Queen Mathilde of Belgium has wrapped up her five-day visit to Mozambique. At the end of her tour, she spoke to the press that had travelled with her on the trip. There, she talked about her wish for a normal, private life for her oldest daughter, the Duchess of Brabant.
Her Majesty, the Queen of the Belgians, brought a five-day visit to Mozambique as Special Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN from 3-7 February. Queen Mathilde visited local communities and encouraged initiatives that have a real impact on the daily life of the people of Mozambique. She also visited several projects that support the economic empowerment of women and the fight against violence against women. Other topics addressed during the trip were quality education and health, including mental health.
At the end of the visit, Queen Mathilde spoke to the media that had travelled with the Queen to the country to cover her visit. When asked about her oldest daughter, Princess Elisabeth, she acknowledged that it is not easy to be away from her as the Duchess of Brabant recently started school in Wales. Her Majesty said: “It is an adaptation for everyone in our family. But I think it is above all an enrichment for her. She studies with peers from all over the world.”
Queen Mathilde also had a special wish for her daughter: “She can enjoy a normal life there (in Wales), which I find really important. A private life. Let her enjoy that. She is still young.”
The Queen, however, did not only want to talk about her own family. She also shared her experiences on her work visit to Mozambique. She said: “When I have a conversation with authentic people, I forget everything that happens around me. That is where my past as a speech therapist and my training as a psychologist play a role. We have two ears and one mouth. What I mean: we have to listen twice as much as talking. If everyone would do this, the problems would be solved.”
Queen Mathilde very much enjoyed her visit to Mozambique and was impressed by the hospitality and warmth shown to her. She received various capulanas, a sort of shawls, from the people of Mozambique.
She said: “I will show them to my children and husband first. And tell them that this was part of the warm welcome at every visit. And that there was always dancing – at 30 degrees. Despite the heat, the people had energy. Both boys and girls participated. A nice message that everyone is equal, which was not the case here a few years ago.”
Next week, Queen Mathilde will continue her official engagements in Belgium as she’ll be inaugurated as an honorary member of both Royal Academies of Medicine on Tuesday.