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Belgium: thousands gather for first glimpse of new King and Queen

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Belgium: thousands gather for first glimpse of new King and Queen

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Cheering crowds jostled for position in sweltering heat to get their first peek at King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, who appeared on a balcony at the Royal Palace of Brussels.

The couple’s four children, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eléonore, joined them to mark the historic occasion.

One local in the throng of well-wishers told euronews: “I am just happy to be Belgian and I hope I can remain Belgian for as long as possible. I hope the same for my children.”

Another royal supporter said she offered Philippe a “welcome” and “support”.

Although polls suggest that the new king has only a fraction of the popularity that his father Albert II enjoys, Philippe’s swearing-in brought crowds out in droves.

Euronews correspondent Audrey Tilve reported from the royal palace: “Many commentators were wondering whether these celebrations would attract people. Well, the Belgians are here and so is their legendary enthusiasm!”