According to Van Espen, the queen is a very busy woman who allows little time for her hair dresser to do his job. When he has to complete a hairdo in a mere 10 minutes it can be particularly stressfull for him. Van Espen does Mathilde's hair at her home, the castle of Laken. She tells him which style she has in mind when he arrives and while he's busy she's always reading work files and starting on her press review. "She's a very hard working lady".
Even when Mathilde plans to wear a hat, she doesn't brief her hairdresser beforehand. Plans are only made in advance when bigger events are concerned - such as state visits.
Frédéric Van Espen talks about the Belgian state visit to China as the most difficult job he did for court. Because of the many activities in different Chinese cities, the team was constantly on the move, packing and unpacking everything. Still it was an unforgettable experience. Working for the queen is both an honour and a priviledge.