Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Jordanian State Visit to Belgium under way

Queen Mathilde of the Belgians with Queen Rania of Jordan on day one of the State Visit
(photo Queen Rania Instagram)

There was a warm welcome for the King and Queen of Jordan as they arrived in Belgium for a three day State Visit. Before their trip was even officially under way, the King and Queen of the Belgians and their children had given them a proper family greeting to get things started.

A family affair for Mathilde and Philippe as they bring their children along to welcome their special guests
(photo @MonarchieBe Twitter)

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania touched down in Brussels on Monday afternoon and headed to the Royal Palace in Brussels to meet their hosts for the rest of the week. And Mathilde and Philippe made sure their children were involved by getting them to extend the hand of friendship as well to the special guests.

The visit got officially under way this morning as all State Visits should with a ceremonial welcome right outside the palace doors. There was a huge red carpet, a guard of honour and plenty of pomp and ceremony.

Queen Mathilde was in spring like yellow beneath the grey skies, choosing a hat to keep out sunshine that never appeared. Queen Rania chose a pink coat and pink dress.

Then it was inside for official photos and a chance to sign the visitor's book before the business of this State Visit started to unfold.  And that staple of all State Visits, a first day official lunch, was also on the agenda.

The two queens also had an engagement at the King Baudouin Foundation to hear about programmes to help young people develop their talents.

Queen Mathilde and Queen Rania at the King Baudouin Foundation in Brussels
(photo @monarchieBe Twitter)

In the afternoon, the four royals were at the University of Louvain where King Abdullah gave an address and got a big audience.

There was also a visit to the Florennes Air Base for King Abdullah and King Philippe.

The evening saw the State Dinner which was held at Laeken and started with some rather lovely photos against the spring sunshine of the castle grounds.

Then it was time for food and speeches with the King of the Belgians telling his guests that this visit was all about forging links and building partnerships for peace.

The rest of the trip will include time in Zeebrugge and Bruges as well as more engagements in Brussels but the tone, charming and relaxed, has been set by the family welcome given to the King and Queen of Jordan by the Royal Family of Belgium.

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