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King Philippe addresses his people for National Day

His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium has given a speech on the occasion of the Belgian National Day which is celebrated on 21 July. The King asked the Belgians to “see through the differences; more is not necessary.”

At 1 pm, the Belgian national television channels VRT and RTBF broadcasted the speech addressed to all Belgians. As each year, the King’s address is broadcast in the afternoon on the day before the National Day of 21 July. His Majesty has previously recorded his message in the three official languages of Belgium: Dutch, French and German. On the sound of the National hymne “The Brabançonne,” images were shown of the Royal Palace of Brussels until the King appeared. Behind His Majesty was not only the Belgian flag but also the European Union flag. On the tables behind him, pictures of various European royals were placed.

The European spirit was also present in his words. His Majesty said: “A new European dynamic seems to be shaped. How can we use this moment? By keeping on working for an inclusive society. A society in which no one feels excluded.”

The King stressed that this could be achieved by learning from and with each other. He also gave an example of this dual learning as he talked about his recent visit to Switzerland to learn a new form of education.

King Philippe also talked about the multicultural society of Belgium. He advised and recommended the Belgians “go and talk with someone in your environment you don’t know. You will discover that you and your neighbours share the same questions, the same doubts, hope, the same dreams. Prosperity and happiness only have value when they are shared.”

In addition, the King shared his own experiences when he talked about his visit to a Muslim family in Ghent during the Ramadan.

King Philippe’s speech this year was very optmistic in contradiction to last year’s speech. Last year Belgium had suffered many losses after the terrorist attacks at the airport and in the center of Brussels on the 22nd of March. The King concluded his speech with the words, “The Queen and I wish you all a very happy National Day!”

Tonight the King, Queen, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz will attend a concert at the Palais des Beaux Arts in the heart of Brussels in preparation for tomorrow’s National Day.

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