and allow Crown Prince Frederik the throne, or should she continue in the tradition of Queen Elizabeth II?



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  • King Albert of Belgium To Abdicate

    King Albert II of Belgium visiting the Voka of...

    King Albert II of Belgium visiting the Voka of the province of Limburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    King Albert II, sixth King of the Belgians, has announced his intention to abdicate. The reason cited is the king’s poor health in recent years.

    Albert and his elder brother, the late King Baudoin, are sons of King Leopold III and his first wife, Astrid of Sweden.  Baudoin succeeded Leopold as king, reigning 42 years.

    Baudoin died of heart failure on July 31, 1993. He and his wife, Queen Fabiola, had no children during their marriage, so upon his death the throne went to Albert.

    King Albert is married to Queen Paola, formerly Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria. They have three children: Prince Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent, and several grandchildren.

    Official website

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  • The Funeral of Countess Alix de Lannoy

    The funeral of Countess Alix de Lannoy was held last Friday, August 31st.

    lannoy funeral

    © wort.lu

    The former Alix della Faille de Leverghem was born to a noble Belgian family. Alix married Count Philippe de Lannoy in 1965, and they had eight children. Stéphanie, the youngest of their brood, is the fiancée of Hereditary Grand Duke Guilliaume of Luxembourg.

    Countess Alix died on August 26 from a brain hemmorhage. She was 71 years old.

    See some photos of the funeral here.

    Tiara tip to: Wort.lu

  • Top ten royals you SHOULD know

    Everyone knows Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge. The gorgeous Queen Rania of Jordan ranks high in the royal elite, and Queen Elizabeth II is a legend. Which modern-day royals rank in your top 10? Let’s hear the nominations as we research the hard-working and history-worthy royals across the world.

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