PropertyKing Philippe (63) and Queen Mathilde (50) held their first Christmas party. Together with three of their four children, they invited 100 “ordinary Belgians” to a reception at the Royal Palace in Brussels. There’s another fixture on the agenda this week, and then the Kings can go on Christmas break. They will spend the holiday at home.
Philippe and Mathilde usually organize a Christmas party at the palace every year. But due to major renovations, the throne room, among other things, is a construction site at the moment. As an alternative activity, the Kings received about a hundred Belgians for a reception at the palace on Tuesday evening, ahead of the holidays. The guests were chosen from social organizations with which the King and Queen have contacted in recent years. These were volunteers, staff or people who were supported through these initiatives.
Three of Philippe and Mathilde’s four children – Elisabeth (22), Emmanuel (18) and Eleonore (15) – were also present at the reception. Only Gabriel (20) could not attend, because he is at boarding school at the Royal Military School in Brussels and still has exams. Elizabeth is back on holiday from Oxford, England, where she is studying politics and history at Lincoln College in her third and final year. On Wednesday, she will visit the Princess Elisabeth Children’s Hospital in Ghent, which bears her name and which she opened in 2011 when she was nine years old.
Philippe and Mathilde will head to Chaudfontaine in Liège on Thursday morning for a “Christmas visit” to a nursing home. There they will talk to elderly people and employees who need help. And then the Christmas holidays can begin. On Sunday 24 December, King Philip’s Christmas speech will be broadcast on television. But these recordings were actually recorded on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in his office at his home in Laeken Castle. Philippe and Mathilde will spend the holiday alone with their children. The court does not wish to reveal details about this matter.
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