Their Majesties Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium are currently on a State Visit to India. On the second day, the Queen was accompanied by the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi.
On Tuesday the Queen visited Childline, India’s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance alongside the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi. Queen Mathilde herself is Honorary President of Child Focus Belgium, a Foundation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children. Child Focus is very similar to Childline. Queen Mathilde learned how the organisation operates and what kind of calls they receive each day. The Queen was very much interested and impressed by the hard work of the organisation as the causes of the foundation lies close to her heart.
However, the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development seemed to be less impressed as reported by Het Nieuwsblad. The Minister often rolled her eyes when the people of Childline explained what they did. She minimalised the work of the organisation and interrupted the employees. Queen Mathilde tried to be diplomatic as she said nothing at first.
Later during the visit, an employee of the organisation was very nervous when she spoke to the Queen. She accidentally mentioned the wrong numbers. Therefore, Minister Gandhi said to the employee: “Darling, you’re not going to win a Nobel Prize for Maths with this.” Queen Mathilde thought this was very rude, and she then said: “But possibly a different Nobel Prize.” Queen Mathilde remained very diplomatic but clearly expressed that she was not pleased with the way the Indian Minister talked to the woman.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde will be in India for two more days. Keep posted here on Royal Central for more updates on the State Visit of Their Majesties.