I will say that I have had these same thoughts when I see pictures of e.g. Felipe/Letizia also, and not only them. Skype calls to old people homes yes I can understand as this is the generation that believes there is a purpose to royal families. Even calls to children - ok. But I too think that the calls to medical professionals and to other groups are to benefit the royal image only. If the royals need to inform themselves of a situation they can make a private call to an individual at a time that is convenient for the individual. I do not need to see photographic evidence of this call.
That is what they are doing though. They publish one picture per day of a call to highlight the work done in the health sector etc. But they are doing many of these calls without talking about it. The persons they call give their permission and receive technical assistance. You will find many mentions on social media and sometimes a person they phoned with talks to the press. They still send homemade cookies and waffles to nursery homes and today many nursery homes all over Belgium got a letter from Philippe and Mathilde in which they express their gratitude and their concern. Corona is raging there and like many other Belgians Phil and Til are deeply worried about it and try to do their part. The visit Phil paid to Brussels University hospital was seen as helpful signal that hospitals are still a safe place since many people who fell ill are too afraid to go to there. And as far as I can judge it ppl working in the medical sector don't think it's a waste of time at all. One nursing home manager for example said he finally got masks and protective gear after he addressed it in a phone call with Philippe. So there are concrete benefits. I think they are really involved and they try to do their best in difficult times. Like many others whatever their position is.
All in all many Belgians don't care what the RF is doing and mind their own business, some have a positive impression and some will criticize them anyway. I agree with Leatherface it's a no win situation but my impression is that they are too humble and discrete in general. How can you appreciate work you don’t know about? Philippe managed to get a donation of 500.000 masks and testing kits from Jack Ma. Just like Felipe a few days later. This made quite a positive impression, but the Belgians only found out about it because the minister of health mentioned it. The BeRF never said a word about it.
Another example: Elisabeth is the patron of a children’s hospital in Antwerp. She visited the hospital several times, met the staff and the little patients, played games with them and each year they can count on her for a special visit during Christmas time. Never it was mentioned in the press or communicated by the palace. Obviously, they don't want to make a big fuss about themselves, but then only a few people know how involved they are and that's a pity somehow.
There is one thing they really botched though. Philippe's tv speech was awfully executed. He really needs to get a grip on the teleprompter thing and get some decent glasses.
You make excellent points Babalux and I thank you for it. I expressed myself badly I am sorry. I was talking more about the SRF as this I am more familiar with and I should have posted in a different thread.