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Scandal-prone Belgian prince to stay away from National Day events

Other News Materials 20 July 2011 14:03
Belgium's scandal-prone Prince Laurent will not be present at any of the ceremonies marking the country's National Day, a schedule released by the royal palace on Wednesday showed, following days of media speculation.
Scandal-prone Belgian prince to stay away from National Day events

Belgium's scandal-prone Prince Laurent will not be present at any of the ceremonies marking the country's National Day, a schedule released by the royal palace on Wednesday showed, following days of media speculation, DPA reported.

The youngest son of King Albert II has made headlines this year over an unsanctioned trip he took to the Democratic Republic of Congo in March, past contacts he had with Libyan officials and most recently a tumble he took at the Monaco royal wedding.

In the wake of the Congo trip, caretaker Prime Minister Yves Leterme implemented an agreement that spelled out not only Laurent's involvement in foreign policy, but that of the whole royal family.

Since then, the prince's involvement in official events has been limited, according to the Belga news agency.

Several Belgian newspapers suggested that he may however join revellers in Brussels' Marolles neighbourhood on Thursday.

According to the royal schedule, Albert and Queen Paola, their other two children - Prince Philippe and Princess Astrid - and their spouses are to attend a concert on the eve of the National Day, along with the wife of Belgium's previous monarch, Queen Fabiola.

On Thursday, they are also to attend in various constellations church hymn performances, a military parade and fireworks show.

The celebrations mark the day on which the first Belgian king, Leopold I, took his oath in 1831.

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