Royals reject rumours of marital break-up
15 June 2005
BRUSSELS — Prince Laurent and Princess Claire have denied their marriage is on the rocks.
Opening a new ward of the Edith Cavel Hospital in Brussels on Wednesday, the prince was thronged by the media demanding answers to persistent rumours.
But the youngest son of King Albert denied he was having marital problems.
And as it to prove it, Princess Claire, who is of British extraction, accompanied him to the ceremony, broadcaster VRT reported.
Renewed rumours were sparked when Prince Laurent was shielded from the media at a ceremony to open a training school for police dogs on Tuesday.
One of the attending police officers later said Claire had left Laurent and the prince didn’t want any difficult questions.
It comes as little surprise, because just four months ago reports surfaced about the royal couple’s marriage problems after the prince attended a New Year’s Eve reception alone at the royal palace.
Several days later, Princess Claire was seen with her husband again and the absence of the surveyor and real estate expert was attributed to her “professional activities”.
However, the royal house never confirms or denies rumours, Dutch-language newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ reported on Wednesday.
A source told the newspaper that Claire, fed up with recent arguments, had packed her bags and left for Chaumont-Gistoux, where her parents live. She was still with her parents on Tuesday night.
However, mother Nicole Mertens denied Claire’s marriage was over, stressing that her daughter visits two or three times each week with her baby, 16-month-old Louise.
The denials were later repeated by Claire as well, who opened up the boot of her car at her parents house to show she simply had a black leather bag with a few clothes in it.
“We three still form an excellent family,” she said.
Nevertheless, the royal couple’s security team has reportedly been divided into two teams, one for Laurent and one for Claire. All leave has been suspended to ensure the couple’s safety.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news