Monday, December 2, 2013

Belgian Visitors in the Grand Duchy ***

Photo: Luxemburger Wort /
Today, Belgian King Philippe and his wife Queen Mathilde paid an introductory visit to Luxembourg. I know that the media outlets like to call it a state visit but it wasn't; a state visit would include a multi-day schedule and consequently a bunch of other events than those happening today in the Grand Duchy. The King and Queen were accompanied by Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and Foreign Minister Didier Renders.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were greeted by their Luxembourgish counterparts Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa in front of the palais shortly after 11am. After the inspection of the guard of honour, the onlookers got the chance to great the two couples during a short walkabout. Together they retreated into the palais where they were also joined by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie and had luncheon together. (Go to the end of the Tageblatt or the beginning of the Dutch Photo Press galleries below to see pictures of them arriving at the palais. Nice car, Gui.) The Belgian couple also met with various officials and representatives of the economic and civil sectors.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort /
Apart from being both heads of state of two European nations, Grand Duke Henri and King Philippe are also first cousins. The Grand Duke's late mother, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, was a born princess of Belgium and the sister of Belgian kings Baudouin and Albert II who recently abdicated in favour of his oldest son. Of course Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie was also born a Belgian though she gave up citizenship upon her marriage last year.

More visuals of the day can be found at AFP #1, AFP #2, L'avenir, Tom Wagner, PPE, DPP, Wort in French, Belga, Tageblatt, L'essentiel, RTL, the cour and likely all over the Luxo-Belgian media. Wort also has a video of the day, as do RTL here, here and here as well as DH, RTL TVI and RTBF.

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