Prince Laurent of Belgium has been transferred to the intensive care unit at St. Luc-University Hospital in Brussels, according to numerous Belgian media sources.
Pierre-Emmanuel de Bauw, a spokesman for the royal palace, will only conform that Prince Laurent, younger brother of King Philippe, remains in the hospital. "It is a matter concerning the private life of the Prince and his family," he told the press,
Earlier today, however, de Bauw provided further information, stating that Prince Laurent is suffering from pneumonia, and has been placed in an artificial coma. Prince Laurent's condition is "stable," said the Palace.
On Monday, Prince Laurent received a visit from King Philippe. This morning, Queen Mathilde "went to his bedside."
One doctor, who is not treating Prince Laurent, told the media that is is not unusual to use this treatment for patients with pneumonia. But it is an "exception procedure, reserved for rare cases where the patient cannot tolerate the respirator."
This is done only for "severe cases," because doctors do not wish to prescribe sedatives that can "extend the physical and intellectual weakness of the patient."
"Overall, with a deep coma, the mortality rate is 25%, but I do not know Prince's Laurent's specific case," stated Dr. Jean Louis Vincent, head of intensive care at ULB hospital.
King Albert and Queen Paola are abroad but remain in constant contact with Princess Claire," Pierre-Emmanuel de Bauw told the Belga news agency.
"Princess Astrid, who recently returned from a trade mission to Saudi Arabia, is also in close contact with Princess Claire," he said.
Princess Claire is at the hospital each day.