SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


Belgian royals hit the pavement for car-free day in Brussels

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and their four children, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eleonore went on a bike ride in central Brussels Sunday as part of the yearly car-free day (Dimanche sans Voiture) in Belgium. The Belgian royals were dressed for the chilly weather and seen riding in the streets of Belgium with their security guards in tow. The family has participated in this event in previous years.

Every year in Belgium, different cities host a day free from any type of motor transportation. This is done to promote alternate forms of transportation like walking or bicycle riding. The King and Queen wanted to bring their children along this year to help promote the day in hopes that more people will choose to take advantage of different forms of transportation besides in a car, bus, train, etc. The family started their bike ride at Château de Laeken and ended at the Quartier St-Géry. They then participated in neighbourhood party with those in the area.

After taking their children cycling through the Belgian capital, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde chose to visit the Halles Saint-Géry museum later in the day, as a way to promote the open monuments and heritage part of the day.

The Belgian royal children were last seen on 9 September at the 40th edition of the Memorial Van Damme in King Baudouin Stadium, which was dedicated to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Philippe married Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz on 4 December 1999. Their first child, Princess Elisabeth was born in 2001. Princes Gabriel and Emmanuel followed in 2003 and 2005, respectively. The youngest of their four children, Princess Eléonore, was born in 2008. Philippe ascended the throne on Sunday, 21 July 2013 after his father, King Albert II abdicated due to his advancing age. Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Duchess of Brabant is now the heir-apparent and will be Belgium’s first queen regnant if she ascends the throne as expected.

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. 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 including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.