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Patriotic dressing from Belgium’s queens and princesses as their king celebrates ten years on the throne

The celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the reign of King Philippe of the Belgians got under way with a nod to the country’s colours from the royal family that has supported him through his tenure.

His wife, Queen Mathilde, wore bright red while his heir, Princess Elisabeth, was in yellow and the king’s mother, Queen Paola, had elements of black in her outfit, meaning all three colours of the Belgian flag were on show for the start of this special day.

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Philippe is marking a decade of rule on Belgium’s National Day, July 21st. He ascended the throne on that date in 2013 on the abdication of his father, King Albert II.

As traditional, the first royal event of this day was the Te Deum service at the Cathedral of St Michel and St Gudula in Brussels.

King Albert and Queen Paola attended for the first time since the day he abdicated. It was also a first public appearance for the former monarch after he spent a week in hospital being treated for symptoms of dehydration.

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King Albert looked well as he made his way into the church.

The man they were celebrating, King Philippe, was in military uniform and stopped to greet many of the wellwishers waiting for him.

The day will continue with more traditional events including a military parade in Brussels and a concert.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.