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Celebrity Sightings (Belgian Style)

August 14, 2008

You know how everyone that lives in/visits NYC has a celebrity sighting to share? Yes you do.

The ” “You WON’T BELIEVE IT, I saw Whatshisname from that Reality show – the one with the dancing – in Starbucks!” from the ocassional visitor to the city. Or the “Oh yeah, the lead singer of Train was playing in the park on my way to class. No big deal. That’s normal here,” from the resident who wants you to think they are totally jaded but had you been there you would have seen them screaming “Play ‘Meet Virginia!'”

Right. Well, I must to admit that I have had very, very few of these celebrity sightings myself.  I think Brandi and I met Bono (from U2) at the Hard Rock in Cleveland (he said, and I quote, “Hey girls”) but we never got confirmation of our brush with the legendary artist. So, other than a head nod from what could have been an impersonator, I have nothing to add to the canon of, “OMG! I just saw X!” stories.

Until now.

This summer I had not one but TWO encounters with bona fide A-listers (well, one A-lister and one… I’m not sure what the second one would be called.):

1. The Original A-Listers.

The first came a few weeks ago at the Ommegang (essentially a medieval pageant held in the Grand Place in Brussels. You can read about it here.) See, as a “welcome to the country, thanks for selling us your souls” present, work got us reservations for a fancy dinner at one of the restaurants that overlooks the Grand Place. Very cool in theory but difficult in logistics as there are many fancy restaurants that overlook the area. As my navigational skills are less than stellar, myself and two of my colleagues spent the better part of a half hour walking around in the rain trying to figure out which restaurant was ours.

While doing so we literally bumped into… wait for it…. the royal family! (yes, Belgium has their very own Royal Family!) King Albert. Queen Paola. Prince Laurent. Princess Claire. AND. Member of the “International Best-Dressed List,” Princess Mathilde!

Truth be told, I wouldn’t have known this was the royal family had one of the Belgians I was with not pointed it out. They just looked so normal. Well dressed. But normal. (I would have preferred them to be wearing crowns and holding scepters)

The publicity video for the Ommegang:

A photosession with the Royal Family: (seriously, what CAN’T you find on youtube?)

Us in the restaurant before the ‘pageantry’ began:

pics of Ommegang from the restaurant:

(it’s blurry but in the stands you can see a red banner hanging down. That was where the Royal Family sat. Unfortunately, even though I gave them my nicest, friendliest smile beforehand they did not invite me up to their VIP seating.)

It was okay though, we still had a good view of the fun stuff:

Running out of time… you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for AMAZING celebrity sighting #2!

(and yes, it’s even lamer than #1. Lots lamer. But I’m still going to tell you all about it since it’s an excellent segue into another story)

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