Prince Laurent of Belgium has come under fire for taking an inappropriately timed phone call in the middle of the national day anthem on Sunday 21 July.
The younger brother of King Philippe attended the military parade during Belgian National Day last week with his wife, Princess Claire. While seated on a golden throne and wearing his naval uniform, Prince Laurent appeared to take a phone call, much to the disapproval of his wife, seated beside him.
In addition to his wife, other royals also appeared to gesture at him angrily when he took out his phone, including King Philippe of Belgium, and Queen Mathilde. The call didn’t end however until Princess Claire tapped her husband on the arm.
This is not the first time the royal has caused controversy. In March 2018, the Prince had his yearly 340,000 EUR allowance cut by 15%, after he attended a Chinese embassy reception without government permission.
“This allowance, the reduction of which is being discussed as a result of political or media currents, is the price of a life — the price of my life, which is largely behind me now,” Laurent wrote in a letter to parliament as response, arguing that he could not have a normal job due to his royal status.
Prince Laurent admitted in 2016 that the royal life is something difficult for him. “It’s true that sometimes I get a little tired of it,” the 55-year-old royal told a class of sixth graders. “You do not learn to become a prince, it’s something that you must feel.”
As for any hopes of taking the throne himself one day, the prince jokingly replied that he could organize “the paratroopers to stage a coup at the Palace – after that we’ll see how it goes.”
The Brussels Times