Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Belgians royals host German State Visit

The King and Queen of the Belgians are hosting a State Visit to their country by the President of Germany. And with just one of the three day visit completed we've already had balconies, banquets and bonhomie.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians with President Gauck and Daniela Schadt at the Royal Palace, Brussels

The visit got underway on Tuesday morning when King Philippe and Queen Mathilde welcomed President Joachim Gauck and his partner, Daniela Schadt, to Brussels.

Queen Mathilde chose an ice blue coat with a very heavy and slightly overpowering print and a neat little hat, Daniela Schadt was in red. And everyone seemed to be having a rather nice time as they chatted and smiled for official photos. We also got a chance to see the soft blue dress beneath Mathilde's coat as the welcome continued at the Royal Palace.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde watch their guests sign the welcome book at the start of the German State Visit to Belgium

The visit started with a chance for Queen Mathilde to show her support for one of her main causes, children's welfare as she and Daniela Schadt visited Child Focus. The organisation looks for missing children and offers support to young people suffering sexual exploitation and the engagement as part of the State Visit focused on a hotline which the organisation has for those who need its help.

Meanwhile, there were meetings with the Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, and other politicians for President Gauck.

The afternoon also featured a staple of State Visits - a balcony appearance. The Belgian king and queen, along with their guests, headed to Brussels Town Hall where they were given a tour, had a good chat and then got out on to the balcony for a traditional smile and wave appearance. Let's face it, it's one of the things we love about a State Visit.

The balcony appearance at the start of the German State Visit to Belgium

The evening brought another treat - a State Banquet. It was held at Laeken which meant the official photos were set against the beautiful backdrop of its marble pillars and checkboard floor. Mathilde chose a pretty peach while Daniela Schadt was in palest, coolest blue.

In his speech, King Philippe talked about European unity and the many links between Belgium and Germany. He also recalled the visit he and Mathilde had made to Berlin in 2014 and looked ahead to the State Visit which will include time in Anvers, Liege, Malines and Eupen.

The State Banquet at Laeken on Day One of the German visit to Belgium

And all those engagements and two more days of State Visit special events means we've got lots to look forward to as well.

And there is a special page about the two State Visits this week here.

Photo credits for non Getty images: MonarchieBe Twitter

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