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Belgium

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde go grocery shopping for a good cause in Limburg province


By Liesbeth Driessen - UHasselt, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28712939

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians had a day of engagements in the Limburg Province, at the country’s northern-eastern border with the Netherlands. 

They visited three projects, one in each city they touched down in. All structures have connections to community and social work. 

They arrived in Borgloon in the early afternoon of Wednesday, 22 June, where they visited BelOrta, a consortium reuniting more than 950 local producers of fresh vegetables and legumes. 

Their Majesties symbolically purchased a basket of produce, which was gifted to them by the producers. They listened attentively to all the explanations offered by farmers and workers in the supply chain and watched as a group of people sorted cherries before they went into the market’s stock fridge. 

The royal couple then moved to Kortessem, where they visited De Wroeter, an initiative dedicated to people with disabilities that helps them find employment in sectors such as craftsmanship, farming, the organic cultivation of fruits, and the care of green areas or the food industry. 

The King and Queen of the Belgians were given a tour of some of the facilities that employ the people coming out of those programmes: a bakery, a kitchen, the greenhouses and the shops that sell products cultivated within the association. 

The final stop of the day was Bilzen, where King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were welcomed at the Hotel de Ville (the municipality building) by the Mayor and then went to Market Square to meet with the local population. 

Judging from one of the pictures the Royal Palace posted on their social media, the crowd also contained school children, who gifted the King and Queen an arts and crafts project in a shadow box frame, seemingly depicting the view around the city of Bilzen. 

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde then went back to Brussels, where they held a meeting with students in the last stages of their diplomatic and academic career, and where Queen Mathilde also chaired her first “Symposium of Her Majesty the Queen,” dedicated to children and teenagers’ mental health.