Thursday, 21 July 2016

Belgium's National Day Celebrations 2016

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians enjoy the evening celebrations on their country's national day, July 21st 2016
(photo Monarchie Belge Twitter)

It's been a day of celebrations for Belgium's Royal Family as they led their country on its National Day. From the traditional Te Deum in the morning to the party in the park in the evening, the focus has been on coming together and on enjoyment. And while the celebrations have been led by King Philippe, marking his third anniversary as monarch, and Queen Mathilde in many ways it's been their four children who have been the focus on National Day 2016.

The traditional Te Deum, at the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula, got the day underway with the Belgian King and Queen attending with their two daughters, Elisabeth and Eleonore, and their two sons, Gabriel and Emmanuel.

Following the service, the royals headed off to meet some of the big crowds who had turned out to see them. And while Elisabeth has plenty of experience and plenty of confidence in this part of royal life, her nine year old sister, Eleonore, is still learning the ropes. And with help from mum. dad and her siblings she seemed to enjoy it.

The afternoon saw the traditional military and civilian parade take over the centre of Brussels and while Philippe and Mathilde had pride of place on the dais, it was the sight of heir to the throne, Elisabeth, and her siblings walking out for the procession that really got everyone's attention.

Once in place, the royal children continued to take centre stage with the young princes really seeming to throw themselves into what was going on around them.

The evening was definitely all about mum and dad. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde walked to the Royal Park in Brussels to meet many of those rounding off their national day with singing, dancing and partying. 

Philippe and Mathilde get in the party spirit at the end of National Day 2016
(photo Monarchie Belge Twitter)

There were plenty of smiles from the King and Queen of the Belgians who have seen their popularity only increase since Philippe took the throne on the abdication of his father, Albert II, on July 21st 2013. And perhaps the greatest sign of that success is the way in which their children, the next generation of royals, won over new fans on this special day for their country. Belgium's National Day Celebrations 2016 were a huge success.

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