Laurent is the youngest son of King Albert and Queen Paola, and the younger brother of the present King Filip. He recently spent 3 weeks in hospital as he was nursing a severe form of pneumonia. The prince was even put in an induced coma to facilitate the treatment.
Last Sunday, he made his first public appearance since he left hospital, attending an Easter mass in Bonlez (Wallonia) where his parents-in-law live. The prince looked very fragile and had to be supported by his wife, Princess Claire. "My recovery will be slow, very slow", he told Sudpresse. "It's true that I attended mass in Bonlez. But I was only able to do that with the Claire's support. I can hardly move around." (photo on top: archive picture taken before his stay in hospital)
Rumour has it that the prince was actually in hospital after a failed attempt to commit suicide. Confronted with this, Laurent was cynical: "Did I hear about these stories? No, I was in a coma."
"I don't need my parents at 50"
During his long hospital stay, his parents Albert and Paola waited a long time to visit him. This triggered a lot of commotion in Belgium. Laurent was asked whether that bothered him. "Would you need your parents at 50? At this age, I don't need my parents anymore", he was quoted as saying by the newspapers.
How is his mental state of mind? "I told you my recovery will take quite some time." When the prince had left hospital, his wife Claire posted this "family selfie" on Twitter to thank hospital staff for taking good care of her husband and to show the prince is fine.