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King Philippe opens new tram line

It is back to work for King Philippe as he opened the new tram line 9 between Koekelberg and Jette (Brussels). The King was able to operate the tram on the first ride at the new line was completed.

Yesterday King Philippe undertook his first official engagement after going on holiday with his family. The King opened the new tram line 9 in the capital of Brussels between Koekelberg and Jette. The tramline is 4 kilometres long and connects five schools and the Academic Hospital in Jette.

His Majesty took place behind the wheel and operated the new tram line’s first ride. King Philippe was seen smiling as he is known to be a fan of vehicles. His Majesty cut the large ribbon by driving past it. The King was also impressed by the technology used to create the tram as he said: “It’s impressive. It rides really well.” 

Along the ride, dozens of people came to see the King managing the new tram line’s first ride. The King took the time to wave as he slowly drove by. He asked his fellow tram driver: “Are we going to pick up those people?” When the tram driver said no, the King was slightly disappointed when he said: “Oh, they will be disappointed.”

The new tram line is the 18th tram line of the MIVB (Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company). The tram ride on tram line 9 and takes around 15 minutes. Last stop on the train was the Queen Astrid Square in Jette that has been completely repurposed. 

His Majesty was asked to inaugurate the new square that has been named after his grandmother Queen Astrid of the Belgians. Unfortunately, King Philippe never met his grandmother as she passed away in a car accident when she was only in her thirties. With a push on the button, the King opened the new square, and a fountain appeared.

King Philippe also took the time to talk with the construction workers who had been working on the new square for over three years. He also chatted with people living in the neighbourhood.

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.