The Belgian Royal family has hosted their annual Christmas concert this afternoon. The Royal Family organises the event annually to thank their staff.
King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, their four children, King Albert, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz have attended the annual Christmas concert at the Royal Palace this afternoon. It was the first official engagement Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant was present for since she started school in Wales last August. The Duchess of Brabant is now home for a month to celebrate the holidays with her family. It was also the first time King Philippe’s father, King Albert has attended the Christmas concert since his abdication. This year is also the first year King Albert and his wife will be celebrating Christmas in Belgium.
At the beginning of the concert, there was a unique role for the King and Queen’s youngest daughter, Princess Eléonore (10) as she accepted the “light of peace” from a Boy Scout. Then various Christmas carols were sung. The King and Queen organise this concert each year around Christmas to thank their staff everyone who was involved in coordinating their activities throughout the year.
Prince Gabriël, the King and Queen’s oldest son, appeared to have his foot in plaster. The Palace didn’t want to comment on the injury as they said it was just “a minor incident”. King Philippe’s brother, Prince Laurent; his wife, Princess Claire; and their children didn’t accept the invitation to attend the Christmas concert. Last year, Princess Claire and their children also showed up without Prince Laurent. Queen Paola was also absent as she is believed to be still recovering from her stroke a few months ago.
Earlier today it was not clear whether King Philippe would be able to attend the Christmas concert as he is holding consultations with the party leaders after the Belgian government collapsed yesterday evening. He received Benoît Lutgen, Gwendolyn Rutten, Bart De Wever and Elio Di Rupo in audiences spread throughout the day. Tomorrow, the King will continue his round of consultations with the other party leaders. In a few days, King Philippe will have to decide whether he will accept or refuse the resignation of the government. He decided yesterday to postpone this decision and consult the party leaders first. The King is expected to accept the resignation of the government.