I picked A Throne in Brussels by Paul Belien up in London this summer. I have been fascinated with Belgium and the internal struggle there for a while, and finding this seemed a great way to get a bit more thorough into the subject.
The book deals with the history of the Belgian monarchy – and the consequences for the European Union if it should model itself on being as constructed as Belgium.
The first thing to note about this book, and to bring with into the reading of it, is that the author is quite pro-Flemish, is quite seemingly against unified Belgium, and thus also rather against the monarchy.
It starts with Leopold and his first wife, and what happened when she died – and Leopold was put into the monarch’s role in Belgium (with a large subsidy from the British government), and continues through the generations to today’s royal family.
If Belien is to be believed, the monarchs and politicians of Belgium have been a corrupt bunch through the ages. About the only passable one seems to have been Baudoin.
With all its foibles and possible flaws in objectivity, I still found it an interesting read from one of the sides, as it is well-written and compelling.
If anyone has any good books on Belgian history to recommend, I’m up for reading more.