Prince Laurent regrets having been present at National Day celebrations

King Filip’s younger brother Prince Laurent has said in a newspaper interview that he regrets having attended the celebrations for Belgium’s National Day last Wednesday. The 57-year-old Prince told the newspapers that make up the Francophone Sudpresse group that “I asked myself what I was doing there”. 

He added that he felt guilty about being sat in the VIP stand during the traditional military parade given the terrible natural disaster that impacted many thousands of Belgians less than a week earlier. “It would have been better for me to have spent a day or two (helping) out in the field”. 

Prince Laurent is closely involved in several ecological projects. In the interview he praised those that have helped the victims of the terrible flooding.

“First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest respect and thankfulness for those that are working so hard to help the victims of disasters. Here I am thinking about, soldiers, fire fighters the Red Cross and the many volunteers. I must admit that I feel completely helpless in the face of the scale of this environmental disaster. It has caused ecological, social and economic damage. I would like to say that from the bottom of my heart I sympathise with those that have lost loved ones, that have lost their homes…with all the victims of the flood. There are many more of them than you think”.

Prince Laurent said that he has mixed feeling about his presence at the National Day celebrations.

“It is even more sad because usually it is above all the poorest in society that are hardest hit by natural disasters. I was ashamed to be there in the stand instead of spending a day or two out in the field.

The King’s younger brother added that he plans to go and help the victims in the near future. “But this will be away from cameras and the press because that would be an insult to the victims”. 

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