Belgian queen Mathilde is to take part in a seven part series on television dealing with children and music. The series Merci voor de muziek (Thank You for the Music) is made by the Flemish public broadcaster VRT and presented by singers Bart Peeters and Nora Gharib.
During the series, the Queen will receive the young people at the Royal palace in Brussels. The participants include two accordion players, a cellist, a conga player, a harpist, a pianist, a rapper, and two singers. The VRT explains that Mathilde, a trained speech therapist, has an enduring interest in music-learning in children. Her charity, the Queen Mathilde Fund, has backed several projects over the years dealing with the subject.
“Music allows young people to learn about themselves, about others and about their place in society,” the Queen said. “Regardless of whether it’s pop songs, marching band music or classical works. I am convinced that music can really help young people get started in life. In our conversations, I’ve seen how important it is to them to be able to share their music.”
Presenter Bart Peeters brushed aside claims the royal house is involved in a “charm offensive” with a number of media appearances in recent months. Those include a visit to the King by comedian Philippe Geubels, with whom he shares a birthday, and a behind-the-scenes look at a banquet organised by the palace for French president Emmanuel Macron.
The Queen, Peeters said, “obviously really loves music. She’s had every imaginable musical style coming at her, from classical to hip-hop, from an eight-year-old harp princess (Stella from Bornem, photo with Mathilde, Peeters and Gharib) to a very enthusiastic blind conga player. It all began a bit tentatively, but I was delighted to see how quickly all protocol was set aside for the warm chemistry between Her Majesty and the young musicians.”
The series Merci voor de muziek begins tonight on één at 20.40.