Prince Laurent joined the celebrations for the Commemoration of 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese people’s liberation army, but he did so without asking permission from the government. Prime Minister Charles Michel had warned the Prince before that he cannot meet with foreign dignitaries without permission, or he would withdraw Prince Laurent’s stipend. Prince Laurent currently receives a stipend of 308,000 euro per year.
Prince Laurent confirms he was there, although on a “personal invitation” and it was “nobody’s business.” A photo tweeted by the Prince himself shows him in uniform in between several Chinese dignitaries.
Prime Minister Charles Michel’s only statement so far has been “no comment.”
A member of Parliament is already preparing a parliamentary question, stating: “The King needs approval from the government for all contact with foreign dignitaries, but the rules for Princes are not so clear.”
Last year, Prince Laurent met with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka without confirming it with the government first, and he lashed out at his family stating that they needed to leave him alone.
“There are several politicians and members of my family who need to leave me alone”, he said in front of RTL Belgium’s camera’s, as he was being interviewed about a meeting of the senate for the 30-year-anniversary of the Animal Wellbeing Act. Although the Act is close to the Prince’s heart, he lost his patience when reporters asked about financial statements from two of his own companies.
“The financial statements? Don’t even talk about that, or I’ll get really angry”, he said.
“They keep saying that I don’t work and that my foundation is bad. But if they constantly work against you, how are you going to be able to buy clothes or have food on the table?”
“The financial statements are fine. I have paid more to the state than the state has given me my whole life. I have invested millions into the society in several ways. If some politicians and my own family would let me do my thing, I would be able to prove it. So don’t tell me that what I do doesn’t work, because it works fine.”