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King Philippe and Queen Mathilde make State Visit to Germany

The King and Queen of the Belgians have just finished their first ever State visit to Germany. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde spent three days packed with visits, encounters, speeches and dinners in Berlin and Dresden. The Belgian King praised the Germans for their beautiful language, culture and art and spoke of a close friendship between the founding members of the European Union.

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The first State Visit from Belgium to Germany since King Philippe’s accension to the throne was well timed. In a few months Belgium will take the presidency of the Council of the European Union and therefore a visit to their fellow-founding member of the EU, Germany, was the perfect moment to underline their strategic partnership. In the last few years the King and Queen of the Belgians have made several official visits to various states of Germany such as Thüringen, Rijnland-Pfalz and Sachsen-Anhalt but this was the first official State Visit.

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As is tradition, the three-day visit kicked off with the ceremonial parts. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were welcomed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender at Bellevue Castle. Then it was off to one of Berlin’s famous attractions, the Brandenburg Gate, where they were welcomed by the mayor of Berlin, Kai Wegner. Their Majesties also laid a wreath at Neue Wache, the central memorial to the victims of war. The first day concluded with a state dinner organised by President Steinmeier. Special guests at the state banquet were Domenico Tedesco, the German-Italian soccer manager who is currently the head coach of the Belgian national team and the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Hubertus, and his wife Kelly. King Philippe is the godfather of their son, Philipp.

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Day two was all about economic and academic cooperation between the two countries. The Belgian King and Queen visited a forum about sustainable energy and decarbonisation. This was followed by a meeting with students, academics and economic actors at the German Aerospace centre to talk about protecting the planet and the environment and sharing knowledge and expertise about space. In the afternoon they visited several energy companies. The day concluded with a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and by a piece of music by Belgian soprano Sophie Junker. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde hosted the concert to thank their hosts.

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For their final day in Germany, the royals and their entourage travelled to Dresden. There, Queen Mathilde, a true art enthusiast could indulge in an art museum researching the works of the famous Belgian painter Pieter-Paul Rubens in collaboration with the Belgian museum KMSKA. Later that day, the royal couple took in the Christmas atmosphere at the Christmas market in Dresden. They tasted all kinds of sweets and some warm drinks to stay warm in the cold temperatures.

About author

Laura is from Belgium and has a passion for all things royal. She is Europe Correspondent for Royal Central since October 2016 and has contributed to other news websites. In her daily life she is a fulltime student in EU-politics and political communication.