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


How the Jubilee celebrations in Belgium began: a summer garden party in a regal setting

King Philippe of the Belgians is about to mark the tenth anniversary of his reign. He took the country’s throne on July 21st 2013 and as Belgium’s national day dawns this year, he will celebrate a decade of rule. Plenty of his fellow citizens want to celebrate with him and the party began several weeks ago when King Philippe and Queen Mathilde hosted a special garden party to mark their milestone.

Around 600 guests joining the Belgian Royal Family on the grounds of Laeken Castle for the festivities. 

King Philippe invited 600 people from all over Belgium and offered them a walk through the grounds and greenhouses of the Laeken estate. Throughout the walk, guests had an opportunity to enjoy five separate artistic performances (classical music, circus, dance, singing, and magic) from Belgian artists, which highlighted the cultural richness of the country.

During the walk, King Philippe and the rest of his family chatted with some of the guests. The afternoon was closed by a “festive reception,” according to the description given by the Royal Palace. 

For the occasion, King Philippe was joined by Queen Mathilde and three of their four children: Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore. Princess Elisabeth couldn’t make it due to her studies at Lincoln College, Oxford University. 

Also, part of the royals who joined the celebrations were Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, as well as Prince Laurent and Princess Claire – Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent are King Philippe’s full siblings. Princess Delphine, the King’s half-sister, was not present. 

This is likely to be just the first of a series of receptions and other forms of celebration for King Philippe’s tenth anniversary on the Belgian throne. He officially became King on 21 July 2013, Belgium’s National Day, approximately one hour after the abdication of his father, King Albert II, was ratified.