Belgium changes national holiday to honour ‘heroes of the coronavirus crisis’
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    Belgium changes national holiday to honour ‘heroes of the coronavirus crisis’

    The traditional military parade will not take place this year. Credit: Belga

    The ceremony on Belgium’s national holiday will be different this year due to the coronavirus crisis, the Royal Palace communicated on Tuesday.

    The national holiday, on 21 July, is traditionally marked by a military parade on the Place des Palais, where the Royal Palace is located.

    This year, there will be no military parade but a ceremony with two themes: a tribute to the heroes of the coronavirus crisis and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

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    The festivities will begin at 2:00 PM with the arrival of King Philippe. Queen Mathilde and their four children, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel, and Eléonore will also be present, as will Princess Astrid, Prince Lorenz and Prince Laurent.

    Five F-16 jets will fly over the Place des Palais with tricolour smoke and the king will deliver a speech. Ten historic vehicles from World War II will parade, and a military helicopter will also fly the Belgian flag over the ceremony.

    The ceremony will close with a tribute to the heroes of the coronavirus crisis, which claimed more than 9,000 lives in Belgium, the Palace communicated.

    The Brussels Times