Belgian King urges young Belgians to 'behave responsibly'

Belgian King urges young Belgians to 'behave responsibly'
Credit: VRT screengrab

On the Belgian National Day on Tuesday, King Philippe gave an additional speech, warning the population that the coronavirus crisis is not over yet.

On Monday, the king gave his traditional speech on the occasion of the National Holiday, in which he called for a government to be formed, among other things.

On Tuesday, however, he delivered an additional speech, in which he stressed that the coronavirus pandemic is not done yet.

"The pandemic is far from over. Let us - and I am addressing the young people in particular - remain extremely cautious and behave responsibly," the king said.

He also looked back on the past few months. "The pandemic has caused a high number of casualties. Unfortunately, their loved ones have often been unable to bid them an appropriate farewell," Philippe said. "It is a good thing we were able to commemorate them this morning, with the whole country," he added.

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That commemoration took place at the beginning of the traditional Te Deum in Brussels, which began with three minutes of silence in homage to all the victims of the coronavirus crisis.

The Te Deum was attended by King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their children. About 100 guests were also present in the cathedral, in contrast to the 1,000 in other years.

The traditional military parade had also been adapted in function of the crisis, with an alternative ceremony to honour the "heroes of the coronacrisis."

"With this National Day 2020, we are writing a page in our history," the king addressed the exceptional circumstances.

This year, Belgium also celebrated 75 years of Liberation after the Second World War, and several ex-combatants were invited to the ceremony as well.

"What the guests in the Place Royale have in common today is that they have given everything, risked their lives, exceeded themselves," said King Philippe.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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