royaltyOur royalty expert Wim Dehandschieter visits Qmusic every week for the section ‘Do they drink fizz in the royal family?’ This week, presenter Vincent Fierens wants to know whether the king sometimes has cash in his pocket.
Nov 8 2023
“Does the king actually pay for his own shopping?” Vincent Fierens wonders in ‘Do they drink fizz in the royal family?’ Royalty expert Wim Dehandschieter immediately comes up with a funny anecdote. “In 2020, the king visited the market day in Wavre. He wanted to support local traders in the midst of corona, so he decided to buy a bouquet of red roses for his wife,” he begins. “The market vendor wanted to offer King Philip the flowers for free, but the king refused. Then it became embarrassing for a moment, the king turned out to have no money in his pocket. He then borrowed 50 euros from an employee and surprisingly enough, he put the change away himself.”
The entourage’s statement says that the king must keep his hands free on official occasions. “Can we then say that the king is stingy?” asks presenter Fierens. Our royalty expert contradicts this: “It is rather to avoid difficult situations. When King Philip is given change in front of the cameras, people wonder whether he will accept it or give it as a tip. We all criticize the royal family, especially when it comes to money,” Dehandschieter said.
14.4 million euros
“Now that we are talking about money, we can suddenly wonder what the king earns,” says Q DJ Vincent. “That is 14.4 million euros per year,” says Wim. “That is a Civil List, they are actually ‘working budgets’. This should enable King Philippe to fulfill his duties as head of state. He uses this to pay wages, but also organizes activities and should even be able to cover the costs of energy bills with this.”
“Prince Laurent’s donation amounts to ‘only’ 376,000 euros. He thinks that is too little,” Dehandschieter explains. “He made that clear years ago. Prince Laurent then kept his wife Claire home from work. He believed that if she had to perform duties for the royal family, she should always look her best. So always going to the hairdresser and always new clothes. He therefore felt that his endowment was too little.”
The royalty expert concludes with another anecdote about ‘stingy’ Laurent. “Years ago, Prince Laurent was in the restaurant of an Asian in Namur. When the bill arrived, the prince asked the restaurant owner for a discount. That did not go down well with the owner. A lawyer was eating at a table further away and said to him: ‘If you can’t afford it, I will.’ That made Prince Laurant furious and he quickly took out his bank card.”
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