Belgium’s new monarch King Philippe and his wife Queen Mathilde saluted the crowds from the palace balcony at the end of an emotional day.
Earlier the 53-year-old had been sworn in, taking over from his father King Albert II who decided to abdicate in his favour due to ill health..
Celebrations ended with a spectacular firework display as the old King looked on with his family.
Philippe became the country’s seventh King after taking his oath in Belgium’s three official languages – Dutch, French and German.
It was greeted with warm applause. Belgium has a constitutional monarchy in which the king plays a largely ceremonial role.
In a country split with tensions between the Dutch-speaking north and the French south, most appeared to overcome their differences for at least for one special day.