King Philippe of the Belgians has recorded an address to the nation on the occasion of Belgium’s National Day tomorrow. As is tradition, the speech was recorded in the three official languages of Belgium: Dutch, French and German.
During the one-minute part of the speech released via Twitter, King Philippe said, “Two months ago you cast your vote. Now we need to draw conclusions and agree on solutions. The many challenges we face are of such a nature that they need to be dealt with quickly with courage and determination. And they are so interwoven that they require intense cooperation, at all levels. That is what I wish for all of us on this National Day, that we give it our all for a responsible dialogue, that we continue to develop our need for cooperation and that we are proud of what makes our country unique.”
The full 10-minute speech was released on Belgium’s Een TV channel.
His 17-year-old daughter Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant and thus heir to the throne, was there when her father recorded his address. She was even allowed behind the camera to operate the autocue.
Belgium celebrates its National Day on 21 July and commemorates the event of 21 July 1831 in which Leopold of Saxe-Coburg swore allegiance to the new Belgian constitution and became Belgium’s first monarch. He had previously been married to Princess Charlotte of Wales, the heiress of King George IV who tragically died in childbirth with their son.
The southern provinces of the United Netherlands rebelled against Dutch rule, and the Dutch were forced out of the region by September 1830, giving Belgium its de facto independence. It was on National Day 2013 that King Albert II formally abdicated as King of the Belgians in favour of his eldest son Philippe.