In 1944, after a failed covert effort to contact King Leopold III (who was being kept a virtual prisoner by the Germans) by the government-in-exile in London the King wrote his "Political Testament" which has since caused some controversy. Why did this happen? Because people since have ruled it controversial and for no other reason. It is noteworthy since so many accuse King Leopold of collaboration that he wrote the document because of the fear that the Germans would remove him from Belgium when the Allies invaded -which was true and later happened as he predicted.
Some who cannot think of criticisms for the content of the Testament criticize the "style" of it, claiming the King "sounding" authoritarian and to be "talking down" to the readers. This should be instantly dismissed unless they are claiming to have psychic powers to read the mind and attitude of the King at the time. What is criticized of the content is that he used the term "occupation" to refer to the future Allied invasion rather than the term "liberation". That sounds bad (we are told) unless one considers that it was true! This is simply a matter of correct definition. Any time a country has military forces of another country or countries on their soil it is an "occupation". Since the time of independence Belgium had a policy of neutrality and it did not matter what country carried out the occupation -it would still be an occupation even if it would work out as liberation. That is a silly argument to pick on.
Also there was the King's writing of not recognizing the agreements, actions and policies enacted by the government-in-exile during the war. Again, here we have something being made complicated and controversial that is actually very simple. The King had trouble before the war with the politicians who wanted to obstruct him so there was probably some strained feelings there. However, the government of the country was, is and always has consisted of the King and his ministers. The government-in-exile did not recognize any decisions taken by the King during the war because without his ministers he could not be the sole voice of government on his own. However, by that same logic they show the King as correct since any policies they enacted without his approval would also not be valid -by their own standards!
They also complained that the King called for the exoneration of the ministers involved in the government crisis of 1940. Once again, this should not be controversial, this is part of his duty as King which is to be the source of unity for the country and if there is to be reconciliation of all the people after the war there would have to be a willingness to put the past behind them on the part of the government and move toward the future. This was all even more absurd considering the actions, not only of the King, but of the whole Belgian government and military in regard to the Allies during and after the war. For example, the Force Publique in the Congo played a very important part in the Allied invasion of Italian East Africa in cooperation with the British and after the war there was close cooperation with the United States and other powers in the establishment of NATO. King Leopold III was writing of the legal situation and not expressing any judgment on the Allied countries. He was being held like a prisoner by the Germans and expecting to be essentially kidnapped by them when he wrote the Testament so it is absurd to think that he was being anti-Allies or pro-German in writing this document.
It should also be remembered that this was an invented controversy. The government-in-exile never published the testament, they ignored it (partly because they did not want to offend radical leftist elements that were cooperating with the exile government) and so the document really had no practical use. This was brought out and exposed later simply so that those putting it out could twist the words and the spirit in which it was written to smear the reputation of King Leopold III. However, the fog of political spin should be put aside and look at the clear, basic facts of what was actually written and when that is done anyone can see that there was nothing outrageous or controversial in the Political Testament of S.M. Leopold III.