BELGIAN ARISTOCRACY.

This is totally frivolous, but it’s about all I’m up for today, and let’s face it, I’m a sucker for unusual names. Via the prinsessor-smitten Des, herewith some of the proud products of Flemish-Walloon mixed blue-blood marriages:

Astrid Pouppez de Ketteris de Hollaeken
la baronne Laetitia de Villenfagne de Vogelsanck
la comtesse Céline d’Arschot Schoonhoven

I should add, however, that Des’s favorite is non-Belgian, “the splendiciously named Gioia Sardagna von Neuberg e Hohenstein Ferrari.” Now imagine a butler intoning those names, one after another, as a parade of magnificoes enters your country house for a shooting party…

Comments

  1. Yikes. I like my name more every day.

  2. I think the current Ms. van Aarschot-Schoonhoven lives in the same city as me, although I’m not totally sure. Even Belgians don’t pay attention to their own nobility and they sure don’t expect anyone else to.
    I am told that the local feudal hoity-toit in my piece of Belgium, the Hertog van Arenberg/Duc d’Arenberg, ran off to Switzerland in ’86 with his mistress and donated his castle and the grounds on the edge of the city to the university, where it now forms the core of new campus. Apparently, he was in arrears on his property taxes. I’m told it was quitre a scandal, especially for his wife.
    Anyway, tacit biethnicism has become a major selling point for the aristocracy and the royal family, such as it is. Where they were once the stalwart defenders of all things French, they are now trying to sell themselves as a unifying force in a bicultural country, and they’re doing an awful job of it.

  3. If you like this you may be interested in my April 10 OTIPL entry listing some things from the index of a book about John Betjeman.
    http://otipl.blogspot.com/2003_04_06_otipl_archive.html#92381716

  4. Didn’t the last princess to marry into the royal family have faultless Dutch, French and German, at least? And she was pretty cute too (as prospective consorts go), and not obviously a Bad Person. I got the impression that she was pretty well liked.

  5. I love the French pronunciation of Dutch names (people, places) in Belgium. (My Flemish acquaintances don’t – at least I don’t think they do!)

  6. Kehoea, apparently Princess Mathilde was something of a political choice. Her family is almost perfectly biethnic, bilingual and owns property and businesses that are distributed almost evenly between Flanders and Wallonia. Prince Philip(pe) is reasonably fluent in Dutch, but clearly favours French and his mother can’t speak Dutch at all, beng a Spanish princess. The royal family is trying very hard to unload its traditional association with the French language, and the Flemish nobility is overwhelmingly francophone at home but tryoing very hard not to seem that way in public.
    Prince Philippe is not beloved and as far as I can tell Mathilda basically has cute and non-stupid going for her, plus being the mother of the infant heir apparent gets her some public sympathy. But I have the strong impression that Belgians sometimes forget that their country is a monarchy.

  7. Was there a scandal or affair between the princess that married Baodouin and an outside lover that got covered up by the police and royal family? This would have been early in their marriage while Baodouin was still the crown prince.

  8. DEL S. FRNKA says:

    DEAR FRIEND\I HAVE FOUR PAINTINGS BY A VICOMTE
    “P” OR “T” DU BUS DE WARNAFFE. I HVE FOUND THE FAMILY ON GOOGLE AND THEY SEEM TO BE BELGIUM BUT NO P OR T. I REALLY LOVE THE PAINTINGS AND WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE ANY HELP IN FINDING OUT ABOUT THE VICOMTE…MANY THANKS DEL S. FRNKA DELSAX@AOL.COM

Speak Your Mind

*