The Belgian Royal Court announced that King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians would make a state visit to India from 5th November to 11th November. The royal couple last visited India in 2013 during another state visit.
Their Majesties have a very busy schedule for this trip with a lot of separate activities as well as joint events. They will visit New Dehli and Mumbai. The 5th and 11th of November 5th are days reserved for the travel of both Their Majesties and the Belgian delegation.
On 6th November, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, as well as the delegation, will fly from New Dehli to Agra where they will have an official lunch before visiting the Taj Mahal. They will then fly back to New Dehli.
On 7th November, Their Majesties will be officially welcomed by the President and the Prime Minister of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Presidential Palace). They will then lay a wreath and observe a minute of silence at Raj Ghat.
King Philippe will meet the Indian Minister of External Affairs and the Prime Minister before laying a wreath at the India Gate Memorial. He will then attend the closing of the “Indo-Belgian Working Session on Sustainable Cities – Making Smart Use of Scarce Resources and showcase on Sustainable Cities” conference before meeting with the Vice President and the President.
During this time, Queen Mathilde will also follow her own agenda. She will visit the site of a microfinance project before having lunch with the First Lady of India. In the afternoon, she will visit Child Line, a call centre in Gurugram.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde will attend the state banquet hosted by the President in the evening. They will then say their goodbyes and exchange gifts with the presidential couple.
For the third day of the state visit, on 8th November, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde will have a separate agenda for most of the day. King Philippe will attend several seminars and conferences related to the relations and economic ties between Belgium and India as well as a power luncheon. He will also meet with the Indian Minister of Commerce & Industry and the Indian Minister of Food Processing Industries.
Queen Mathilde will attend a working breakfast before meeting with Indian tour operators for a networking meeting with the Indian Minister of Tourism. She will take part in an academic lunch and in a visit to Dakshinpuri Community Center focused on women empowerment.
Their Majesties will have two joint events on this day, a visit to the “India and Belgium & the Centenary of the Great War/ India in Flanders’ Fields” exhibition, and they will attend a reception at the residence of the Ambassador of Belgium to India.
On 9th November, the royal couple and the delegation will fly from New Dehli to Mumbai for the second part of the visit. They will meet and have lunch with the Governor of Maharashtra. King Philippe will attend a roundtable about the diamond business. Queen Mathilde will meet children at the Consulate General’s guesthouse where she will learn about the “Handwash Song”. The children will perform the national anthem in sign language. As a UNICEF ambassador, she will also meet three to four children who participated in the UNICEF personal safety and security training programme. She will later attend the closing of the Seminar Life Sciences and Healthcare and meet with the Indian Minister of Health.
Their Majesties will end their day at the reception of the Port of Antwerp before having a private break in their busy schedule.
On 10th November, the last day of the state visit, Their Majesties will visit the sporting ground Oval Maidan where they will see a cricket demonstration and meet cricket players. They will also have an informal gathering with the Belgian press.
Afterwards, King Philippe visit the Memorial of the 2008 terrorist attack and lay a wreath. He will then attend the opening of the Cleantech Summit: Solutions for Smart cities and Industries with the Indian Minister of State, Housing and Urban Affairs and the following luncheon.
Queen Mathilde will visit the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation and attend a lunch focused on women empowerment.
Their Majesties will also meet with the National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM) in the presence of Sister Jeanne. They will conclude this state visit by attending the “Scala & Kolacny Brothers” concert followed by a networking reception.