I see! I've always sort of wondered about that, because she really is the least visible of the reigning queens, isn't she. Sonia, Sofia, Silvia, Margarethe (yuck), QEII (obviously), even MT--all of them seem to be a lot more public and active than she is. Maybe I'm wrong because I certainly don't get much Belgian press, but you just never hear anything about Paola.
I also find it interesting that she hasn't aged remarkably well. Don't get me wrong; she's still lovely and I'm so, so happy that she hasn't turned her face into a Joker mask like Silvia, but to look at her now you'd never know she was such a goddess.
Paola would've gotten a ton more attention as a younger woman had she been crown princess. But even as the wife of the spare, she was hailed for her beauty in the European press.
She was elevated to queen when she was in her 50's. She skipped the crown princess gig.
She doesn't get a ton of attention now because she's in her seventies and popular culture worships youth.
I think she is a polished older woman, but she has lost the glamour and sophistication that Jackie and Grace never lost as they aged.
I too think that Paola in her youth was more beautiful than Grace. To me the difference is not their "prettiness". They were equally pretty. The difference was that Paola had a somewhat "smoldering" quality while Grace was icy cool. Paola looked livelier while Grace looked serene. Yeah, I could picture Paola as a Bond girl, but not Grace.