The royal palace has released – according to tradition – a video of the King on holiday. In the video the king is seen kite-surfing in Armenia. The choice of holiday destination is unusual for the royals, more often opting for traditional holiday destinations like France and Italy.
However according to a report in De Standaard, the family – King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their four children – already spent some time on the French island Île d’Yeu before heading on to Armenia – an arrival which made headline news in the country.
According to protocol, the family arrived on two flights into the capital, Yerevan: the monarch and the heir to the throne – his daughter Elisabeth – may not travel on the same flight.
Armenia’s isolation is almost complete: its borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed. Only since last year has Brussels Airlines laid on one flight a week, rising to two in the summer months.
According to local reports, the royals have been impressed with the local cuisine and especially the country’s wine, spending five hours on a tasting tour of one of the largest producers Armas. The country’s speciality is the blending of wine made with local grapes unobtainable elsewhere, together with more common varieties imported from other countries.
King Philippe’s sporting tendencies often form part of the royal holiday picture package, and according to those who know, the latest video of him kite-surfing shows that, at the age of 58, his skills are only improving, compared to previous footage from an outing on the North Sea last year.