The King of the Belgians took his family on a bike ride on Saturday to promote tourism within their country to encourage support for local tourism after COVID-19 had shutdown the country.
The Belgian Royal Family’s Twitter account posted photos of the King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore riding in Bokrijk, in the Limburg region, as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of the bicycle route network, which had been expanded from 200 kilometres to 2,000 kilometres.
The photos were captioned, “According to Time magazine, the ‘Crossing the water by bicycle’ cycling experience is one of the top 100 ‘best places in the world’ and an incredible experience. Let’s take full advantage of Belgian tourism during the summer months!”
A second video was posted the Belgian Royal Family’s Instagram account, appearing to be taken via drone, on the water-level bridge used to cross the water, with the caption “The network of cycle paths in Limburg has existed for 25 years! Let’s support the tourism sector in our country.”
The Belgian royals also visited the Open Air Museum and a nature reserve in De Teut; then travelled into Haspengouw and continuing into Zonhoven, where they stopped at the Holsteenbron campsite to eat.
“This was a day to remember,” said campsite manager Marc Van Dael to the Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws. “We have been the new owners since this year and it was immediately difficult with corona. Fortunately, this makes up for it!”
Van Dael continued, “We were only informed late about the visit of the royal family. Of course we were very nervous. We have prepared the visit to perfection. We were also allowed to inform our staff one hour in advance. Fortunately, everything went well.”
He said that the royals were “friendly and enjoyed the weather,” and that they were “more or less among the people. Safety kept others at bay, but it was very pleasant.”