Belgium is preparing to crown a new king, as Albert II abdicates and hands over the royal reigns to his eldest son, Prince Philippe.
On the eve of official ceremonies, the monarch has made a final speech to the nation.
“Today, it is with emotion that I speak to you one last time as king,” said Albert.
“You will ask me, at the moment when I hand over my duties, what are my wishes for the future. My wish is that Belgium keeps its cohesion.”
King Albert is credited with bringing about that cohesion – uniting a linguistically divided country.
During his speech, he also urged Belgians to support Philippe and his wife Mathilde.
“They are an excellent couple to serve our country and they enjoy my full confidence,” he said.
The new king will take to the throne on Sunday, which is also National Day.
Streets have been decked out with national flags and shops have been packed with souvenirs, as people prepare to mark a memorable moment in Belgium’s history.
- 1Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin | euronews, world news
- 2Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 3euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 4Nepal: ‘equally big earthquakes coming in eastern regions,’ expert tells euronews | euronews, world news
- 5It’s a girl: Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge gives birth in London | euronews, world news
- 6How Nepal earthquake devastated Kathmandu’s UNESCO heritage | euronews, world news
- 7Chernobyl Children: what makes Ukrainians born in 1986 different? | euronews, world news
- 8Juncker to Hungarian PM Orban: “Hello, Dictator!”
- 9Exclusive: unrest in FYR Macedonia could hit other Balkan countries warns Serbian PM | euronews, world news
- 10Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC
- 11International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 12Andrea Ferrari: the graphene guru | euronews, science
- 13International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 14Portuguese language reform law goes global | euronews, world news
- 15EU membership remains Serbia’s priority, says PM Aleksandar Vucic | euronews, the global conversation
- 16Watch: France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen clashes with UKIP MEP Woolfe | euronews, world news
- 17Spain: the viral soldiers fighting in Madrid and Barcelona mayoral races | euronews, world news
- 18How young translators are helping knit European culture together | euronews, generation y
- 19eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 20We will not be moved! China’s urban spread resistance [PHOTOS]
Wires > News
- 20:48 CET Greece says wants to make debt payments but needs aid urgently
- 20:34 CET Obama heralds first U.S. Memorial Day without ground war in 14…
- 17:28 CET Militants kill five, target telecoms in Indian Kashmir attacks
- 17:25 CET Houthis suffer first serious setback in south Yemen fighting -…
- 16:57 CET Burkina Faso exhumes remains of former president Sankara in murder…
- 16:54 CET Congo soldiers clash with Rwandan rebels in transit camp
- 16:19 CET Germany protests Russia’s ejection of conservative MP from Moscow
- 16:15 CET Gunman takes hostages after killing two in northeast Ukraine