King Philippe spent a few minutes saluting the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the foot of the congress column in Brussels, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2, according to the Belga news agency on Friday. Amongst the many guests were Brussels alderman Yvan Mayeur, minister of Defence Steven Vandeput, and the highest ranking representatives of the army. The ceremony started at 10:30am, in front of dozens of youths representing the various provinces in the country, and numerous soldiers and veterans, as well as the presidents of the chamber (Siegfried Bracke) and of the senate (Christine Defraigne).
King Philippe arrived at approximately 11:00am. He reviewed the troops before taking an imposing wreath of white flowers to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, “on behalf of all the authorities of the country.” Several youths then expressed “their gratitude” to veterans in particular, and saluted the “soldiers’ courage.” Lastly, representatives from many foreign delegations took turns laying their own wreaths. They came from the EU, the United States, Russia, Canada, and Australia. The French and German ambassadors laid a common wreath together with the flags of both their countries.
King Philippe marked the end of the ceremony by symbolically rekindling the flame at the bottom of the column, whilst the European anthem and the Belgian anthem played.