King Albert of Belgium led the celebrations on his country’s National Day. It marks the occasion when the then King Leopold took the first constitutional oath in 1831.
This year it marked the 400th day of political deadlock, a country without a government. The king warned the politicians that their failure to form a new government has threatened Belgium’s well-being and its standing internationally.
Many Belgians backed his call for the politicians to act.
“The king is right to give his point of view and I hope that he will be heard,” said one who was among a crowd waiting to greet the King.
“I say thank you to the king as he is the cement for our country. We are proud to be Belgian, its our National Day and I hope the king will live for many more,” opined another.
Away from the celebrations Elio Di Rupo, the francophone socialist leader appointed by the king to lead coalition talks, was set to meet with the leaders of eight political parties – both French and Dutch-speaking – that could form the next government.