King Filip as you have never seen him before: that is what the new documentary Filip, a year with the King of the Belgians, promises, which will soon be shown on VRT and RTBF. Director Nicolas Delvaulx was allowed to follow Filip for a year and a half for the documentary, which was made on the occasion of his tenth anniversary on the throne.
According to the RTBF, King Philippe speaks casually and freely in the documentary, as none of his predecessors ever did. The documentary makers follow the monarch in his professional life, during activities, meetings and foreign trips, and offer an insight into his daily life. His meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is discussed, as well as that with the flood victims in the province of Liège and his state visits to Congo and Greece.
The “great novelty” of the documentary is that the king himself talks about his work and life. Over the months, Filip gave about ten interviews of about an hour, which were recorded with a mobile phone. These recordings were intended as a memory aid, but ultimately the king gave permission to use the sound fragments in the editing, in order to create the most authentic image possible.
Filip speaks in this way about his kingship, which he describes “as a marriage” with our country and his fellow citizens, about his predecessors, in particular King Baudouin, and his family. He says that he can never escape a certain loneliness and distance, which he believes is inherent to kingship. And he speaks about his difficult childhood and his dealings with his ‘fate’ as a future monarch. “Whether I was at peace with that? I looked around a lot, observed, but I was not very social. During that period I was not available or open. That only came much later. Actually, not until I became king.”
Apparently we should not expect political statements in Philip, a year with the king of the Belgians, but we should expect a better insight into Philip’s role as king. The documentary can be seen on Friday, December 15 at 8:15 PM on La Une and on Monday, December 18 at 8:55 PM on VRT 1.