Yesterday afternoon, His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium delivered the annual Christmas Eve address. The speech was pre-recorded in the three official languages of Belgium: French, Dutch and German.
His Majesty began by recalling a visit earlier in the month by a group of children to meet him in the Palace where he was able to show their curious minds the job of King and even spoke to them about writing his Christmas speech. He shared a comment by one of the children to him on that day; the child, echoing the mood of most Belgians, told him, “How lucky we are to live in a country as beautiful as Belgium.”
The King then said to the country, “Despite the personal difficulties we face, despite the insecurity in the world and the threat to global equilibrium, we must dare to look at things differently. With a look that sees more than what is missing, then what is not there. With wonder.”
He went on to express how they way one looks at something determines one’s actions, and then adding, “Behind each of our weaknesses and faults lives in each of us a rich inner beauty that deserves to be cultivated.”
Next, he spoke about a trip this year to a nursing home remarking, “Such a look at old age brings hope. Marveling at the beauty of life gives us a thousand opportunities to live it better and to help others to live it well.”
King Philippe also touched on the project in Namur which “stimulates ingenuity by bringing together technicians, entrepreneurs and artists.” He also spoke about other projects and visits he and Queen Mathilde had undertaken including a visit to Vilvoorde where they met young migrants who work together to build on self-respect through social integration projects.
To conclude his annual speech, the King of the Belgians told the country to “marvel at everything that we have built together, our common good, the result of a long history of connectedness, anchored in solidarity and compromises.” He added that strength could be drawn from this and that democracy depends on connections with each other. Further, he stated that though tensions are rising in the world, “We need more than ever wonder. We need it for our children and their future. Let’s make this choice together.”
Lastly, he wished the Kingdom of Belgium a Happy Christmas and New Year on behalf of the entire Belgian Royal Family.