Royals attend King's Day Te Deum
15 November 2007, BRUSSELS - 15 November is King's Day in Belgium. The celebration of our country's monarchy that used to be known Dynasty Day was first held back in 1866. 15 November was chosen as it is Saint Leopold's Day and Leopold was the name of the first King of the Belgians.
15 November 2007
BRUSSELS - 15 November is King's Day in Belgium. The celebration of our country's monarchy that used to be known Dynasty Day was first held back in 1866. 15 November was chosen as it is Saint Leopold's Day and Leopold was the name of the first King of the Belgians.
The date changed several times under the reign of King Albert I, but reverted back to 15 November when King Leopold III ascended to the throne in 1934.
Thursday's Te Deum was held at Brussels Cathedral.
The Head of the Catholic Church in Belgium Cardinal Danneels used his King's Day sermon to praise the multicultural make-up of Belgium.
The Cardinal stressed that mutual respect is paramount in a country as diverse as Belgium. Traditionally, the King does not attend the Te Deum.
However, other members of Belgian Royal Family, including Queen Fabiola, Princes Filip, Laurent and Lorenz and Princesses Mathilde, Astrid and Claire were in attendance.
Many politicians, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives Herman Van Rompuy (Christian democrat) and the Speaker of the Belgian Senate Amard De Decker were also present.
Several dozen members of the far-right student association NSV were detained by the police after they shouted anti-Belgian slogans at members of the Royal Family as the entered they Cathedral.
Military parade and civil service
Other King's Day celebrations will include a military parade in front of the Royal Palace and a civil ceremony in the Federal Parliament on Thursday evening.
The theme of this year's King's Day is "Belgium and international development." In contrast to Belgium's National Day on 21 July, King's Day is not a public holiday. However, most civil servants do get a day off to celebrate.
15 November is also a special day for Belgium's 70,000-strong German Language Community, as it celebrates its community holiday today.
[Copyright Flanders news 2007]
Subject: Belgian news