On Tuesday, the Belgian Royal Family was out in full force to celebrate the country’s National Day.
King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their children Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Éléonore were at Brussels’s St Michael and Gudule Cathedral for a traditional Te Deum, or Thanksgiving service.
The family walked in the Cathedral with the King and Queen in the front, followed by their children in age order; apart from a few smiles to attending photographers and cameras, the family looked quite somber.
Many events had to be cancelled due to the ongoing flooding emergency in the country – an crisis that already claimed 31 lives with countless other people unaccounted for.
Their Majesties will ended the day with visits to two residential homes, one that cares for adults with severe cognitive deficiencies and the other that cares for patients affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
The Te Deum service looked and felt sombre, with commemorations for both victims of the global pandemic and the floods, and came after a nation wide day of mourning to commemorate victims of the torrential rains.
However, the Royal Family was not dressed in mourning clothes; Queen Mathilde wore a pink/beigne floral dress, Princess Elisabeth was in red with neutral complements and Princess Éléonore donned an aqua lace dress; the male members of the family all wore navy blue suits and blue ties, and King Philippe was in his military uniform.
Similar church services were also celebrated in Limburg’s St Quentin Cathedral in the presence of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz and in Mons’s St Waudru Collegiate Church in the presence of Prince Laurent, who was not accompanied by his wife Princess Claire.
A Te Deum is celebrated twice a year in Belgium: on the 21st of July for National Day and on the 15th of November for King’s Day.