The art of being royal can be tricky sometimes in the 21st century. Part of the mystique is the unchanging nature of the institution but to remain the same when everything else is different is a challenge. We want modern royals to be in touch with how people feel but we also want silent, elegant figureheads who do the whole smile and wave without causing, well, waves. So let's take a moment to appreciate the King and Queen of the Belgians who this week took on a headline grabbing couple of days and sailed through them with flying colours. This is what happened when Philippe and Mathilde met the President of the United States of America.
May 24th 2017 was President Trump's first official day of visits to Europe since his inauguration in January this year. The day began at the Vatican (you may have seen one or two photos of that) then as it was Wednesday, it had to be Belgium. Donald and Melania Trump were set to meet King Philippe and Queen Mathilde ahead of a NATO gathering which would see a new building being handed over to the organisation on May 25th. Cue flags and sparkling chandeliers. The Belgian royal social media channels are usually rather keen on pre event photos and sharing so there was a rather classy shot of the US and Belgian flags ready for the arrival of the guests of honour. And that was that.
When your guest of honour has previously described your capital city as a ''hellhole'' and called your country as a 'beautiful city', you'd be forgiven for being slighty ill at ease on the red carpet but Philippe, King of the Belgians, was his usual relaxed self and was Mathilde ever anything other than totally lovely? The doors opened, the hosts and guests appeared and the cameras clicked. All talk of cities and countries was left outside.
When @POTUS Donald Trump appears to push his way to the front of a group of world leaders at a Nato meetinghttps://t.co/BWUYlkZJ04 pic.twitter.com/1jbtJkzzWT— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 25, 2017