Belgium's Queen Mathilde and her daughter Crown Princess Elisabeth are paying a three-day working visit to Egypt, which is part of the historical interest of the Royal Family in ancient Egypt and is a tribute to Queen Elisabeth (1876-1965), whose interest and passion are at the origin of the flourishing of Egyptology in Belgium.
The Queen and Princess will visit several places Queen Elisabeth also visited on her missions several decades ago, including Tutankhamun's tomb. In Cairo, they will attend the opening of an exhibition on Queen Elisabeth and Belgian Egyptology.
"It is exactly 100 years ago that Queen Elisabeth and Prince Leopold travelled to Egypt to attend the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb in February 1923," the Royal Palace announced on social media, accompanied by photos from back then.
"The Queen and Crown Princess will dive into history and discover different places that Queen Elisabeth visited before," the palace added. Queen Elisabeth was the third queen of the Belgians and the great-great-grandmother of current Crown Princess Elisabeth, after whom she was also named.
With this visit, the Queen and the Princess want to highlight Belgian academic expertise in the field of Egyptology by visiting a number of archaeological sites where Belgian institutions and universities are active. They will be shown around various sites in and around Luxor by Belgian Egyptologists, professors and students.
This working visit is part of the various anniversaries that will be commemorated in 2022 and 2023. These include: the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of the hieroglyphics by Jean-François Champollion, the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb and the visit to the tomb by Queen Elisabeth, the 125th anniversary of the birth of Belgian Egyptology and the 75th anniversary of the death of the Belgian Egyptologist Jean Capart.