July 21, 2013 Belgium’s seventh king, King Albert II signed away his rights as the kingdom’s ruler at the Royal Palace in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. Less than two hours later, the nation got a new King when Philippe pledged to abide the laws and constitution of the nation. Dressed in the uniform of commander-in-chief of the Belgian army, King Philippe swore the inaugural oath in Belgium’s three official languages, Dutch, French and German.
“I swear to uphold the constitution and laws of the Belgian people, to defend national independence and territorial integrity,” he said.
The formalities showed signs of a rift between the representatives of the Belgian Dutch-speaking and French-speaking from the southern side. Flemish party ‘Vlaams Blok’ didn’t show up at the ceremony. And the N-VA party leader didn’t come to participate in the ceremony.
The former King, Albert II decided to abdicate just three weeks earlier. Throughout his reign, he was above politics. And it is estimated that King Philippe will track his father. During last elections in 2010 it took up to 541 days to form a new government because the Flemish and French (winning) parties couldn’t reconcile.
Would you like to know more about the Belgian Monarchy? http://www.monarchie.be/en