The Summery Summary: Belgium

As the warm months of July and August pass into history, it's time to sum up what the royals were up to in the summer. And where better to start than in Belgium where September 1st means back to school for the youngest members of the Royal Family and a boosted agenda for the grown ups. The headlines from the past couple of months give us a good idea of how the holiday season was spent - here's the summery summary for Belgium's royals.

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The highlight of the Belgian summer is always National Day which falls on July 21st and which marks the start of the reign of King Philippe who took the throne on that day in 2013 when his father, Albert II, abdicated. This year, the festivities took place in sunshine, starting with the traditional Te Deum where the family was pretty in pink.

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The military parade followed with the royal children, led by Princess Elisabeth, stealing the show before mum and dad headed off by themselves for evening celebrations.

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We'd already enjoyed a family day out that month when the King and Queen of the Belgians took their two daughters and two sons to the coast to see a lifesaving exercise and enjoy a day by the seaside.  The family were later snapped on their annual visit to l'Ile d'Yeu.

There was another major set of engagements for King Philippe and Queen Mathilde in July when they led royal remembrances at the 100th commemoration of the Battle of Passchensdaele where they were joined by the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Gabriel, second in line to the throne, turned 14 on August 20th when his family shared a new photo of him taken at the National Day celebrations just weeks earlier.

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Meanwhile, Prince Laurent continued in his role as chief commotion causer when he tweeted photos of himself taking part in events marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army at the Chinese embassy in Brussels. Laurent had previously been banned from meeting foreign dignitaries without express permission. His official Twitter account was deleted and he lost part of his annual allowance following the incident on July 29th. Laurent was last seen at an official event eight days earlier when he attended National Day celebrations.

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But this summer was, above all, about family and while this is a summary of July and August, let's sneak in a photo from the very end of June. Queen Paola turns 80 on September 11th 2017 but got the party started with a celebration alongside many of her grandchildren on June 29th. It set the tone for the season - overall, this was a summer of sunshine and smiles for the Belgian Royal Family.


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