Belgium’s former king asks for more money to pay for his castle’s heating
Bruno Waterfield, The Telegraph | 07/11/13 3:37 PM ET
Eric Lalmand / AP Belgian King Albert II addresses the nation in a television speech at the Royal Palace in Brussels, Wednesday, July 3, 2013.
Brussels — A demand by Belgium’s former king Albert II for more money to pay heating bills for his castle and buy fuel for his yacht has been rejected by the country’s government.
Albert II, who abdicated in July, already receives an annual allowance of $1.2-million.
Elio Di Rupo, the Socialist prime minister, told MPs Thursday that “the government does not intend, directly or indirectly, to change anything” about the cuts to the Belgian civil list it made earlier this year.
Following a scandal over the royal family’s tax arrangements, the federal government cut the number and size of allowances to the country’s former and reigning kings and queens, princes and princesses.
Albert, while independently wealthy, has been feeling the pinch since losing allowances worth $16-million when he abdicated in favour of his son King Philippe on the grounds of ill health four months ago.
His abdication, the first time a Belgian monarch has voluntarily stepped down, followed a series of royal scandals and a court case over his alleged paternity of an illegitimate daughter.
In recent weeks, Albert II has complained to the government that he is struggling to maintain and heat his residence of Belvedere Castle, on the outskirts of Brussels.
He also asked for extra public funds to pay for fuel so he can go sailing in the Mediterranean in his 27-metre yacht.
Belgiumâ€™s former king asks for more money to pay for his castleâ€™s heating | National Post