The King’s Festival, taking place on Friday 15 November, is being held in honour of the crown princess Elisabeth on the occasion of her 18th birthday this year.
The festival theme was chosen jointly by the Palace and federal parliament. The celebrations will start at 10:00 AM with the traditional Te Deum celebrated in Brussels’ Saints-Michel-et-Gudule cathedral, and include a sermon given by the Primate of Belgium.
Last year, drawing on a psalm, Cardinal De Kesel referred to the Call of King Solomon in order to focus on “what serves the common good and not personal interest,” a common good that “cannot be reduced to the interests of one’s own people or nation.”
The church service will be followed at 11:00 AM by an academic session in the Chamber. Several discourses are planned: those given by the presidents of the Chamber and the Senate Patrick Dewael and Sabine Laruelle, and the Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès. The historian Gita Deneckere will also take the floor.
The University of Ghent professor has notably written a book about Leopold I, whom she considers as “the first king of Europe.”
The royal family will be represented by the previous King Albert and Queen Paola as well as by Prince Lorenz, as the current head of state never attends this ceremony. Neither Prince Laurent, nor Princess Claire is mentioned in the list of those attending.
The Brussels Times