A right royal celebration
King Albert celebrated King’s Day for the sixteenth time since he ascended to the throne in1993.
17 November 2008
Saturday 15 November is a big day for King Albert of the Belgians. He celebrated King’s Day for the sixteenth time since he became king in 1993. To mark the occasion, the King invited six hundred fifteen-year-olds from across Belgium to Brussels.
They took part in activities at various locations across the city before meeting the King at a special reception.
Before meeting the youngsters, the King attended a special Te Deum in Brussels Cathedral.
Homage was also be paid to the Monarch in the Federal Parliament.
Queen Paola couldn't attend this year’s festivities as she is ill at home with flu.
The first King’s Day was held on 15 November 1866.
The date was chosen as it is Saint Leopold’s Day and the then King was Leopold II.
King’s Day moved to 26 November when Albert I became King in 1909.
However, King Albert I decided to switch it back to 15 November in 1913, as his mother had died on 26 November 1912.
The date of King’s Day changed once again in 1922 when it was switched to 22 November.
Finally, it was moved back to 15 November when Leopold III became king in 1934.
15 November 2008 is an important day in the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as it’s 100 years to the day since the country officially became a Belgian colony.
Previously the central African territory had been the personal property of King Leopold II.
November 15 is also a day of celebration for Belgium's 70,000-strong German language community.
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