Prince Laurent of Belgium has a naughty habit of jetting off to visit controversial world leaders on unauthorized visits. After joining the Chinese celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Red Army in full naval regalia, he finally got the smack down in the form of a 15 percent cut to his annual government endowment, and he is not happy about it.
The Guardian reports that Prince Laurent has submitted a seven page letter to the country’s prime minister, Charles Michel, outlining the abuses against him; not only have they decided to cut his €308,000, Laurent also suggests that intervening with his schedule is in violation of Article 8 of the European convention on human rights, because it is forcing him into “social isolation.”
It goes without saying that the court of human rights would make short work of such violations of the right to a fair trial,” the lawyer writes.
Laurent’s lawyer insists that “in humiliating ways” the prince has been stopped all his life from getting a job, in a manner damaging to his “image and, dare I add, his health”.
“In this traditional view, a prince was not allowed to work (it would testify to ‘a desire for money’, a reproach that some people dare to repeat today, which is the world upside down!),” the lawyer writes.
Before things came to this extreme, Michel did attempt to call a meeting with Laurent, but the prince sent a sick note. It’s also not his first offense. Laurent has met with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, tried to strike up a business arrangement with one of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, and went on unauthorized visits to Libya and to meet the prime minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Prince Laurent seems to subscribe to the philosophy of asking for forgiveness instead of permission.
Laurent is the youngest son of the former king and queen Albert II and Paola, and has a terrible relationship with his family, going so far as to talk shit about them on national television and claiming they have tried to undermine his career.
The prime minster released a statement on the matter through his spokesperson, Barend Leyts, who only said, “As the prime minister has announced in parliament, the case is being examined legally.”