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Belgium

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde travel to Luxembourg Province


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

The King and Queen of the Belgians closed their workweek by travelling in the South of Belgium, in the Luxembourg Province, for a series of visits. 

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde began their visit in Vielsalm, where they received a tour of La S Grand Atelier, a structure that houses art pieces by artists with disabilities. The structure is part of Les Hautes Ardennes, an entity that also has under it a series of other realities that give work or hospitality to people with physical or mental disabilities. During the tour, Their Majesties admired art pieces and textiles still in the process of being built and had the opportunity of meeting the artists and their chaperones.

Following this visit, the King and Queen made the trip to Marche-en-Famenne, where Comptoir Forestier has its headquarters. The company makes sure to collect seeds from the most prolific forest environments in Wallonia and sell them so that vegetation can have a better chance of surviving natural disasters and climate change. This also increases biodiversity among the province’s plants, striking a delicate balance between increasing biodiversity and sticking to local flora.

Finally, the royal couple concluded their visit at Jadot Castle, still in Marche-en-Famenne, where they were welcomed by local authorities and had a chance to meet the population of locals. 

This is a typical visit for royals that includes a lot of the topics that they care about (disabilities and inclusion, the fight for the survival of local environmental characteristics, and the promotion of functional relations between local and central powers), and King Philippe and Queen Mathilde have carried out numerous visits such as this one throughout their time as active members of the Royal Family. 

Luxembourg Province is the most southern of the five provinces that constitute the region of Wallonia, one of the three regions of Belgium. The Province is called “Luxembourg” because, until the London Conference of 1838-1839, it was a part of the namesake Grand Duchy that still exists today. The conference established that the “Wallonian area” and the Pays d’Arlon should go to Belgium, despite both areas speaking a precursor of modern Luxembourgish, which they have maintained to this day. The Luxembourg Province borders the homonym nation, and they share culture and language.