Belgium’s ‘cursed Prince’ defends Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step down

The Belgian Prince has defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step down as a senior royal, saying ‘a person should not be property of his family of the state’.

Prince Laurent, 56, who is the younger brother of King Philippe, and is related to Queen Elizabeth, said the treatment of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was ‘unacceptable’.

Speaking to Belgium newspaper Sudpresse, he said: ‘Prince Harry’s decision proves one thing. 

‘You are an object. That is unacceptable. A person should not be the property of his family or a government. Or you should be compensated for it. That’s why I never agreed with it myself. And I was punished for that.

Prince Laurent, 56, has defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down as a senior royal, saying 'a person should not be property of his family of the state'. He is pictured here with Princess Maria Annunciata of Liechtenstein

Prince Laurent, 56, has defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down as a senior royal, saying 'a person should not be property of his family of the state'. He is pictured here with Princess Maria Annunciata of Liechtenstein

Prince Laurent, 56, has defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step down as a senior royal, saying ‘a person should not be property of his family of the state’. He is pictured here with Princess Maria Annunciata of Liechtenstein

‘Hopefully that will change, because I don’t want to be the victim of archaic people. I no longer want to be a thing owned by a structure or a government or a state,’ he added.

The Prince added that he knew Harry, and that if ‘if he’s happy, I am’.

In March 2018 Prince Laurent had his monthly allowance cut by 15 per cent for a year, after he attended a Chinese embassy reception without government permission.  

The royal was caught out when he tweeted an image of himself at the Chinese embassy party in full naval uniform.

Speaking to Belgium newspaper Sudpresse , he said: 'Prince Harry's decision proves one thing. You are an object. That is unacceptable. A person should not be the property of his family or a government. Or you should be compensated for it. That's why I never agreed with it myself. And I was punished for that'. Meghan and Harry are pictured at Canada House earlier this month

Speaking to Belgium newspaper Sudpresse , he said: 'Prince Harry's decision proves one thing. You are an object. That is unacceptable. A person should not be the property of his family or a government. Or you should be compensated for it. That's why I never agreed with it myself. And I was punished for that'. Meghan and Harry are pictured at Canada House earlier this month

Speaking to Belgium newspaper Sudpresse , he said: ‘Prince Harry’s decision proves one thing. You are an object. That is unacceptable. A person should not be the property of his family or a government. Or you should be compensated for it. That’s why I never agreed with it myself. And I was punished for that’. Meghan and Harry are pictured at Canada House earlier this month

He also visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, a former Belgian colony, in 2011 without permission, and met with Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, who he says he promised him £42 million for a forestry scheme. 

On occasion, Laurent has also publicly shown support for Delphine Boël, a woman who is alleged to be the illegitimate daughter of his father, the former King Albert. 

The black sheep of the family, the Prince has also accused his own family of  ‘sabotaging’ his life and monitoring him ‘like the Stasi’.

Prince Laurent of Belgium and Princess Claire of Belgium attend the military parade during Belgian National Day in July last year

Prince Laurent of Belgium and Princess Claire of Belgium attend the military parade during Belgian National Day in July last year

Prince Laurent of Belgium and Princess Claire of Belgium attend the military parade during Belgian National Day in July last year

His various gaffes and scandals have led to the former military helicopter pilot being nicknamed The Cursed Prince (Le Prince Maudit).    

In 2014, he was forced to pay back £14,500 after invoicing the state for supermarket bills, skiing holidays and his children’s school fees.

In 2016, it was decided that Prince Laurent’s children were not allowed to carry the name ‘of Belgium’.

Prince Laurent’s involvement in animal welfare and environmental issues, as well as him ignoring protocol, have earned Laurent the nickname of ‘ecolo-gaffeur’ (‘the eco-blunderer’).

The prince was also named in a corruption scandal and is known for his love of speed, having racked up several speeding tickets.

Prince Laurent is married to British-born Princess Claire, who was born in Bath as Claire Coombs and who worked as a land surveyor.

His reputation for outspokenness that has earned him the nickname ‘Belgium’s Prince Phillip’.

His various gaffes and scandals have led to the former military helicopter pilot being nicknamed The Cursed Prince (Le Prince Maudit). He is pictured in July last year

His various gaffes and scandals have led to the former military helicopter pilot being nicknamed The Cursed Prince (Le Prince Maudit). He is pictured in July last year

His various gaffes and scandals have led to the former military helicopter pilot being nicknamed The Cursed Prince (Le Prince Maudit). He is pictured in July last year

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