Belgium sends condolences to British Royal Family; Elizabeth II met four Belgian kings
The Belgian authorities sent condolences to the British Royal Family and to the British people this Thursday evening, September 8. Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, has died at the age of 96.
"May HRH Queen Elizabeth II Rest In Peace. For over 70 years, she was a beacon of stability and dignity for the British people," wrote the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, in his Twitter account.
"We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," said the King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde in response to the death of the British Queen.
"She was an extraordinary personality. We will forever have fond memories of this great Lady who displayed dignity, courage and devotion throughout her reign," the royal couple continued. "Each of our encounters will be etched in our memories forever. The United Kingdom has lost a special Queen who left a deep mark on history. We wish to express our sincere condolences to the Royal Family and the British people. Rest in Peace, Your Majesty, at the side of your beloved husband.”
Elizabeth II met four Belgian kings
In 70 years of reign, Elizabeth II came five times on official visits to Belgium. She met four Belgian Kings: Léopold 3, Baudouin, Albert 2 and Philippe.
The first visit of Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, to Belgium was in 1966, from May 9 to 13, on the commemorations of the Second World War. She was welcomed at the Royal Palace of Laeken, then at the Brussels City Hall, laying wreaths at the tomb of the unknown soldier. She also visited the port of Antwerp and Liège, where the British royal couple attended a memorable concert given by more than 3000 schoolchildren in the courtyard of the Prince-Bishops' Palace.
The Queen of England returned in 1980 for the 150 years of Independence of Belgium. She visited European institutions and NATO headquarters, where she quoted Paul Henri Spaak, one of the founding fathers of the European Union.
In 1993, Elizabeth II came twice to Belgium. The first time for a historic visit, to Waterloo. The second for the funeral of her friend, King Baudouin.
She will then wait five years to return in 1998, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Armistice. This time, in Ypres and Messines, it is King Albert and Queen Paola who accompany her.
Fifteen years ago, in 2007, accompanied by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, Elizabeth II made her last trip to Belgium. It was then Belgian Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde who visited the GSK buildings in Wavre with the English royal couple. The Queen's final visit to Belgium ended with a ceremony, this time in the company of the then sovereigns, Albert II and Paola.
© BELGA PHOTO (ERIC LALMAND) Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and King Philippe of Belgium during a royal visit to the inauguration of the 'Flanders Fields Memorial Garden' World War I memorial in London, 6 November 2014.