Hi all, I haven't been here or following royal news closely for a while. I came across this Spanish news article comparing the Dutch and Belgian kings' approval ratings and read articles posted in the Spain, Netherlands and Belgium folders. I think this is a topic deserves its own thread. I hope the link works:https://www.revistavanity...-maxima-y-guillermo/48232
Paige posted multiple links in Felipe & Letizia News about Felipe's gaining in approval rating in the most difficult year for Spanish royal family.
These three took the throne at about the same time. They're close in age. All of them are educated and have solid marriages and families. When they took over, Spanish monarchy was in crisis after multiple scandals involving King Juan Carlos and Infanta Cristina/Inaki. Support for the monarchy in Belgium was not strong either due to the divided populace and Philippe was viewed as clumsy and lacks charisma. Dutch monarchy was seen as the strongest of the 3, with high popular support for the monarchy and a charismatic queen. At that time, RD ran a poll re the monarchy most likly to fall, IIRC, Spain and Belgium were the top picks.
Now, the world has THE horribilis of the century collectively, how things have changed. Besides the pandemic that hit all 3 countries hard, Felipe has to deal with his father's money laundering/tax evasion/black card scandal and a republican campaign by the extreme left. Philippe has to deal with BLM protest against his ancestor and his father's illegitimate daughter. WA has to deal with...nothing. But the former 2 are gaining in public approval while the latter's rating dropped 29% in just 8 months.
It comes down to personal character, demonstrative leadership and solidarity with their people. Here are what they did respectively:
Felipe not only distanced himself from his father, he implicated his father by denouncing his inheritance and asking his father to leave the country. He also cut off his father's pay. Felipe didn't wait for the result of any investigations, he acknowledged his father's moral failure. It matches with the vow of exemplary behaviors he gave upon his proclamation.
He and Letizia also cancelled their summer vacation. Instead, they worked non-stop through lockdown and visited regions around the country. They're seen with common people, mask and all. On the contrary, Spanish PM used 2 palaces for his family vacation during the summer. The royal family stayed in Madrid.
Also, 3 of them, Felipe, Letizia and Leonor isolated themselves at different times after their contacts were infected. It shows they took the pandemic seriously and followed the rule.
Philippe sent an official apology to the president of Congo for Leopold II's atrocities. He also welcomed Delphine to the palace and made her Princess of Belgium. If I'm not mistaken, he did it on his own rather than being prompted by the government. His wife and kids also volunteered in serving the needies.
He and his family showed compassion, generosity, humility and solidarity. It's what citizens expect from people that have been given so much.
Where to begin?
The royal family kept up their summer vacation in Greece and got photographed, maskless and distance-less, with a restaurant owner. They had to apologize for it.
Then WA bought a 2M euros yacht. Everyone knows Dutch royal family is wealthy. But rubbing it in your citizens' face when many are losing their livelihood or financially struggling? This is a terrible look.
Then the 2nd Greece getaway right after Dutch government advised against unnecessary travels. Most of us who have been confined at home wish we have a vacation home at a warmer climate to escape to. But we can't so we have to bear it. Another rubbing it in moment to their citizens who have to endure the lockdown/isolation at home. This has the shade of JC's Botswana moment. Then the 2nd apology (or non-apology?).
As I understand it, WA and Maxima also have not worked much through the pandemic. Correct me if I'm wrong. This all add up to an image of entitlement, tone-deafness, arrogance, insensitivity and unfeeling.
WA and Maxima have always lived large. Their exuberant lifestyle was interesting to gawk at by regular people when the time is good. The biggest jewels, the largest partes, the coutur gowns, the exotic vacations. IMO, part of their popularity was built on their exuberant lifestyle. It's like the classier version of the Kardashians with a royal title. But when the time is hard, it bites them back. They didn't change. Time changed and so did public perception.