Friday, 8 November 2013

New kings on the block

There's always one friend who will never quite let you get away with anything.  If you get a new car, they get one a few months later.  If you move, they find themselves upping sticks not long afterwards.  You become king of your country following the abdication of a long serving monarch, they grab a crown of their own a few months later.  We got to see the newest crowned heads in Europe together for the first time today - and let's not split hairs about neither of them actually having a coronation.

The king and queen of the Belgians drop in for coffee with the king and queen of the Netherlands.  Luckily, they rang ahead so everyone had their best clothes on
Queen Maxima and Queen Mathilde made up for that with some pretty spectacular hats for their indoor chat.  The meeting marked the end of the introductory tours that both couples have been undertaking since then took over their country's monarchies earlier in the year.  Willem-Alexander and Maxima finished their getting to meet you tours of the European royal houses three weeks ago while Philippe and Mathilde completed their Joyeuses Entrees into major Belgian towns and cities a week ago. 
Leading politicians were also present at the meeting between the kings of Belgium and the Netherlands at the Noordeinde Palace on November 8th 2013
And with this brief meeting between old friends, it was almost as if the introductory periods of their respective monarchies came to an end.  Pretty soon, Willem-Alexander and Maxima were off to Moscow for their first major state visit since becoming monarchs and Philippe and Mathilde return home to a full agenda.  After the excitement of the handover from one era to another, the pageantry of the ceremonies and the writing of chapters in the history books, the day to day duties of being king and queen now rule once more in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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