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Belgium prepares to crown new king

Belgium prepares to crown new king
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Final preparations are underway in Belgium for Sunday’s abdication of King Albert II.

After 20 years on the throne, he is handing over the royal reigns to his eldest son Prince Philippe, on what is also National Day.

Streets have been decked out with the colours of the national flag and shops are packed full of souvenirs – marking a memorable moment in the history of this nation.

“We really love our King Albert but, like everybody else, we feel that considering his age, his fatigue.. He should rest a little, he very much deserves it,” said one woman in Brussels.

King Albert, 79, and his wife have spent the last week mingling with crowds.

In the southern city of Liege, Queen Paola struggled to hold back the tears as well-wishers cried “long live the king” and “long live Belgium.”

Prince Phillippe – groomed to be king from an early age – will be hoping the support for the monarchy remains as strong. A monarchy credited with uniting this linguistically divided nation.