(Yes, I know what you’re all looking for, but first things first.)
Sunday morning, King Albert II of the Belgians relinquished the throne (becoming King Albert II – note the difference). Since I was unable to watch the proceedings (and my time out of town – and working at a two-week summer camp – not allowing me much time to catch up), Belgian network Nieuws has compiled a highlights video that shows a little of what went on Sunday.
As I said, Albert now becomes simply King Albert II, since Belgium operates under a rule of “once a king or queen of Belgium, always a king or queen” (rather like in The Chronicles of Narnia). The official designation of the reigning monarch is “of the Belgians,” which is now what Philippe and Mathilde are known by. Albert’s wife is now known as Queen Paola of Belgium.
The Belgian Monarchy has provided a transcript of the speech Albert gave at the abdication ceremony (during which he switched among Dutch, French, and German) and an English translation of the speech Philippe gave at his swearing in. They have also released photographs of the Royal Family, which can be seen here.
Lang leve Koning Filip en koningin Mathilde!
Vive le roi Philippe et la reine Mathilde!
Lang lebe König Philipp und Königin Mathilde!
(Long live King Philippe and Queen Mathilde!*)
*Belgium has three official languages.