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Belgian Royal Family holds photo call at Villers-la-Ville

The Belgian Royal Family has held a photo call at Villers-la-Ville in Walloon Brabant on 24 June 2018 while they spent the evening at the site of the abbey. Pictured in the images are King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and their four children: Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, 16; Prince Gabriel, 14; Prince Emmanuel, 12; and Princess Eléonore, 10.

Their Majesties and Their Royal Highnesses visited ruins of the 13th century Cistercian Villers Abbey and the gardens during the summer evening for an extensive tour. While there, they tried out the virtual touchscreen with added reality called the Ardoise. The Belgian Royal Palace explained that this means, “reconstructing the lost heritage in the confrontation with reality today.”

Queen Mathilde, 45, remarked when inside the Villers Abbey, “It is beautiful.”

The ruins of Villers Abbey. By Jean-Pol GRANDMONT – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

The Belgian Royal Family posed for the Belgian photographers who were invited along for their visit to Villers-la-Ville. The Princesses and Princes are currently on their summer holidays from school. It is a tradition of the family’s to have a day out at the beginning of the children’s summer holiday. This was the last year of compulsory education for Princess Elisabeth in Belgium. The future Queen of the Belgians will begin studying in Wales in September.

Some of the images show the 58-year-old King utilising the Ardoise to view what the abbey used to look like, while others show young Princess Eleonore using it alongside her mother and siblings.

The Belgian Royal Palace also tweeted a few photos from the day this morning saying, “Exams and stress are behind us. The holidays can begin. We wish you all a pleasant holiday!”

King Philippe came to the throne upon the abdication of his father, King Albert II, in July 2013. He married the former Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz (now Queen Mathilde) on 4 December 1999 in Brussels. Their first child, Princess Elisabeth was born on 25 October 2001. Prince Gabriel followed on 20 August 2003 and Prince Emmanuel on 4 October 2005. Their fourth child, Princess Eléonore was born three years later on 16 April.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.